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These 10 Types of Unnecessary Fear Should not Block You Anymore

These 10 Types of Unnecessary Fear Should not Block You Anymore

When our mind and heart are taken over by fear, our life grinds to a halt. Fear debilitates us and blocks us from taking positive action to move forward. Fear can also be an insidious enemy. It can seep through our daily life unnoticed and unchecked.

We might not even realize that it has hacked its way deep into our subconscious mind until we totally succumb to its grip.

Most common forms of fear are unnecessary. This means that unlike instinctive fear – for instance the fear that helps you stir away from imminent danger – these types of fear are mostly a fabrication of our mind or instilled through past experiences.

Unnecessary fears can and must be identified and avoided. They serve no real purpose apart from hindering our actions, goals and progress in life.

Here are the top 10 types of unnecessary fears that should not block you anymore: 

1. Fear of Failure

We all fear failing in something at some point in our life. Fear of failing in a job interview, a business venture, a relationship, reaching a goal and so on. The problem arises when it becomes a fear of failure in general.

The rational question is “how do you know you will fail before trying?” or “is failing to take action worse or better than failing after trying?”.

Some of the most successful people have a different perception of failure. They are detached from failure as though it has no consequence to their lives. In other words, failure does not say or imply anything about them or their work. It is only another important step towards their goals.

Say for example a job opportunity arises unexpectedly. This is the job you have been wanting for a long time. The personnel is awesome, salary is handsome and the conditions are just perfect. You are called for an interview. Pressure builds up as you fear you might lose the golden opportunity.

You fear failing. What do you do? How do you shake off that creeping fear knowing that it can only debilitate you and perhaps leave you stunned and lost for words when you face your interviewers?

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One important thing you need to do is to let go go of thinking or putting too much importance to the outcome – the consequences.

Your mind could be telling you “If I fail this I would miss the only opportunity I had and I will be really disappointed with myself”.

Stop linking future outcomes to the event – the interview. Let go of any expectations and just focus your attention on the thing itself.

2. Fear of the unknown

This is probably the most common unnecessary fear. It’s not hard to fathom why. When something is unknown or unfamiliar – such as the future for instance – it poses a subtle threat. It becomes a fear and causes anxiety. Yet this fear or anxiety is clearly an irrational response to a situation.

It has no real definition or substance. It’s fine to be cautious about something unknown but fear of the unknown is only a way of missing out on the many opportunities and thrills life has to offer.

Pioneers in life such as explorers, entrepreneurs, leaders of movements and those with that crazy big idea in their heads have conquered the fear of the unknown. They did not settle to its hold. They have shed it away as an unnecessary block to their mission.

Like these pioneers you have to face the unknown with interest but not suspicion or distrust. Let’s say you are deciding to make a major life change – say quit your job to follow what you are passionate about. What’s next is unknown but should you believe that the future is waiting for you to rip you apart or should you trust your instincts and your heart telling you that it’s going to be fine? Think about it.

3. Fear of change

Another perennial type of unnecessary fear and one which is closely linked to the fear of the unknown. Fear of change brings inertia. It keeps us stuck to our comfort zone. A lot of the rewarding stuff in life comes from pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and into the next level.

It requires the courage and resolve to accept what’s new and to let go of the mental and emotional attachments to the old.

Fear of change holds you back from shifting gears in life and moving forward.  How many times in life have you feared change only to later discover it was so unnecessary because it all feels so good? You ask yourself “why haven’t I done this before…what was all the fuss about?”

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It happened to me many times, changing careers, quitting my full time job, changing my lifestyle and so on. At first you feel you don’t have the energy or will to change. Then comes the turning point like the kid in the swimming pool learning to swim. She is holding with one hand to the pool’s border. She hesitates.Then something happens. A turning point, a sudden change in beliefs. She lets go of the border, plunges into the water and before she knows it, she is swimming unaided by nobody but her own will.

4. Fear of the haunted past

The past can be a ghost, haunting us at night in those sleepless and restless hours. We toss and turn in bed as we project past life episodes in the theatre of our mind. We even create fictitious parallel pasts – that is pasts that could have happened but did not. Learning from the past is necessary, fearing it is certainly not.

What is fear of the past anyway? It’s the fear of reliving certain negative emotions connected with your past such as guilt, regret, resentment amongst others. These emotions can be quite disturbing but their power over us can be dissolved if we consciously remind ourselves that the past has no place in the present. It is what it is – past.

