How to stop living a small life by facing these 10 fears
Fear is a natural, powerful, primitive human emotion. It is an emotional reaction that starts in the brain and spreads through the body to make adjustments for the best defense or flight reaction. Sometimes fear stems from real threats, but it can also originate from imagined dangers.
Fear will either create you or destroy you
Healthy fear is your inherited self-protection mechanism that gives you survival instincts to protect you from potential danger.
Unhealthy Fear prevents you from moving forward and doing things you would otherwise enjoy. Whether your fears involve your relationship, career, death, or discomfort, staying inside your comfort zone will ensure you live a small life.
Top 10 Fears that hold people back in life
1. Fear of Failure
The fear of failure is one of the most common biggest fears that hold people back from living their best life. Many of us are afraid of failing, at least some of the time.
It is perceived that the negative consequences that follow failure are the cause of stress in a person.
How to Overcome Fear of Failure
- Figure out where the fear comes from
- Practice positive thinking
- Visualize all potential outcomes
- Prepare for the worst-case scenario
- Always have a backup plan
- Learn from your mistakes
2. Fear of Success
One of the lesser-known but very common fears that might be holding you back is the fear of success. It is important to recognize that people often don’t fear success itself. The fear is more centered on the potential consequences of success.
Success is sometimes based on the idea that achieving your goals means making sacrifices, enduring losses, or sudden changes that success may incur in your life. It’s not surprising that people are wary of what success might ultimately cost them.
- Anticipating how other people will react to your triumph.
- Changes in your life while you aren’t ready.
- Afraid of getting it and losing it.
- Losing friends and family
- Other people’s intentions
How to overcome the fear of success:
- Acknowledge the fear and understand where it stems from
- Be aware of how it manifests
- Visualize success
- Manage stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety may be contributing to your fears
- Believe in yourself and your dreams
3. Fear of Change
The only thing constant is change. Despite this fact, however, there are many people who fear change, and so they resist it. We fear change because it means that outcomes are unknown.
Our brains are designed to find peace in knowing. Sometimes it’s just difficult to move on when something we know and is used to comes to an end.
Steps to overcome the fear of change:
- Accepting the fact that change is inevitable
- Sometimes the best things in life are blessings in disguise
- See failure as something positive
- Celebrate every little success
- Step outside of your comfort zone
- Be patient and let life unfold
- Accept the situation, learn from it
4. Fear of Loss
Fear of loss is most likely one of the most prominent and powerful fears that is holding you back. The anxiety of death or losing someone we love is one fear that scares us the most.
Few things in life are scarier than the thought of losing a loved one or having anxiety about death. This however is an entirely normal part of the human condition. On some level, most of us realize that everything comes to an end.
- Understand that you’re not alone. The fear of loss is something everyone has experienced at one time or another.
- Focus on what you can control. One way to cope with fear is to think about whether there’s anything you can reasonably do to control the situation.
5. Fear of Loneliness
I don’t particularly enjoy feeling lonely—and I’m not alone in that feeling at all, once in a while we all experience loneliness. According to Kyla Sokoll-Ward, a loneliness and connection expert. “Being lonely feels different for everyone. It’s deeply personal. Loneliness is a subjective feeling defined by the amount and type of connection you need in your life.”
Loneliness is not just the anxiety about being isolated from other people. Some people do not necessarily have to be physically alone to experience these symptoms.
While it’s smart to ward off loneliness, it’s important to surround yourself with people who have healthy, positive mindsets. It’s also beneficial to have healthy social interactions.
What you can do:
- Live a healthy lifestyle
- Focus on self-care and self-love
- Embrace Loneliness by changing your perspective
- Go out and Meet People
- Reach out to Help Someone in Need
- Be Grateful and Count Your Blessings
Truth is, everyone needs time alone. These are precious moments that are very important for your own peace of mind and mental refreshment.
6. Fear of Getting Hurt
Getting hurt whether emotionally or physically is inevitable. A full life is made of a wide range of experiences, and some of these experiences will be unpleasant. Nevertheless, avoidance based on fear won’t protect you from experiencing pain. Why? Because living in fear is living in pain.
Accepting that sometimes things won’t go your way will allow you to let go of the anxiety and stress that arise from resistance to life circumstances. When you stop resisting, your mind is clear enough to find solutions to your problems.
This instinct of self-preservation can protect us from repeating mistakes and experiencing pain, but it can also prevent us from living life to the fullest. You must understand that without emotional risk, there are no rewards.
7. Fear of Being Judged
People talk about other people, we mind other people’s business, consciously or unconsciously- positive or negative there’s always a motive. Whether it’s admiring and supporting someone or reflecting our own insecurities, anger, or resentment.
