Fear – Illusion or Reality?
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Top 7 fear factors, and why you need to face and finish them.
We all have one thing in common: Fear (imagined, not physical fear) resides within us all. You know you have it when you are involved in something that makes your heart race, whether it is the moment that you are given your first big assignment, the first time you present your ideas to your colleagues, or anything else work related that makes your body tense.
Moments of real fear are of course justified. It may be warranted when you face physical fear for example. If a truck comes your way, use that fear and avoid the truck! In this article, however, we are examining illusional fear, and the excuses scared people use: “I’ll do it when… I am too busy, I can’t do it now… Once the kids are bigger…” The following statistic published by the National Institute of Mental Health speaks for itself:
- 60% of things we fear will never take place
- 30% of things we fear happened in the past and can’t be changed
- 90% of things we fear are considered to be insignificant issues, and
- 88% of things we fear are in relation to health that will not happen
- 74% of the population has a fear of public speaking
- 68% of the population has a fear of death
You may even sabotage yourself and your professional success through fear but do not realise it until later. For instance, I once turned down a promotion because I was too afraid of public speaking – a big mistake in hindsight of course. I was asking myself whether I was good enough, and worthy of the promotion, typical examples of what’s called “universal fears”. They were responsible for my inner voice that focused on negatives and worst-case scenarios.
Following are the top 7 fear factors that you might encounter:
- Fear of failure, comparing yourself to somebody who has more money etc.
- Fear of not belonging to a family, culture etc.
- Fear of rejection because you don’t see yourself as equal to others
- Fear of not being smart enough, thinking that other people are superior to you
- Fear of not having the health and vitality to do what you said you would do
- Fear of being judged, perhaps by doing what you really want to do
- Fear of financial loss or stagnation, because you focus on somebody that has more wealth
Clients often tell me: “I need coaching or mentoring to find out what’s wrong with me and why I can’t seem to get the results I am after.” But that’s not what coaching or developing your self-leadership skills is about. There is nothing wrong – developing your leadership skills, which includes self-awareness, is about learning to look at your professional life and behaviours differently, so that you elevate to levels higher than you could have ever imagined. It is about empowering yourself, and discovering your stumbling blocks, so you can turn them into stepping-stones. Once and for all
How to face and finish your fears
So, here is the deal and it may seem all too simple when it is actually pretty huge:
Taking action toward the thing you fear most is what causes the fear to go away!
“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”
~ Richard Branson
Many people ask themselves WHY things are not going their way, WHY they don’t have more money in the bank, WHY nobody is listening to them, WHY they are freezing up every time they need to present at work. However, WHY questions amplify the fear factors. Asking yourself WHY usually leads to excuses, justification or blame (focussing on problems).
WHAT and HOW questions on the other hand will provide you with answers that allow you to move forward (focussing on solutions). You need to face those fears head on, and then finish them off. Stop worrying about what could go wrong, and instead ask yourself where to direct your focus to get the best results.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; It is the courage to continue that counts.”
~ Winston Churchill
People who challenge themselves become successful. Next time you are facing a situation that you would usually shy away from, think twice whether you are committing self-sabotage. Ask yourself: “What do I have to lose? What is the worst thing that can happen?” For most people, the answer would be that nothing would change, that everything would stay the same anyway! - Ask yourself: “Is the fear reality or illusion?” If it is the latter, take a leap of faith, challenge yourself and ultimately achieve self-empowerment.
“Dare to make a difference!”
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