You’ve probably heard of the fight or flight response. It’s believed that in a fearful or stressful situation, you either fight or flee.
When speaking of fight or flight, most of us imagine dangerous circumstances where our lives are at risk. If you’ve experienced that, you know how you will react. If you haven’t, you probably have an expectation of whether you’d respond with fight or flight.
But what if the fear is in the subconscious or unconscious mind? Would you even be aware your mind is reacting to protect you from that fear?
If there’s a goal you have, but won’t pursue, or if you struggle to define a goal at all, your mind is probably going into “flight” mode. You have some fear around success and you’re running from it.
The first step to overcoming any fear is to recognize it and bring awareness to it. Once you’ve done that, you can begin to identify when fear is creeping in and you can face it directly.
Which Fear Is Holding You Back?
Everyone struggles with multiple fears, but typically there’s one or two that are dominant. We’ve outlined fears that are subconscious (fears you are aware of when you think about them) and unconscious fears (deep seated fears that are harder to identify).
- Fear of Failure – This is the primary fear preventing people from having success. Individuals who struggle with this fear worry about things that could go wrong in a given situation, and most often decide to avoid the risk altogether.
- Fear of Being Wrong – If you struggle with this, you have a need to be right and for others to be wrong. This results in stubbornness and destructive behavior that prevents you from progressing.
- Fear of Letting Go – This fear will foster a need to control situations and people. You’ll typically find it difficult to collaborate or trust others to help. Since no one can completely control any situation or person, this fear sets you up to fail.
- Fear of Others – With this fear, you feel judged by others, becoming self-conscious and overly critical of yourself. It’s very difficult to succeed when you don’t believe in yourself.
- Need to Know – Individuals struggling with this fear want to know the outcome of any situation. They fear the unknown and unfamiliar, preferring to stay in the safety of their comfort zone where growth is stifled.
- Fear of Success – If you focus on the negative consequences of success, rather than the benefits, you have a fear of success. People with this fear tend to self-sabotage and avoid the success altogether.
- Not Good Enough – If you obsessively compare yourself to others and fear you don’t measure up, you suffer from not feeling good enough. This results in self-defeating behaviors that prevent your success.
- Self-Worth – This fear comes from believing you have little or no value. You put others before yourself, meaning you can be prone to toxic relationships, both personally and professionally. Not seeing and believing in your value will prevent you from deciding what you want and knowing you deserve it.
Do you recognize any of these fears in yourself?
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