I read a lot of books on personal development and I attend webinars and live trainings as often as I can. Some of the subjects are repetitive, but it never does any harm to hear the same thing again, often expressed in a slightly different way which makes me realise a new aspect to it, and many times I get new inspiration to work on myself in a different way.
One subject which seems to come up a lot is fear. It’s something I never used to pay much attention to. I don’t view myself as a fearful person and I don’t share some of the most common fears, such as speaking in public, travelling alone or going out / to the cinema on my own, or being outside in the dark. I always thought fears don’t hold me back.
It was only recently that I realised I do have fears. They’re not as visible or obvious as I would have expected, but they certainly exist.
Master of disguise
You see, fear is a master of disguise. It may be perfectly clear at times, but in most cases it hits us under cover of reasonable objections, family obligations, being “too busy”, and having to put other things first, such as a daytime job or loved ones. Once we examine these “perfectly sound reasons” a little more closely, though, they turn out to be smoke screens to mask any number of fears.
I’ll describe some common fears to make it easier for you to spot them:
Fear of visibility. This is one I definitely struggle with. Any kind of success can make you more visible. If you’re in business, people will notice you and the chance of being the target of negativity or social media “trolling” increases, too. If you are promoted in your job, more people will know you and once again you are more likely to become a target of gossip or negativity. Financial success will make you stand out amongst your friends and family, who might get envious or no longer regard you as one of their own. The list goes on.
Fear of failure. If you strike out to reach your goal and fall flat on your face, the likelihood is that you’ll be hurt and feel bad about yourself. You may also worry what others will think of you – those who warn you about the dangers of pursuing your dream will be validated if you fail. Of course, we all know that the only failure is to stop trying, but it’s not always that easy when you are taking those first nervous steps towards the thing you want most in the world.
Fear of success. This one is trickier and a lot harder to spot. You may have heard the quote by Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” Why would we fear what we wish for most? Because we assume that once we have reached our goal, we will always be blissful and life will be perfect, and we worry we might get what we want and still not be perfectly happy. We’ll be out of excuses! It may sound silly, but this is a terrifying thought for most people.
Why this is important
You could take the rebellious stance and ask why we need to uncover and face our fears at all. After all, you are living quite comfortably; it’s not like you’re desperately unhappy. Why not just stay on the safe side and live out your life within your own limits?
Most people do just that. And while this approach certainly keeps fear at bay, it also shrinks our lives. You see, fear is a great compass: It is usually attached to whatever makes us happiest. Therefore, getting to know our hidden fears and then working on overcoming them, leads to an enhanced life of deep gratitude and happiness – the kind of life everyone dreams about.
I invite you to get to know yourself even better. Feel along your fear: Is your dream making you fearful because it’s almost too good to imagine? This means you’re on the right track. To tackle your fear, get support – do some personal development such as getting a Coach (this is the fast track). At the very least, read books and apply what you find in them. It is not too late, no matter what age you are or what your situation is. You can face your fears and move past them, and once you do, you won’t believe the transformation it creates in your entire life.
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