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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

More by this author

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 April 27, 2021

How To Accept Responsibility For Your Life (7 No-Nonsense Tips)

How To Accept Responsibility For Your Life (7 No-Nonsense Tips)

Chances are that if you’re reading this, you are human. This means that there is likely a time or two when you have not taken responsibility for something in your life. We’ve all been there. Maybe you broke an item at a place of employment but didn’t fess up to it, or you missed a deadline and blamed the reason why on someone else, or perhaps you decided a responsibility was too great to face.

Accepting responsibility can be challenging because it doesn’t always feel good. It can require time we think we don’t have. Feelings of shame or inadequacy can surface. Rather than face those feelings, it’s much easier to not accept responsibility.

This is all understandable. But it may not be serving us and who we want to be in the long run.

Accepting responsibility has benefits at work, home, and all aspects of life. When we demonstrate to ourselves that we can be responsible, we show our strength of character, our leadership qualities, and even our adulting skills.

Knowing that doesn’t make accepting responsibility any easier, does it?

Using the example of pretending that you live in an apartment with multiple roommates where you all have to share the kitchen, we will look at seven tips on how to accept responsibility for your life.

1. Stop Playing the Victim

You’ve just cooked a big meal involving several pots, pans, and cooking utensils. You reflect on feeling overwhelmed and stressed by life right now and decide that you just don’t have the time or energy to do your dishes right now. The next time you or your roommates want to use the kitchen, there’s a big mess and a lack of options for pans and cutlery to use.

Maybe one of your roommates will do it for you? Superman to the rescue? I hate to break it to you, but Superman doesn’t actually exist.

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Why insist on crushing every childhood fantasy? Because when we wait for someone else to fix our problems, we are playing the victim, and if Superman doesn’t exist (or Spiderman or Wonder Woman, or Black Panther, etc.), then we will be perpetually tied to the proverbial train tracks, waiting for someone else to save us.[1]

What we can do in this situation is acknowledge and validate our feelings. In the above scenario, you’re focusing on feeling overwhelmed. This feeling isn’t “bad.” But it does affect your motivation to accept responsibility, keeping you in a victim mindset. It isn’t just the dishes that you need to face. You also need to take responsibility for your emotions.

Acknowledging and validating emotions help you to understand what you’re feeling and why. You can then redirect the energy you’re wasting on being a victim and redirect it toward more productive things in life. Like doing your own dishes.

There are many different ways we can develop the skill of self-acknowledgment and validation. One of the best is to write about what you’re experiencing. You may be surprised by how you describe the “what” and “why” of your feelings. You may even uncover other times in your life when you felt this way and find that your current thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are based on that past. You might even heal an old experience as you deal with the present circumstance!

2. End the Blame Game

“If my roommates were more consistent about doing their dishes, then I would feel like I could do mine.”

It’s so easy to come up with excuses and reasons why we shouldn’t be held to a higher standard than anyone else. We find interesting ways to blame others for why we can’t do something. This becomes another way to avoid taking responsibility, and we can do so out of a perspective of anger.[2]

Anger can be energetically compelling, but it’s not always rooted in reality. It can keep us stuck and prevent us from having the life and relationships we really want. Much like being the victim, it’s important to ask yourself how being and staying angry is serving you. Again, it’s important to acknowledge and validate these thoughts and feelings too.

Perhaps you’re really feeling mad at someone at your workplace who isn’t taking responsibility for their own projects. You end up taking on their work, allowing anger to build up. By the time you get home, you need a place to let that anger out. And so, your anger is directed toward your kitchen and your roommates.

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This may help you feel better for a little while, but it’s not sustainable. There are so many ways of dealing with anger. It would serve you and others around you well to learn how to manage and work with any anger you have in your life so that you can resume your acceptance of responsibility.

3. Forgive Yourself and others

After reading tips number 1 and 2, perhaps you are now adept at practicing acknowledging and validating your feelings. Because of that work, it’s easier to forgive yourself and others.

For instance, without the feelings of victimhood and blame, you have the energy to see things from a perspective of forgiveness and tolerance.

From a place of forgiveness, you see that even though your roommates don’t take care of their dishes right away every time, they do so more often than not. Plus, you can see that all of you have challenging things happening in your lives right now, so why should your challenges make it so that you can slack off? You may even remember times when your roommates have helped you out with cleaning the kitchen even though the mess wasn’t theirs.

As you forgive others, you forgive yourself too and take ownership of your own tasks.

4. Use Responsibility as a Way to Help Others

Shirking our responsibilities can actually affect others’ well-being. We can step into a space of considering how our actions, or lack thereof, might be burdening or harming others.

For example, not doing your dishes and leaving the kitchen dirty means that when another roommate wants to use the kitchen to make a meal, they may have to clean the kitchen first to have access to the pots, pans, and utensils required. They may feel annoyed that you didn’t take responsibility for your mess, which affects your relationship with your roommate. A confrontation may be on the horizon.

However, if you can put yourself in the frame of mind to consider things from your roommate’s position, you might think twice about leaving the dishes. By taking responsibility and doing your part to keep the kitchen clean, you are taking care of the space and your roommates.

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A lot of people find it easier and highly beneficial to do things out of a sense of responsibility for others.[3] Thinking about things from another’s perspective can be a motivating factor and can provide us with feelings of purpose.

5. Look for the Win-Win

When we choose not to take responsibility, we are choosing a zero-sum game, meaning nobody wins. What if you looked for the win-win opportunity of taking responsibility instead?

Maybe there have been times when your roommates have saddled you with a messy kitchen. If you now decide to leave your mess, nobody wins. Whereas, cleaning up after yourself now means that you are modeling how you want the space to be treated by everyone. You are also ensuring that your roommates can trust you to take responsibility for your cleaning tasks, and the next person who wants to use the kitchen will be able to do so.

In this scenario, you will be taking responsibility, cultivating a relationship of trust with your roommates, and making it so that nobody else has to clean up after you. Everyone wins.

6. Make Taking Responsibility Fun

Another vantage point from which we could look is the place of joy. Yes, joy.

It’s easy to paint “cleaning the kitchen” in a negative light when shows are streaming on Netflix and downtime activities calling. But what could happen for you if you made the task of doing the dishes fun?

How can it be fun? This is where you get to be creative.

Some ideas could be playing some of your favorite music as you clean, invite a roommate to chat while you clean, or you could play that show you’re binging on Netflix as you scrub. Have Airpods? Call a friend as you clean!

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Finding a way to make it fun helps you lose track of time and get the job done faster. It could also provide some necessary “play” time. We don’t play enough as adults. Get back to your childhood roots and find ways to incorporate play into your daily routine, and get the dishes done at the same time!

7. Choose Your Own Adventure

When we approach responsibility from our highest self, we can be at choice for how we want to accept it. This requires an awareness of what we intend to accomplish or learn in any life experience.

For instance, when faced with a responsibility, you could consider all the ways of looking at it (from a place of victimhood, blame, forgiveness, service to others, win-win, or fun) and decide which perspective would serve the highest good of all, yourself included.

When we can approach any life situation from the standpoint of having choices, doesn’t that feel better than feeling forced into a decision or action?

Conclusion

Knowing that you can make conscious choices at any time in your life hopefully helps you to feel freer and more energized for any life responsibility you choose to accept. These seven tips on how to accept responsibility will set you up for a good start.

More Tips on How To Be a Responsible Person

Featured photo credit: Marcos Paulo Prado via unsplash.com

Reference

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