What’s scaring you? Is that fear preventing you from doing something important in your life?
Some fear is healthy and self-protective. But many of our deepest fears are really self-sabotage getting in the way of our achievement and growth.
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Fear of being seen
If you are scared of public speaking or sharing your cool new idea with a colleague, you probably have a fear of being seen. This isn’t necessarily the literal fear of other people seeing your physical self (although sometimes, it can be). The fear of being seen is being afraid of others seeing who you truly are.
Sure, it’s easier to hide in the corner and not speak up. But what if you didn’t? What if people had the chance to hear your ideas? Or learn from you? Or partner with you? Being seen in all of your authentic glory offers opportunities for you and for the world.
Fear of judgement
Many people don’t do stuff because they fear being judged. For not being perfect, not having the right style, not being grammatically correct, or any of a million zillion reasons.
The funny thing, as Brené Brown has taught us, is that vulnerability is attractive. Other people like us more when we’re not putting out an “everything is perfectly perfect!” vibe. And imperfectly complete beats it’s-going-to-be-perfect-as-soon-as-I-get-it-done.
Fear of being alone
Are you delaying or avoiding something because you’re afraid of being alone? Well, guess what – you’re in good company (ironically enough!).
We’re programmed with the desire to belong and to fit in. This need is so strong that it can prevent us from taking all kinds of risks for fear that we’ll lose our community or be shunned.
Our closest friends and family sometimes discourage us from taking risks because they don’t want to see us fail or get disappointed or hurt. Sometimes, risk-takers do unpopular things, but rarely does it result in being excluded from a community.
And if exclusion is the result of your putting yourself out there, it’s smart to question whether belonging to that community serves you in the long run.
Fear of success
Yeah, success. This one is a toughie. All that striving toward a goal, and when you get to the brink of it, you’re too scared to take the leap. Not because of the leap itself, but because of what might come after.
Some of the best people I know get stopped by this one. It’s a fear of what you will be called to do and who you will be called to become when you’re successful. Whoa (as Keanu would say).
The fact of the matter is that growth requires us to get a fresh set of skills, every time we get to the next level. You may think you’ve made it, but you’ve just made it to the next level. There is no finish line. That is, if you want to continue to grow and develop.
The best way to address the fear of success is to know that change, growth, and development are coming. And to be sure to celebrate what you’ve accomplished before heading for your next summit.
Fear of spiders
Okay, that is totally normal. I’m not even going there.
The point of this post? Do. It. Scared. We all have fears, but growth and new ideas and exploration and fulfillment all require us to go out on that limb. Really. Do it scared. Because (almost) everybody’s rooting for you. Even the spiders!
How have you overcome your biggest fear? Hit us up in the comments below.
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