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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

10 Types of Unnecessary Fear That Block Your Success

10 Types of Unnecessary Fear That Block Your Success

When our mind and heart are taken over by unnecessary fear, our life grinds to a halt. Fear debilitates us and blocks us from taking positive action to move forward. Many types of fear can seep through our daily life unnoticed and unchecked.

Most common types of fear are unnecessary fears. This means that, unlike instinctive fear, these types of fear are mostly a fabrication of our mind or instilled through past experiences.

Unnecessary fear 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 kinds of unnecessary fear that should not block you anymore.

1. Fear of Failure

We all fear failing in something at some point in our life. This can include 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[1].

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.

How to Overcome This Fear

Say, for example, a job opportunity arises unexpectedly. This is the job you have been wanting for a long time. You are called for an interview. Pressure builds up as you fear you might lose the golden opportunity.

You fear failing. How do you shake off that creeping fear, knowing that it can only debilitate you?

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

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

2. Fear of the Unknown

When something is unknown or unfamiliar, such as the future, it poses a subtle threat and becomes one of the common types of fear and causes anxiety. Yet, this fear or anxiety is clearly an irrational response to a situation.

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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.

How to Overcome This Fear

You have to face the unknown with interest but not suspicion or distrust.

If you’re deciding to make a life change, what’s next is unknown, but should you believe that the future is waiting to rip you apart? Or should you trust your instincts and your heart telling you that it’s going to be fine?

For more on how to overcome the fear of the unknown, check out this article.

3. Fear of Change

One of the most common types of fear, and one which is closely linked to the fear of the unknown, is the fear of change. 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.

How to Overcome This Fear

It happened to me many times: changing careers, quitting my full-time job, changing my lifestyle, etc. At first you feel you don’t have the energy or will to change. Then comes the turning point, like a kid learning to swim.

She is holding with one hand to the pool’s edge, with an intense fear. She hesitates, and then she lets go of the edge, plunges into the water, and is swimming unaided by nothing but her own will.

Dive into change a few times to help your mind understand that it’s really the only path to the life you want.

4. Fear of the Haunted Past

The past can be a ghost, haunting us. We even create fictitious parallel pasts, pasts that could have happened but did not. Learning from the past is necessary, but fearing it is certainly not.

What is fear of the past? It’s the fear of reliving certain negative emotions connected with your past, such as guilt, regret, and resentment. 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.

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How to Overcome This Fear

Let’s say you have a regret that comes to haunt you every now and then from your past. How do you vanquish that specter 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 your past self for what it was, and the link will be broken.

5. Fear of Disapproval by Others

As social creatures, we have been brought up from a young age to regard others’ thoughts and opinions about us and what we do, which has created several types of fear. It becomes part of our life’s equation. Stretched outside 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 behavior.

How to Overcome This Fear

For instance, whenever you are making a decision, such as changing your look or following a new lifestyle, and you feel the fear of disapproval by your peers, catch yourself being fearful. Remind yourself that you are free and not chained to other people’s views.

Try some mindfulness meditation to build self-confidence. Once you have a solid base of confidence, it will be hard to shake.

Check out this article for more tips on how to build self-confidence.

6. Fear of Rejection

In relation to fear of disapproval by others, another of the types of fear is fear of rejection, especially rejection from those who are close to your heart. Fear of rejection can only cause emotional blockage.

How to Overcome This Fear

This involves a lot of practice in vulnerability. Only through an openness to the possibility of being rejected can we truly obtain the kinds of relationships and connections with others that we want.

Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly, once wrote:

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”

You can hear more of her thoughts on vulnerability in this TED Talk:

https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_the_power_of_vulnerability?language=en

7. Fear of Losing Control

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.

How to Overcome This Fear

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.

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

8. Fear of Heartbreak

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 need to be released.

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

How to Overcome This Fear

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

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. With each new heartbreak, you will learn more about what you want out of a relationship, which will help lead you toward a healthy, happy relationship.

9. Fear of Success

This may sound strange, but yes, fear of success is one of the common types of fear, and it’s an unnecessary fear. 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.

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

How to Overcome This Fear

Many people have been at the door of succeeding in something but gave up on it at the last minute because of this fear. This is generally more problematic for women. One study pointed out that “women insufficiently self-promote because they fear backlash for behavior which is incongruent with traditional gender roles”[2].

For women, overcoming this fear will involve pushing against societal expectations that women are less successful than men.

For anyone, overcoming this fear involves telling yourself that you are up for the challenge of what’s to come, that you are capable of whatever life brings you. Then, start feeling good about all of your successes.

Learn the 6 Types of Fear of Success (And How to Overcome Them).

10. Fear of Love

Of course, this is one of the well-known types of fear. It holds us back from opening our heart to others and finding happiness. Fear of love 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 back from giving and receiving love—one of the strongest currencies in personal affairs.

How to Overcome This Fear

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?

Final Thoughts

These types of fears are unnecessary fears that will ultimately hold you back from living your best life. If you identify with one of them, take care of your mental health and start following some simple steps to overcome them and move toward the life you want.

More Tips on Overcoming Fear

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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Reference

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Gilbert Ross

Gilber is an expert in personal development and the creator of the online course 'Simple Living Hacks'

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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

How Self-Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It)

How Self-Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It)

We’ve all been there. At some points in our lives, we question whether we are doing well enough or are capable of facing all the uncertainties that might come up as we grow older. We experience feelings of self-doubt around decisions and choices we made or simply feel that we’re not good enough.

Self-doubt occurs when we lack confidence or feel incapable of doing things we need to do. People who doubt about themselves experience uncertainty around things they can’t control or worry about things not going according to plan.

A certain level of self-doubt is good because it indicates that you understand what you need to improve in order to do a better job. However, persistent fear and self-doubt can hugely affect your life in a bad way.