Let’s say you have a regret that comes to haunt you every now and then from your past. It’s a regret of having done something wrong to a loved one or perhaps not doing a right thing. How do you vanquish that spectre from the past? By forgiving yourself and by accepting that you are a being with feelings and beliefs in constant change. The ‘you’ ten years ago was a different person than the ‘you’ now. The link between them is only in your head. Forgive that past ‘you’ for what it was and the link will be broken.

5. Fear of disapproval by others

As social creatures we have been brought up since a young age to regard others’ thoughts and opinions about us and what we do. It became part of our life’s equation. Stretched out of its purpose, considering what others might be thinking or feeling about you can become a stumbling block.

This is especially true when you fear that others might disapprove of your ideas, choices and behaviour.

When we were young we used to be afraid our parents, teachers or people in authoritative roles disapproving of us. At some point this can grow into lifelong concern and a mental attachment. When you try to constantly seek approval of others around you and live in fear of their disapproval you end up stalling action to authentic growth and self-realization.

Dump this fear as it is unnecessary and provides absolutely no benefit whatsoever. For instance, whenever you are taking a decision, such as changing your look or following a new lifestyle and you get the fear of being disapproved by your peers, catch yourself being fearful. Remind yourself that you are free and not chained to other people’s views.

Follow your heart and life will follow.

6. Fear of Rejection

In relation to fear of disapproval by others you can also fear rejection – especially rejection from those who are close to heart. The idea is that fear of rejection does not help you from not being rejected. It can only cause emotional blockage and withdrawal from naturally expressing your feelings, love and emotion.

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Think about it. Fear of rejection only sabotages your freedom of feeling what you do and expressing it how you want. Will that help you to not be rejected? Certainly not.

Next time you want to open up to somebody but feel fear of rejection, tell yourself “people do not reject love or an open heart, they might only be temporarily blind to it which effectively says nothing about me or my feelings.”

7. Fear of losing control to others

People often feel miserable after feeling that they have been disempowered by others. They feel weak, hurt and lost. This can come out of a bad relationship, physical or verbal abuse and even ridicule.

The truth is that we never lose our power and control to others. We give it away.

This is an important point since it helps us remind ourselves that we do not need to fear others as long as we are true to ourselves and keep aware that our own power can only be lost to ourselves and not to others.

When you feel you are losing your power to others, for example in an argument with your boss at work, remind yourself that you are the only signatory of that transaction. You cannot lose your power if you don’t want to.

Put the argument aside and confront the person when you are emotionally recollected and more conscious.

8. Fear of more heartbreaks

Heartbreaks can form emotional scars and those scars can linger for many years to the detriment of closing us off to new relationships and experiences. What you need to understand is that past heartbreaks are only trapped emotional energy that needs to be let go of. Heartbreaks that happened in the past are no guarantee that they will recur in future.

Once the connection between past and future is broken the fear is dissolved.

When you fear that you will be heartbroken instead of getting withdrawn inside do exactly the opposite. Try to open your heart to the person or situation. Allow it to happen.

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When you respond to situations with an open heart instead of fear, things will change dramatically and the relationship will open up in ways you never expected.

9. Fear of Success

This may sound strange, but yes, fear of success is far more common than you think. It’s not well known because it is a very silent fear. Fear of success is basically the fear of not being able to handle, or live up to, the positive change that comes from success.

It’s an obvious drawback since fear of success will impede success.

Many people have been at the door of succeeding in something but hung up on it at the last minute because of being afraid of it. Try to catch yourself being afraid of success for example when taking on a new responsibility or get awarded for some achievement.

Tell yourself that you are up for the challenge of what comes after and cherish the success as you live it day by day.

10. Fear of Loving

Of course this is a well known fear. It is also one of the most unnecessary and counter-productive since it holds us from opening our heart to others and possibly finding happiness. Fear of loving is born out of a combination of other fears, such as fear of rejection, fear of heartbreaks and fear of success.

The obvious drawback of this unnecessary fear is that it holds you from giving and receiving love – one of the strongest currencies in personal affairs.

If you feel you are afraid to express love to somebody, imagine two simple scenarios. One where you give out love, it is reciprocated and you are both happy. The other is where you refrain from loving (because of this or that excuse) and that love remains forever a lost chance for happiness.

Both are hypothetical but you have the power to make one of them actual. Which one would you choose?

Featured photo credit: Geralt via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on February 20, 2019

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

Possessing effective communication skills is a powerful tool to have. Effective communication skills are essential to success in many aspects and areas of your life. There are a lot of jobs that require you to be a good communicator.

Strong communication skills help you enjoy better relationships with friends and family. Being an effective communicator will give you advantages in more ways than you can imagine.

