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What is Your Biggest Fear in Life?
We all have answers to it. It does not matter if you are a student, working professional or a business owner, we all battle our greatest fears. But if you want to achieve self-development, and reach your full potential, then you must use fear to your advantage. Push through your fear or self-doubt and go about creating companies, obtaining certifications or developing innovative products!
It does not matter what is your biggest fear? Whatever that might be. One thing is certain that it affects your emotions, your thinking power, and this, in turn, affects your ability to make decisions rationally. What matters is how you choose to deal with it. Remember, this beautiful quote by Nelson Mandela:
In the same inspirational spirit, this blog will discuss the 10 greatest fears. Additionally, we will also share a few steps on how to overcome people’s biggest fears for personal and professional success & growth.
So if you also want to know what is your greatest fear that is stopping you from achieving your true potential, read on.
Fear is the crippling state of mind that hinders you from moving forward, stopping your self-development. Or that constant worry running over and over in your head that what you are doing is not enough. That you are not good enough or courageous enough.
You know having fear of something is natural and that you are not alone. But what most people fail to do is that they do not try to look deep into the cause of it. Not going by the dictionary definition of fear. But we all know fear is a state where you feel scared or afraid, regardless of whether you should be afraid or not. Focus on ‘regardless.’ Meaning, it is possible to experience fear even when you actually should not be frightened.
Fear can also be seen as a ‘fight or flight’ mode. ‘Fight’ or ‘Flight’ happens when our senses and reflexes are quite heightened and it becomes easier for us to decide whether we want to escape the real and physical danger or face it head on.
However, there is another aspect to us reacting to our biggest greatest fears and it is that reactions can only aid us when we are facing ‘real’ physiological dangerous situations. They cannot help you if they are facing self-perceived dangers (which does not harm us physically). If anything, your reaction to the fear only holds you back. For example, imagine a person having stage fright and he is mumbling off on the stage due to his fear of the stage. In this situation, he wants himself to be grounded, calm so that he can deal with things logically and not become over-stimulated. But he cannot.
That is where the problem starts for you and you feel yourself stuck. Often the fear that holds us back, stops our self-growth is non-physical fear– fear that exists in our head and tells us whe are in danger when we are not. We will discuss some of the common types of biggest fears later in the blog. But for now, let’s know how fear stops us from being our better self and understand the importance of overcoming your fear.
Fear stops your growth both personal and professional in life. It prevents you from living your best life and becoming a better version of yourself. When you center your life around your fear rather than your own desires, you are letting your fear drive your life for you. You become a byproduct of fear, rather than your choices or desires. This way you can never come out of the land of fear. You become so entrenched in it that you cannot see newer opportunities to grow and stay in a lower level of consciousness, especially if you are someone afraid of changes.
When you are afraid of something like public speaking, people judging you or feeling that you will disappoint them- all these fears are in your mind. You let your fear consume your mind so you create scenarios where you forget your speech, or mess up a new project and cannot do justice to the task. Even if it happened to you in the past, it’s not like it will happen in the future too. Whatever you are doing or plan to do, you're still in control of that. The future has not occurred yet and you can learn from your past. Only if you do not let fear consume your mind and cloud your decision making.
Imagine you spend days or weeks finishing a project but just before the presentation, you are scared of messing it up or disappointing your peers. Do you know what you did there? You cultivated a scenario of fear when there was no need for it. So every moment you spend thinking or making up situations that have not occurred or may never occur, you are pushing yourself inside a shell. Shell of being your old self, not moving forward and just wasting your energy and potential. The more you do it, the more you lose the chance of getting out of it. So try to assess your surroundings, process your situation and try to inject your energy into something constructive, for a more positive after effects.
Yes you might think you can avoid being in situations that you are afraid of, and that might give you a sense of safety. But that is momentary, a delusion of security, when you are actually confining yourself to the fear. Fear is pervasive. You should not run away from fear, you should deal with it. When you keep running away from fear, instead of facing it, eventually you will find yourself backed into a corner, with no way out. So learn to deal with it, figure out ways you can conquer it so that you do not stay a fraction of the person you can be.
So if you ever wondered what are people's biggest fears? Here are 10 types of biggest fears that you should overcome to be truly happy and successful:
It’s a fear of the unknown. Fear of uncertainty is about not feeling confident in what may or may not happen in the near or distant future. We all worry about the future, grappling with scenarios or creating hypothetical situations that may happen or may not happen. This makes us self-doubt our decision making power. This is because we have already pictured the worst outcome in our mind way before we decide to do or say something.
To constantly be bogged down by ‘what ifs’ or ‘I wish’ is not a way to live. Learn that we all make mistakes in our lives and we all experience regrets. The only way to move forward is to learn from your mistakes and accept life as it is. After all, if the future has not yet happened, why should we be worried about it?