In this article, you’ll find out why self-doubt is holding you back from happiness and success and what you can do to overcome it.

How Self-Doubt Keeps You Stuck

Let’s picture this:

Your boss has assigned you an important task because he thinks you are the most suitable person in the room. But instead of taking it as a recognition of your work performance, you start to panic.

You panic about whether you are capable of doing a great job. You worry that failing to perform well will become a big joke at work. You spend time stressing over every single decision you make and picture how things might go wrong.

It’s not surprising that fear will then play a big role in your own little drama. It leads you toward procrastination. You delay your work and feel unmotivated.

At the end of the story, you hand in your work at the very last minute, and, of course, it’s not hard to guess that you will have the feeling of “I can actually do better than this.”

What causes self-doubt? Let’s find out!

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5 Common Causes of Self-Doubt

There are plenty of reasons behind self-doubt. We’ll go through some of them here.

1. Past Experience and Mistakes

Past experiences can have a huge impact on how we react, especially if you have had bad experiences before, like being in an abusive relationship or being fired without a concrete justification. Our mental health can take a huge hit in these cases.

Past experience can shake and rattle our beliefs. However, continuing to reference past experiences without learning from them is just a waste of your bright future!

If you struggle to let go of the past, check out this article for some practical tips.

2. Childhood Upbringing

Our upbringing plays a big role in shaping our habits and personalities.

If you were raised by parents that constantly told you that you were not good enough or were natured by schools that judged students heavily on their grades, you might have already internalized the habit of questioning yourself.

3. Comparisons With Others

It’s not unnatural for us to compare ourselves with others, because we are living in a world of competition.

We can easily compare our work performance with colleagues or simply in the overwhelming world of social media. It’s easy for us to envy others’ lives and think that we are not doing as well as they are.

When you’re comparing too much with others about what they have and what you lack, you’ll start to lose yourself.

4. New Challenges

This is a pretty normal case because we have no experience on how to react or what things we need to do. The feeling of uncertainty and insecurity will make you feel uncomfortable.

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5. Fear of Failure / Fear of Success

Take Elizabeth Gilbert as an example. She is the author of the book Eat, pray, Love that sold more than 10 million copies around the world.

However, in her book Big Magic-Creative Living Beyond Fear, she revealed that this success had also once become her biggest nightmare because she wasn’t sure whether she could replicate her success.

Even among successful people, previous success can become our biggest fear because we might think that’s the best we can deliver and that we will never produce anything that’s equally good.

This is an especially tricky area for women. One study pointed out that, in comparison to men, women “associate success with more negative consequences”[1].

How to Overcome Self-Doubt

What can you do to overcome self-doubt and be confident again, no matter how tough things are?

1. Ground Yourself and Say Stop!

Once you discover there are negative voices running inside your head, try to stay in the present moment and focus on the positives.

Try to prepare something positive you can go to whenever you feel negative or unsure of yourself. Ideas on what you can prepare:

  • A list of counter arguments, things like “I can do this” or “It’s just another chance for me to learn.”
  • A jar that contains happy memories
  • A file that contains all the photos that make you smile
  • A list of quick energy-boosting activities you can do
  • A box of healthy snacks that you can always go to

2. Take a Break and Get a Boost of Optimism

Sometimes the longer we feel stuck in a situation or emotion, the harder it is for us to come out.

Just take a moment to relax and shift your focus to something totally different. By doing so, it can allow us to clear out mind and look at things from a new and fresh perspective.

If you need an optimism boost, try make a list of things you’re grateful for. This will naturally shift your thoughts in a more positive direction.

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In one study measuring gratitude, hope, optimism, and life satisfaction, “Gratitude was determined as the most predictive variable for well-being”[2]. That’s a pretty great reason to practice gratitude!

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help

While it’s important to work on ourselves, it’s also a good idea to get support from your loved ones, including family and friends. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

They can be your partner, family members, friends, mentors, supervisors or even a coach.

Getting advice and reassurance from others can also improve our self-confidence and keep us motivated.

The 21-Day Challenge on Regaining Self-Confidence

I have this one great approach that has successfully helped me to build my confidence and overcome self-doubt.

I write things down, and it’s just as simple as it sounds.

By writing down things that make me question myself and review weekly, I am able to identify what makes me scared, which helps me develop ways to improve myself.

By writing down things that I am grateful for, I start to appreciate myself more and focus on what I have instead of what I am lacking.

I even stop comparing myself to others because, by looking at what I’ve written, I remind myself that I’m happy with my own life.

This is my 21-day plan on regaining self-confidence and you should give it a try too!

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Days 1 to 7: Write 3 Things You’re Grateful for Each Day

Review them at the end of the week, and you will soon realize that the more you write, the more you will see there are actually a lot of things that can make you happy.

Days 8 to 14: Write Times You Feel Unsure About Yourself and Reasons Behind Them

At the end of the week, you should be able to identify your biggest fears and moments that make you feel stressed.

During the review process, you can start to think of ways to solve your problems. It can be “focusing more on myself” or things you think you need to improve on.

Days 15 to 21: Write Steps You’ve Taken and How You Feel

No matter what you’ve done to overcome self-doubt, write them down and recognize yourself!

We all need motivation along the way, and no matter how small the steps you have taken, they indicate that you are one step closer to what you want to achieve!

Doing so not only motivates you, but it helps you to stay on track with your progress.

Final Thoughts

It’s common and normal to doubt ourselves, but you need to understand that staying stuck and panicking for too long won’t do you any good.

Try to get out of the loop as soon as you can and spend time on improving yourself. Self-doubt doesn’t have to hold you back.

More Tips on Overcoming Self-Doubt

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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