My relationship with fear has been a long and unstable one, spanning over decades. Every once in a while, I discover something about how my fears are disrupting my peace and progression.
One of my greatest fear which has affected all my life choices is the fear of failure. I remember after being fired from a hotel job in 2014; I returned home from Doha with a crushed ego and doubting my future. I was not happy in the hospitality industry and I knew I had to leave but I hesitated because I was scared. What would I do? I only had a hospitality qualification. What if I failed in my new pursuit?
Thankfully though, every once in a while, I learn how to overcome my fears and because I know that I am not the only one constantly dealing with fears and limiting thoughts, I decided to write about it including experiences from other people.
Firstly, what is fear?
The dictionary definition of fear is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm.”
Where does fear come from?
The brain. To help us to identify and deal with danger.
But what if we see danger where there is none? What if, even if there is a chance of potential danger, it’s still something we can overcome? What if, we are just creating the danger in our heads because we don’t want to feel the emotional pain? Failure, disappointment, ridicule.
I got in touch with a few people and asked them two questions:
What are you really afraid of?
How is it affecting your progress?
Here are the responses:
Anonymous (Female, late twenties)
“I am afraid of not realising and living out my true purpose on earth. I am afraid of failure”
“I procrastinate and doubt myself a lot. As a result, I end up in jobs that I do not love, knowing deep inside what I really should be doing.”
Tshepo (Male, 30s)
Is afraid of not being himself. “Life has a tendency to change people from not being true to oneself”
“It affects my ability to truly love and be myself.”
Prudence (Female, late twenties)
“I am afraid of losing time from meaningless relationships.”
“It’s probably stopping me from seeing opportunities for great relationships in front of me. Building a wall.”
Madri (Female, early 20s)
“I am afraid of not really falling in love like old couples.”
“I tend not to be too open in love, when I do open up, I get bored after a while, (spark’s gone)”
James (Male 34)
“I am afraid of letting people see who I really am. Even though I want to be real. I guess I’m scared of being hurt.”
“I keep playing it safe I guess.”
Clearly, we all have self-sabotaging behavior because of fear.
One of the best things that I have learned (even though I don’t always have the courage to do it), is to DO IT AFRAID.
I was afraid when I pursued a new career, I was afraid when I started working with clients, but I did it anyway. I used courage and I was kind to myself. And since we are all struggling with fears and feelings of inadequacy, we should be kinder to each other.
Watch this quick 2-minute video by Lisa Nichols. This woman is pure resilience. She has overcome so much.