When I first decided definitively to make a change in my lifestyle and career, the thought alone paralyzed me with fear. I knew that I would be solely responsible for my success. There would be no more safety net in the form of a salary, and no amount of excuses would eliminate the fact that the buck stopped with me.
The fear of failure was so overwhelming that I stopped dead in my tracks. Before I even began, I started questioning myself. I realized that I was experiencing a myriad of fears and that the fear of failure was the umbrella under which a whole host of other fears was simmering.
The only thing that kept me going was my burning desire to become financially and geographically independent, make better decisions in life, and expand my knowledge to the point where the possibilities for success and income generation was endless.
I wanted freedom. Freedom of time, place, finances, and even emotions. A luxury that very few people get to experience in life, but I was determined to get it.
“Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.”
What happened when my curiosity got the better of me
I had to find a way to overcome my fear of failure. So I tackled this problem like I do all problems. I decided to get to the root of the problem before I even took on my new online business which I would be starting from scratch, with no experience whatsoever.
To get to the root of the problem I started researching what type of fears I’m experiencing psychologically and how to overcome them. My research surprised me to the point that I continuously research whatever fears I’m experiencing in order to tackle them head on.
And this is what I’ve discovered………….
*Disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional. The purpose of this blog is NOT to provide treatment or advice, it is merely for insight. If you are experiencing deep fears or anxiety, please seek professional advice or treatment.
5 Of my deepest fears and how to overcome them (from my perspective)
“The inability to attempt any goal that is not a guaranteed success”
I can barely pronounce this word, but basically, it describes by far what my worst fear was (and still is)…………pretty much The Fear of Failure. Commonly experienced by perfectionists, this debilitating fear will stop you dead in your tracks if you do not face it head-on.
It is a fear that I still battle with every day. But now that I’m aware of where it stems from, and how common it is, I know how to tap into it and nip it in the bud immediately.
What can I do about this?
According to Health Line, improving your quality of life will kickstart your mental and physical adaptation to starting something new, and witnessing the positive changes.
Personally, this advice absolutely works for me. When I work on improving my lifestyle and habits, automatically I feel more empowered to take on something where there are no guarantees. I’m stronger in body and mind automatically.
What also works for me is………..actually failing!
I know that’s not what you want to hear, but every time I fail at something, it builds stronger character AND I’ve learned what not to do next time, which automatically leads me to know WHAT to do next time.
“An irrational or exaggerated fear of technology or complex devices such as tablets, smartphones, and especially computers.”
I realized the importance of being tech-savvy in the age of technology. However, the extent of my technical knowledge was sending Yahoo emails from desktop.
I knew absolutely nothing else, and it scared the crap out of me. Technology is not something I easily adapt to or even understand, and I would need all the help I could get from professionals or mentors. But if that’s what I had to do then that’s what I had to do!
But the first step to fixing a problem, is realizing that you have it. So I quietly admitted to myself that I am a (somewhat extreme) technophobe.
What can I do about this?
Technophobia doesn’t come as a surprise, as technology changes so rapidly, how can you even become good at something before it changes right?
The term was coined 15 to 20 years ago, which shows that most of us that were forced to transition into the tech era are still quite young, and still struggling to transition. This is not something that happened 100 years ago, so clearly transitioning to using technology to your advantage will not come easy for most.
As the gap widens between generations, so will this fear. As for now, it is still a real cause of anxiety or stress.
The good news is that there are tech communities, professionals, and mentors that have a deep understanding of this fear, as they have experienced it themselves, who will help you learn all the up to date tech skills you need from scratch, and how to use it to your advantage to achieve exactly what I set out to…….freedom!
Click the link below if you are a tech phobe like me, and would like to overcome it. I have, so can you.
“The irrational sensation of fear experienced about a person or a group of persons as well as situations that are perceived as strange or foreign. It is the fear of anything that is beyond one’s comfort zone.”
You may be scratching your head with this one, as the common perception of Xenophobia is the fear of foreigners. But the origin of Xenophobia is the fear of the unknown.