We all want to live a comfortable, secure life and any shift in the status quo frightens us. Fear of change makes us worry, anxious about the future. If you continue to lead your life worrying about the next shift in your life and this way you will develop a closed mindset. Remember, complacency can stop you from taking action and moving forward. You will fail to adapt yourself to your surroundings and miss out on chances that could lead to greater opportunities.
You have to understand that you can’t ignore change. The only constant in life is change. It doesn't matter where you are in your life or in business, you will have to embrace the constantly evolving technology or trends, and accept new beginnings.
Acceptance from others is a strong desire that many people have. We all want to be liked. When we feel like someone is looking down at us, we feel embarrassment, hesitation thinking there is something wrong with us. Most people sometimes worry about feeling judged. The fear of being judged leads to self-doubt. You start questioning everything we do or say by worrying what other people are thinking: about us, our clothes, our businesses, our plans, or our goals.
When you let your fear of judgement stop you from opening up, you don’t give people the real opportunity to know you for who we are. Even if they judge you, you need to see if there is something that needs to be changed or not, and if yes then work on it. But do understand that if you are good the way you are, just be yourself and let things work themselves out.
All of us want to be liked, admired and respected by others. We evaluate our own self-worth by how others perceive us. In order to be in other’s good books, we try to please them in whatever way we can. The fear of disappointing others lets us overthink our actions too. We keep on analyzing our actions so much that we stop taking up new activities, worried everyone will be disappointed if we fail.
You need to learn to value yourself, be fair to yourself. If a request will distract you from your goal, politely decline it or offer help when the time suits you best. Take chances on you, try new things, whether people will be disappointed in you or not comes next, because first you need to take initiatives.
Fear of taking risks is closely related to fear of change and fear of uncertainty. Your mind is so wired like that: to live in comfort, to play it safe. It tells you to choose the easy and safe road before going out of your way for something that crashes you down. But this way you are missing out on so many opportunities whether you are a college fresher or an entrepreneur. Imagine you not starting an online store as you are worried about the online security threats and competing against big giants. Or you wanted to shift your career to IT but having a non-technical background you are afraid of doing poorly in your IT career.
You can start small rather than taking a big step in your IT career or business. For instance, instead of quitting your job and applying for IT certifications, take online training for the same. Success is not guaranteed and being afraid of failure is alright. But stopping yourself from trying something new, taking risks because you are scared of the unknown isn’t.
We have attached so many positive emotions and adjectives with success that we often see failure as the worst of all possibilities. We think, if we fail, those who doubted us will have been right or those who trusted us have been proven wrong. But experiencing fear is more than that. Failure is not the end of a journey, it begins there. It teaches what went wrong, what more we can do to achieve success.
Your failure is your lesson, an opportunity to learn something new and not a negative thing.
So ask yourself: 10 years from now, will you regret not taking this opportunity? And if you do fail, what will happen? Do you want to feel bad about not doing enough and failing or you want to work hard to achieve success? Have a plan B, this will give you the extra boost of confidence to forge ahead.
The idea that anyone can have fear of success might sound confusing. Why would you want to be scared of doing well? But there are people who fear success, of doing well and it has nothing to do with success itself. The fear of success is about feeling scared of what success will bring and what one has to do to get it. Being successful is generally seen as a desirable quality that takes a lot of sacrifices and enduring losses to hone. So people are wary of what potential success will cost them to the point they find ways to impair their chances of being successful. There could be many reasons for this, here are 4 such reasons. Find yours and work on it.
If we fear disappointing others then we also experience fear of getting rejected by our peers, friends or relatives. Whether we’re afraid of asking our boss for a raise or friend for a referral, the fear of them saying ‘no’ holds you back from even asking. Not just this, when you are afraid of rejection, you develop a carefully scripted life, scared if you show your real self, you will be rejected. This not hinders you from fostering relationships with your peers or friends but also prevents you from taking up new projects or volunteering for a new task in the workplace.
Personalizing what others do and say about you limits you from reaching your goals. You have to understand that avoiding the fear of rejection only makes your fear stronger. Rejection will come. Even when you find passion and put in the work or ask for what you deserve. But you should do it anyway. After all, if you don’t ask, the answer will always be ‘no’ by default.
Fear of failure stems from fear of inadequacy. That feeling which makes you feel that you are not enough. Good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or successful enough. Have you ever been in a moment when you are giving a job interview or work presentation or talking to a client when suddenly you freeze. You have all the answers, you know the project like the back of your hand. But you cannot because you are worried you will sound foolish and all will find out how inadequate you are.