Conversely, being poor at communicating will negatively impact your life.

Let’s take a look at how to master effective communication skills at work and home.

What is Effective Communication?

Probably a good place to start is to paint a picture of what clear communication is.

Effective communication is defined as verbal speech or other communication methods to get your point across. Sounds pretty simple, right? It does but there’s more to it than that.

It’s really about how all of us interact and communicate in every aspect of our lives. It’s the ability to say something at the right time; to be able to get multiple people on the same page in a group decision. It’s how that one friend of yours who plans most of the activities is able to get everyone to the same place at the same time.

Non-verbal communication is key to being effective as well. It’s the ability to have your body language say the right thing so the person you’re speaking to knows your listening.

Effective communicators don’t react to situations with high emotion. It means not having to say something all the time in every situation. You are even being an effective communicator when you show up to pick your daughter up from the mall when you say you will. You are communicating to her that she can rely on you.

Are You a Poor Communicator?

Before we get too deep into how to be a master communicator, let’s take a look at your communication skills.

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If you find yourself agreeing with a lot of these, you might want to sharpen your communication skills.

  • You’re constantly interrupting – Hey, I know, we all want to be listened to. We all want to get our point across. Most importantly, we want to be understood. If you find yourself interrupting all the time you aren’t listening enough.
  • Doing too much – Many of us are master multi-taskers. It’s not good if you are communicating with someone. When you try to do too much while speaking with someone, you aren’t paying attention to what they are saying. Lack of focus is bad.
  • Rambling – I know of several people I work with who do this constantly. I honestly dread having to speak to them. The worst part is even though a lot of words are coming out of their mouths, they really aren’t saying anything. I’m more confused after they answer my question.
  • Not being direct – Nothing wrong with emails or reports. However, if you can convey the same information quickly and directly to someone, it is much more effective. Why write a 2 paragraph email when you can pick up the phone and say the same information in 2 sentences?
  • Always talking about yourself – Everybody likes to relate things to their own experiences. It draws us together and helps us create a feeling of sharing and community. If you are always coloring someone else’s conversation with a similar situation in your life, people will think you are making everything about you. Don’t be that person!
  • Using a lot of qualifiers – Qualifiers are fine for the most part. When you use them as a crutch most of the time when you speak, it’s not helping your communication. Sometimes, we do this to makes things seem “softer”. Saying things like “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way but…” or “I know what you’re thinking but…” over and over doesn’t help you communicate.
  • Your ears don’t work – If you don’t listen well, you can’t answer someone correctly. In order to be an effective communicator, you have to understand what someone else is saying to you. If you don’t listen with purpose you will only have part of the picture.
  • Bad body language – The importance of body language is well documented. If you don’t look at someone when they are speaking, it appears that you don’t really care what’s being said. This makes people feel like you don’t care what they are saying and it’s not important to you. Other bad body language examples include always crossing your arms and not looking someone in the eyes.

What Effective Communication Can Do For You

Let’s take a look at how being able to effectively communicate can help you at work and in your personal relationships.

Work

  • Better client relationships – You certainly want a great communicator to be handling your client relationships. Strong communicators represent both the client and your company is the best manner.
  • Higher employee engagement – Pretty critical if you are a leader or a manager of people. An engaging and interactive communicator in a leadership position is wonderful for employees.
  • Getting better buy in from others – This is great whether you are a manager or individual contributor. Strong communicators tend to get people moving and working towards a common goal.
  • Helps mitigate conflict – Good communicators are able to help resolve conflicts quicker and easier. This helps smooth things over and keeps projects and initiatives moving forward.
  • Builds trust – You want to be able to trust who you work for and with. Effective communicators are good at establishing and building trust between people and groups.
  • Solves problems – Problems are solved by people with the ability to communicate clearly between groups and people. Those without good communication skills many times add to the confusion of a problem because they are unable to articulate their thoughts and ideas.

Personal relationships

  • Creates closeness – A good communicator is able to help foster a feeling of closeness with his or her partner.
  • Makes conflict okay – It’s actually better to fight with your partner from time to time instead of never fighting. We all have differences of opinion and points of view. When we don’t express these and bury it inside by not communicating, it just comes out later in a more negative form.
  • Provides support – It’s nice to know that someone cares about you and supports you. A strong communicator will ask how you’re doing and be a good sounding board for what you’re going through.
  • Expressing feelings – People who are not effective communicators tend to be not very good at expressing how they feel. This makes it tough to share your feelings with you partner.
  • Get the loving you want – In order to get the physical, mental, and emotional love you want and need, you have to be able to communicate clearly and appropriately with your spouse or partner. This is done through effective communication.
  • Eliminate mistrust, doubt, faithlessness, and insecurities – Many times these seeds are sown due to a lack of communication. If your partner rarely tells you where he or she is going, you will tend to start coming up with your own ideas. Often these aren’t true but how would you know if you aren’t told?

