Updated: Jan 3, 2019
Fear can be positive and it can be negative. It can tell the truth and it can lie. Fear can keep us from danger and is dangerous.
The good fear can work to your advantage, warning you of situations that will cause harm. But most fears are the central players that sabotage your career, influence your decisions, effect your relationships, and limit your potential.
Briefly…here are some types of fear and why we avoid them:
Fear of Failure - What if this all goes sideways?
We have an underlying belief that everything, including ourselves, has to be perfect before we move forward or we’ll fail. First, we need to change our perspective of “failure” to that of being an opportunity to reassess. “Failure” can be our greatest teacher and guide to clarity. Many great leaders and social influencers (if not all) have faced challenges at some point on their journey to success.
Fear of Vulnerability - What judgements am I subjecting myself to?
This applies to many situations such as having difficult conversations, sharing our thoughts or feelings, embarking on a new career path, or presenting any form of creative expression. Fear of vulnerability may feel safe but in reality, it dims our light and robs us of the freedom of being authentic and having genuine relationships. Not everyone will agree with you, and not everyone will be a supporter, but some will, and YOU must be your own champion.
Fear of Success - Can I sustain the expectations?
How will my life change if I’m successful? How will my relationships change? Will I have it in me to sustain this path and grow from here? Do I want the responsibility? Looking too much to the future can sabotage the present. Stay true to what you desire and value as you move forward. Some answers will only come when we’re better equipped with the knowledge and experience to realize them.
Fear of Loss/Lack - How will this effect my sense of security? What will this cost me?
It will cost you the comfort of your fear, whatever that may be. As much as fear takes, it gives - in keeping us living in the place of that well-known ‘comfort zone’. But what cost is greater? Not doing, not speaking, not living your intended life or… your fear’s preferred alternative.
Release and Engage
Fear can be deeply rooted and the road to overcome, complex. But generally, there are two key factors to transcending fear:
Releasing the power of ego
Engaging the power of courage
It’s not about having confidence. It’s not about being assured of approval. It’s not about knowing the outcome or dependability of the plan. It takes courage to question the role of our ego and challenge the fear. Without courage, we don’t move. Without courage, we’re stuck. Without courage, we’re safe... but are we free?
Freedom breathes in humility and courage… it is at the core of living a meaningful, authentic life and is our pathway to transcending fear.
Written by: Diane Jolicoeur