Yes, It’s normal to want to be liked. But no matter how much you try and please everyone, you can still end up pleasing no one. The truth is, you are going to be judged no matter what you do, so you might as well live your life as you want.
Steps to not care about what other people think and say about you:
- Being mentally strong to live according to your values is key to living your best life
- Develop self-compassion so you can feel better about yourself overall
- Fight feelings of worthlessness. Remind yourself that you are more than enough
- Surround yourself with positive, happy people who accept you for who you are
8. Fear of Time
Fear of not having enough time or how fast time flies, are forms of Time anxiety.
Time and anxiety are cruel partners, it provokes a desire to rush, multi-task, live life in haste without even savoring a moment. It can lead you into habits and behaviors that leave you far short of living your best possible life.
Life is short. Time we cannot buy. But more than the demands of life are simple pleasures that are free and need to be savored while we are alive.
Take a step back, take a moment, plan ahead.:
- Acknowledge your relationship with time
- Ask what ‘time well spent’ means to you
- Focus on what matters most
- Time management and planning
9. Fear of the Known and unknown: Uncertainty
People often avoid trying something different for fear of uncertainty. After all, there’s no guarantee that doing something new will make life better.
Sometimes it’s not even that your biggest fear is- Fear of the Unknown. It’s difficult to fear something that you do not know. What you really fear is the loss of the known. Your comfort zone.
Do you know that comfort is one of the diseases of failure? Staying the same is one surefire way to stay stagnant. Whether you’re afraid to move to a new city or start a new business don’t let the threat of fear or uncertainty hold you back.
10. The Fear of Inadequacy
Another fear shared by many people is the feeling of not being good enough. The fear of becoming just another person. The fear of being like everyone else or not becoming extraordinary. Like your life wasn’t even interesting enough to be your own.
Becoming extraordinary in your own life, in your own little way- involves setting a goal, making a plan, and doing the work to reach your dreams.
So think about what your question really is – If you fear being like everyone else, do the opposite. If you fear not being extraordinary, then get to work.
Why is removing fear helpful?
Fear is a natural psychological human emotion. It’s OK to be fearful of some things, you are not alone. However, fear can stop you from achieving your full potential and living life on your own terms. Overcoming fears means accepting the arrival of unforeseen opportunities that will change the trajectory of your life.
Train your mind to overcome fear and take control:
- Don’t figure things out by yourself
- Be OK with some things being out of your control
- Practice self-care
- Be conscious of your intentions
- Focus on positive thoughts
- Your feelings are valid
- Practice mindfulness
- Train your brain to stop the fear response
This post can help you in your journey to Facing your Fears: WHY LIFE BAGGAGE CAN RUIN YOUR FUTURE: TIME TO DECLUTTER
Who knew there were so many types of fear to hold us back!? This is really helpful. I think understanding fear is a great first step to overcoming it 🙂
Thanks for your comment. Yes, understanding and acknowledging our fears is the first step to overcoming them.
I love how you’ve broken down several fears here and even propose ways to overcome each fear! Understanding a fear is the first step at overcoming it as its easier to acknowledge when that fear is active and start working to overcome it. This is great!
You said it very well. Thanks for your comment. Hope it helps.
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for your comment.
Fear of failure is a HUGE one for me, I work on that ever day.
Thanks for your comment. Happy to hear your boldly facing your fears.
Lots of good information here.
Thanks for writing such an informative post. I suffer from fear of failure and am slowly learning how to overcome those fears.
Know that you are not alone. I’m happy to hear that you are boldly facing your fears. You can do this, you deserve success!
Fear of success is so true! It sounds crazy, like who wouldn’t want that, but it’s definitely a real thing! Change can be scary and overwhelming and sometimes we start shutting down when we think about it. Great post, thanks for sharing!
Thanks for your comment. very well said.
Fear of success is a big one. I love the book, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” because we all have fears, but the goal is not to let our fears stop us from moving foward.
I’ve never read this book- I will definitely check it out and yes, don’t ever let fear stop you.
Fear of success!!! Whew. So many of us are okay with sitting in our misery and getting out of that and actually doing great in life or living a great life can be so scary.
I feel you. But you deserve success in life, whatever your definition of success may be.
I have currently fear of getting hurt. It has caused me to be scared to start friendships and relationships with people. I recently have been trying to change my perspective and not let my fears control me.
You are not alone. We all have some fears. The important thing is that we are brave enough to face those fears head-on. Like you said a change in perspective and not letting fear take control is very important.
Fear is an evil spirit because it hinders your progress and eventual success and true happiness
God is against this spirit of fear and the word ” DO NOT FEAR” is reiterated many times when God speaks to his people
Thanks for your comment and YES you are 100% correct!