Most of the time the fear of inadequacy has to do with feelings and not fact. The world might have set some high standards for growth, success, health or beauty. But you don’t have to put yourself under such a powerful magnifying glass and judge yourself on such criterias. It’s good to hold yourself accountable for your actions but you don’t have to be critical all the time.
We all are greedy in one way or another and all have different shades and grades of greediness in us. Wanting something more in or out of life doesn’t make you a bad person but what you do to fulfill it and how, makes a difference. For instance, jobs and money go hand in hand, just like business and profits go. So if you are afraid of appearing greedy or ‘ambitious’ you might be selling yourself short during salary negotiations or creating a successful venture.
Some level of greed can be a great motivating factor.
Without the desire to do more, you wouldn't have started your own small business, earned an IT certification or set goals and tried to achieve them. But excess of it can be dangerous, it can put you at the risk of being unethical, self-centered, and even cause burnout. So use the greediness in you to be ambitious, successful in life, and never let it use you. Find the balance.
Having fear is not something to be ashamed or feel embarrassed about, it is what makes us human. But letting that fear take a hold of your life and allow it to rule you is what needs your immediate action. So to avoid a situation where your fear holds you back from achieving your self-development, here are 5 key steps that you can take to conquer your fear
To learn how to overcome your fear, the first step is to identify what you are afraid of. Spend some time with your thoughts, observe your chain of thoughts, feelings or other physical sensations. You can either start meditation or yoga to calm your mind, find what triggers or troubles it. You can seek professional help from a Counsellor or a Psychiatrist. This will help you find the center of your fear and then work accordingly. Ask yourself these questions to pin-point the root of your fear:
blessing in disguise. Well, it is all in the perspective. Remember the following points to treat your fear as a piece of information about what you lack and what you need to do to better yourself or be happy in life:
We will reiterate that it’s quite normal to fear something every once in a while but don’t let it control your life. Don’t let your fear dominate your mind. You might feel that the fear is there to protect you from something dangerous, but it works quite opposite to it. Mostly your fear is there to prevent you from doing something good. It can stop you from going after a dream job of yours, to learn something new or plan of changing a career. There are ways you can overcome your biggest fears by having a positive outlook and calm mind. So do these mental tricks to help you overcome what you fear:
Working on your greatest fears is not a lone wolf task. Sometimes you need outside support to help you discuss your most vulnerable thoughts and take hold of them. And that’s alright. There are some fears that leave us crippled with so much anxiety that no amount of meditation, or pep talk can help us figure a way out. At that time, instead of suffering alone or berating yourself for failing, you should talk it out. Consult a trusted therapist or counsellor if you aren’t having much success facing your biggest fears. Discuss it especially if your fears are related to some health conditions like eating or social anxiety disorder, among others.
Accepting yourself for who and what you are is your key to overcoming your fear. Accept That You Are Both Imperfect And EnoughSelf-acceptance teaches you to understand and be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. Once you know what you need to learn or unlearn to better yourself, you open the door to self-growth. After all, we all lack something and we all are whole, simultaneously. And, you can fail in overcoming your fear or maybe take longer than others to overcome it but that does not make you a ‘failure.’
Also never forget that your fear loses power over you when you accept that experiencing it is normal and that it is always going to be a part of your life. You cannot stop yourself from feeling it but you need to stop your fear ruling your life completely. So, try to recognize the causes of your greatest fears, challenge them, learn from them and move on to lead your full potential.
Facing your fear or embracing your shortcomings to do better is not an easy task. Many of the biggest fears that we have are deep rooted and have become so entwined in our personality that we take them as a part of our personality. But if you encourage yourself to face them, you will realize your self-esteem going up, a boost in self-respect, and your sense of personal pride growing up as well. Additionally, the more you try to overcome your greatest fears, the more professional and personal success you can achieve. Just keep working on yourself and never lose hope. You will slowly, eventually reach a point in life where you have no fear of things that hold you back from success.
In this blog, we discuss some of the greatest fears of people, how fear prevents your self-growth and why you should try to overcome them. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of how conquering your fear may seem difficult but it is not impossible. Use our tips to help you overcome your fear and start your journey to grow, and move forward in a direction that allows you to reach your full potential. Remember, your greatest fears also carry your greatest growth, you just have to tap into them. So get that highest IT paying job, learn a new programming language or how to draw… do whatever you are scared of and see your life changing slowly but eventually for the better
We will leave you with a famous quote by motivational speaker Zig Zaggler for extra motivation:
“F-E-A-R has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’ The choice is Yours.”
Do you have any such fear? Or did you conquer your fear and now live to achieve your true potential? Let’s know in the comment sectionbelow!
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