3 More Fears that Hold Us Back (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 258)
“To escape fear, you have to go through it, not around.”
— Richie Norton
Overcoming fear is a skill that anyone can learn. The problem is not that we have fear. The real problem with fear is that too many people hold on to their fears because it has become a part of their nature. That awareness of fear makes them more cautious when it should make them realize that it is the fear that is causing so much chaos in their lives. You can transcend your fears only when you are able to face them. And there is nothing wrong with facing the thing you are afraid so it won’t paralyze you and hold you back from achieving your dreams.
Here are 3 fears that often hold us back and why we shouldn’t let them:
1. The Fear of Rejection
The need to belong is so tightly ingrained in our DNA that we will, at times, avoid people and situations in which we feel there is a possibility they will reject us. In terms of cognition, we may fear that rejection will confirm what we deeply, but inaccurately think about ourselves. Either that we are not valuable, that we are unlovable, or that we are not worthy of healthy companionship. A big part of that fear of rejection may be our experience with past hurt, bullying, or betrayal.
Being human, we long to be accepted by the people around us — in our family, among our peers, at work, and at social functions. If we are afraid that we won’t be accepted for one reason or another, we can hold on to that fear and allow it to hold us back from entering into perfectly good relationships or cause to avoid talking to people in regular conversation on a daily basis. In a way, fearing rejection is really restricting because it can cause us not to be open to different opportunities in life that we should accept.
2. The Fear of Failure
Let’s face it, many of us, if not all of us, are afraid of failing at one point or another. There is nothing really wrong with fearing failure. After all, not wanting to fail is a good thing. It can push us to do more so that we give ourselves the best chance at succeeding. Fearing failure becomes debilitating when we allow it to hold us back from doing the things we know we should do and are capable of doing to reach our goals.
Failure in and of itself is a matter of perspective. It is impossible for one to go through life without experiencing some measure of defeat or a lack of success at an attempt to do something. People who tread carefully have a tendency to be so cautious about everything that they end up going nowhere. They stay stuck in safe town because they are afraid of the results that failure will bring. The only thing you can do is embrace failure, treat it like your friend, and see it as a legitimate stepping stone on the way to your goals.
3. The Fear of Humiliation
This is similar to the fear of failure but is a little different. As a part of the human race, we naturally don’t like to be embarrassed. We avoid situations in which we think we will be humiliated or otherwise, shamed or made to feel guilty. We attempt, at all costs, to stay away from any mechanism that will threaten our integrity of self. The reasons for this are vast — pride, self-sufficiency, independence, the need for self-approval and so on it goes.
We have constructed within ourselves a sense of worthiness, value, strength, capability, lovability, and connection. That construction is disintegrated or even destroyed when we come face to face with shame. Fearing embarrassment or humiliation is a learned reflex that can be un-learned and re-learned to becomes a more healthy response. As it turns out, life rewards those who risk vulnerability, openness, and at times, even humiliation.
“What is the biggest thing that stops people from living their lives in the present moment? Fear — and we must learn how to overcome fear.”
— Brian Weiss