Can You Improve Your Communication Skills?

The short answer is yes, of course you can improve your communication skills.

Improving or changing anything in your life takes some work and effort but it can be done. You have to keep in mind your starting point and your goal.

If you are not a very good communicator now and you want to be able to give a motivating speech to a large graduating class, you’d better get working.

On the other hand, if you get along fairly well in general but want to be able to improve your relationship with your boss or spouse by being able to master effective communication, you may just need some guidance and practice.

Either way, if you want to master effective communication skills at both work and home, it will take a little work and effort. Doing so will benefit you in many ways.

How to Master Effective Communication Skills

In general mastering effective communication skills will help you at both work and home. Let’s look at how to improve verbal, written, and body language communication skills. These will help you create better relationships everywhere you go!

1. Learn how to listen

Speaking is only half of the communication equation. Sharpen your listening skills so you are able to process what the other person is saying. You can then respond it a well-informed manner.

Check out these active listening guidelines to be a better listener.

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2. Make eye contact

Having regular eye contact with someone while you are having a conversation shows you care what they are saying. When you are looking at the floor or out the window it gives the impression that you aren’t paying attention.

Take a look at this advice on how to make engaging eye contact.

3. Ask questions

When you ask someone questions, you are able to clarify what they are saying to ensure you get the whole picture. If you don’t understand it fully, ask questions.

Do you know that it takes some skills to ask questions too? Here’s how to be good at asking questions.

4. Watch body language

Watch both yours and the other persons.

We all know if you have a conversation with your arms crossed the entire time, it gives off a bad vibe. Have open, engaging body language when speaking with someone.

On the flip side, if you see someone’s eyes glazing over while speaking to you, it’s probably a good idea to wrap it up.

Take a look at these top 20 body language indicators to learn more.

5. Speak confidently

Sometimes this is easier said than done. If you communicate in an open, direct, and clear manner, it subtly shows people that you are confident in what you are saying.

It doesn’t mean you always have to be right but delivering your thoughts with confidence helps your case.

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These tips will help you speak more confidently.

6. Keep it simple

You don’t always have to be succinct in your communication. There is a lot of value in being able to tell a great story.

That being said, there are many instances where keeping it simple is very helpful. This is especially true at work in both verbal conversations as well as written like emails.

7. Know your audience

You should have a certain style when communicating with your boss. Another style of communication is better with your spouse and probably others with your kids or friends.

Know your audience to help you communicate the most effectively.

8. Be empathetic and understanding

There is a massive amount of power in being empathetic. And I mean that in a very positive way.

Showing that you are empathetic and understanding to another person goes a long way to creating a great bond with that person. We all want to be understood. It’s that simple.

Think it’s a challenge for you? These 5 tips for empathetic listening will help you.

9. Pause before reacting

There have been a number of times when I’ve read an email that just came in and had an instant reaction to reading it. And I don’t mean a positive reaction. My less effective ways of dealing and communicating has been to send a scathing email back.

When I’ve communicated more appropriately, I’ve waited a while before I responded. This is true in verbal situations as well.

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10. Over communicate

You’d think if you tell someone something that should be the end of it, right? Done deal. Not so fast.

I’m not recommending you tell someone the same thing 10 times in a row. With as many distractions as we all have these days, it’s generally a good idea to follow up on something you’ve communicated a few times if it’s important.

Conclusion

Having effective communication skills at both work and home will help you immensely.

At work, it helps you in your career in many ways.

Communicating well with your boss leads to a solid, symbiotic working relationship. You’re able to clearly articulate what you need to do your job well. You can share your vision and strategy with your boss and others. Good communicators are needed in management roles and leading others. Fostering an environment of effective communication leads to a great work environment.

At home, having effective communication skills will help you achieve the type of relationship you want with your spouse.

You are able to speak freely and openly about your feelings. You can share your wants and needs in a manner that your spouse understands. Your spouse will feel understood and supported by you which is a wonderful feeling to have. And being able to have a disagreement and work through it due to strong communication skills is amazing.

Look at how you can master effective communication skills at work and home to help create more satisfying relationships in all phases of your life.

More Resources About Work Communication

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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