I don’t know about you, but I am in love with my comfort zone. It’s what I know well, I feel safe there, albeit restless and dissatisfied.
Would you rather be comfortable but restless and dissatisfied, or experience the temporary discomfort and confusion of the unknown with the massive possibility of achieving your goals and dreams? Or would you rather sit back, let your fears overcome you, and never find out? What you don’t know won’t hurt you right? WRONG!
According to BMC Psychiatry, studies have shown that long-term life dissatisfaction inevitably leads to major depressive disorders. These disorders eventually affect your emotional and physical wellbeing which seeps into your personal life.
What can I do about this?
The major causes of this fear are unpredictability, confusion, and lack of control.
Remember the freedom and fearlessness of being a kid? Everything was an adventure and no matter how scary something seemed you wanted to try it at least once to know how you feel about it.
As adults, life has taken us through the wringer with disappointments and misfortunes, which manufactures these deep-seated fears as a defense mechanism.
Now here comes the ‘mindset’ cliche’………..
If you do not consciously decide to be a glass half full kind of person, then every disappointment and misfortune going forward will cause you to perceive the situation as the glass half empty, or permanently empty for some!
Watch this TED Talk by Carl Ed Baker, where he encourages you to become that curious kid again and turn your fear of the unknown to curiosity instead and help you reclaim your courage.
“An irrational aversion to being happy”
Do you ever experience the fear of relishing feelings of excitement, joy, love, and happiness, fearing that something will happen to snatch it away from you?
This fear is so common that its effects are not as widely studied as others.
I never realized that I had this fear until I experienced my first subscription after a whole year of hard work. I did a happy dance for a while and then suddenly felt this overwhelming feeling of ‘this happened by chance, who knows when or if it will happen again’. I didn’t even give myself the chance to really bask in the joy of my first success after failing so many times!
When I realized that I have this irrational fear I started to look back at all the opportunities and experiences I’ve rejected, not wanting to experience what I perceived as ‘temporary joy’.
This fear is severely underrated, as it will cause you to go emotionally numb in the long term. No matter what you achieve and how much you succeed, you will never really experience the joy of achieving what you set out to achieve. Talk about long term deeply embedded misery!
What can I do about this?
The root of the problem is a faulty line of thinking. Recognition is the key here. Every time a potentially happiness-provoking opportunity or experience presents itself to you, recognize what your immediate thought pattern is.
Do you experience a feeling of being down already before the event even occurs and go straight to rejection?
Take a second to think about how the activity will make you feel now, not the effects it will produce later. Live in the now and open your eyes to the little delights life throws at you.
This is a process, but once you have this down pat, you’ll feel lighter mentally and emotionally. All of a sudden your mentality realigns itself much easier, even automatically, and good things will come your way without you even trying.
Healthline suggests relaxation approaches like deep breathing, exercising, and journaling. Also, purposeful exposure to happiness-provoking events may force a mindset rewiring.
It’s worth a try.
“The tendency to dislike anything new”
This fear is basically characterized by the unwillingness to try something new or break from routine, also known as the dreaded COMFORT ZONE!
Apparently, genetics plays a role in this phobia. In my personal opinion, it also stems from the learned bad behaviors and beliefs of the environment in which we grew up. This is completely and utterly the root of my problem. It’s like a generational curse.
Long term learned behaviors and beliefs may just be the most difficult thing to overcome. But I was determined to overcome it. So I told no one what I was doing and turned to a community of like-minded people instead.
Worked like a charm.
What can I do about this?
We are all creatures of habit. And it’s more common than not to stick to what you know, even if it doesn’t serve you.
What worked for me, is recognizing that this is subconscious learned behavior. I did not disclose what my goals were to the types of people that I either learned this behavior from or who suffers from this generational curse themselves.
Stepping out of my comfort zone, becoming vulnerable and listening to those who know really helped me to propel myself out of this worthless fear. I realized that all I have to do is START, and the rest will follow.
Watch this TED Talk by Mark Soderwall where he shares how to get over your fears of starting something new and bringing your ideas into reality. After all, that is exactly how most businesses started!