Author: Jari Roomer
Fear is a powerful force. It helps us stay alive and prevents us from doing stupid stuff. However, it’s also a very limiting mental blockade that can prevent you from achieving the life you want. Fear has the power to literally kill your ambitions, goals and dreams. Fear creates excuses that seem legitimate enough so that you’ll stop taking action and go back to your comfort zone.
The problem is that most of these fears are subconscious and therefore it isn’t always easy to identify what type of fears are holding you back. Without consciously being aware of it myself, fear had quite a strong grip on my life. Fear was the main reason I was procrastinating. It was the main reason why I wasn’t working on the highest value activities that would actually help me achieve my goals. Fear was sabotaging my success. But fortunately, I’ve learned to use fear as a compass for action — and it now helps me navigate what I should be doing and where I should be going with my life and business.
First, I’m going to discuss the 4 types of fears in detail so you can start thinking about which ones are limiting you. Then, at the end of this article, I’ll talk about how to overcome your fears in 7 steps, so you can start to tap into your full potential.
Fear #1: Fear of Rejection
The fear of rejection is probably the biggest fear out there. It’s where almost all of the other fears we’ll be discussing lead to. We’ve all been rejected in our lives. Whether it was the rejection from a university, job interview or by someone from the opposite sex. And rejection hurts. It makes us feel inadequate. It lowers our self-esteem and confidence. In some cases it can hurt so bad that people might even slip into depression.
As human beings, we are true social creatures. Even the biggest introvert on the planet needs other people in order to survive and thrive. Essentially almost all of us are dependent on other people for food, water, shelter and many of the positive emotions such as love and joy. Therefore, we’d do anything to be accepted by others, and we’ll avoid everything that could possibly mean rejection.
Think about it, even as little as hundreds of years ago, rejection equalled physical death. If you were rejected from your tribe, you wouldn’t survive for long. Nowadays, rejection equals psychological death.
One way people avoid all of this pain is by avoiding to stand out. In Australia, they call this the ‘tall-poppy’ syndrome. Famous Australian actress Margot Robbie explains this principle well by saying:
“There’s a thing in Australia called tall poppy syndrome. Have you heard of it? It’s a pretty prevalent thing — they even teach it in school. Poppies are tall flowers, but they don’t grow taller than the rest of the flowers, so there’s a mentality in Australia where people are really happy for you to do well; you just can’t do better than everyone else or they will cut you down to size.”
So, as an action point for this article, identify 1–3 fears that you’d like to get out of the way and follow the 7 steps as described above.
I hope this article helps you if you find yourself facing fear. The key point here is to face your fears so your can become fearless!