8 fears that stop growth and success and how to face them
“I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened”– Mark Twain
How many times have you allowed fear to keep you from what you wanted to accomplish? That deep feeling that makes you question everything. You go cold, heart starts pounding, and you are stuck in inaction.
So why do fear?
We must first understands that fear is rooted in the unknown. On hypotheticals that do not yet exist. Fear is just a feeling! It might seem as reality, but it is not actuality. It is based on negativity. It makes us focus on what we lack instead of what we have.
We must also understand that fear not only stops us from creating, of acting, and of progressing. It is consequently forcing us to live in victim mode which keeps us from being accountable for our lives. This then causes us to live in response mode, which keeps us from growth. Therefor keeping us from our dream lives and truly reaching our potential! WOW!
Are all fears created equal?
We are born fearing two things, falling and loud noises. They are part of our survival mechanism and have become part of our evolution. Then as we get older we begin to be influenced by our environment, and the outside world introduces us to other fears. For example, as young children our parents introduce us to certain fears that are meant to keep safe. Fears like stranger danger, or that if you don’t behave you will be punished.
The problem is that this can lead to unnecessary fears and anxieties such as, “if you don’t behave at the store people will think you are a bad kid.” This causes us to begin to fear the unknown, what people might say, what people might do. All this can lead to a whole lot of self doubt. It then makes us extremely vulnerable to be influenced by the outside world and it begins to create more fears like..
- Fear to scarcity
- Fear of not pleasing people
- Fear of not meeting expectations
- Fear of not being enough
- Fear of losing control
- Fear of repeating events
- Fear of time
- Fear of our own light
1. Fear of Scarcity
Our fear for lack of money, love, and opportunities can lead us to a life of bitterness and feeling like a victim. We resent those that are currently winning in these areas. We begin to believe this illusion that we don’t have a say in our lives. That the system, the world, and the opposite sex is out to get us.
-AbundanceWe must believe in love and abundance. When we do, we can really see the truth. Which is that there is plenty of opportunities to create money and feel love. When others win it does not reduce opportunities for you to win. You will win in your own way. You will win with opportunities, love, and money but you must first believe it is possible. Without believing it cannot become a reality.
Doing mantras and affirmations of abundance is one way to go. Say, ” I am winning in money, love, and opportunities.” Make sure you say it in present tense. You want opportunities, love and money now not in an unknown future. Be specific about what you want. The point is to teach yourself and convince your mind to believe it is possible because you create what you believe don’t forget that. Then decide how you will get that money, love, and opportunities, and what steps you will take to make it happen.
You now have positive believes about money, love, and opportunities. You have reversed the fear of scarcity and have created a plan to reach your goal. Now it is more possible to make it happen.
2. Fear of not pleasing peopleAs humans we have the need to connect and feel accepted. We want the peers in our tribe to approve of us. Our fear of not doing so will lead us to do things we may not want to do.
I use to be such a people pleaser. I would do anything to make to make people happy with me. My fear of people not liking me eventually controlled me. It placed me in situations where I was less than myself. My character and my spirit was lost.
-No fs givenThe moment I began to be true to myself the less I cared about what others thought of me. I began to stand up and say no. You must also learn to not care about people think of you. Remember one thing, people’s opinion of you will always be based and measured by how they feel about themselves. So if that person that is judging you feels like crap about themselves then they will project that on you. Let me ask you this, will you live out the projection of others? Or will you live to be who you decide? Stay true to yourself, those that care will love the true you. Those that don’t will quickly walk away and that’s a great thing! That leaves space for people that will truly accept you for who you are to come in to your life.
3. Fear of not meeting expectationsAs a Latina, an immigrant, a daughter, and a mother I want to be what my family and my community need me to be. I want to make sure I represent them the best way possible. I know some of you are first generation college graduates, or first generation American, or even the first in your family to step out of the norm. That can carry a lot of pressure. Letting important people in your life down can be daunting. Even though this fear is similar to the previous one I believe they defer in one important point. One is the fear of not fitting in and the other is fear of not letting people that need you down.
-Lead with loveMake sure you put love and good intention above all and you will be okay. Know that nobody placed that title on you and you don’t have to carry the world on your shoulders. That being said, as a Latina, I understand that fear of letting your family down. I think the problem is the framing of that, fear. Don’t let this fear control you but instead turn it into a motivation. Ask yourself why must I succeed? Why must I give the best version of myself? Instead of why you can’t fail. Why you can’t let people down. It is simple reframing but with big results. Your brain creates what you tell it to. Negative thinking will create negative results.
4. Fear of not being enoughThis notion that no matter what you do you are not good enough to reach your goals will crush you before you even begin. The fear that because you are not enough you don’t deserve your dream. Or that you don’t have what it takes to make things happen. It is this fear that stops you from asking for that promotion, or going for that dream job, or asking that special someone out. Like I said before, our brains create what you tell them to. So if you fear you are not good enough, you will live like you aren’t good enough.
-You are good enoughTherapist Marisa Peer created a movement that I believe is so powerful. She has helped her patience reach great levels of self love and confidence all in one reminder that you are enough! She asks her patients to set alarms throughout the day on their phone that say ” I am enough!” Constant reminders that you are enough is also a reminder that because you are enough you will be okay!
When I was growing up my self love wasn’t the best. Then I began to constantly repeat “you are beautiful ” I said it often and I said it out loud. After time this became a habit. Till this day I still say it. It has changed the way I see myself.
Another thing you need to consider when facing the fear of not being enough is your confidence. You must redefine what confidence is. Confidence is not having it all figured out, or about feeling like a million bucks, or being fearless 100% of the time. Confidence is knowing you have the ability to figure things out. So how do you build confidence? Think about all the times you faced a difficult moment. Yes you were scared, yes you had a bit of self doubt, but you faced it and you figured it out! So guess what, you are enough to make it through and make anything happen! Don’t forget that. Start taking action. The more you take action the more practice you will get with figuring things out.
5. Fear of losing control
This fear can take us to very toxic territories. I believe this fear is based on your distrust in others because you fear to be hurt. You distrust others to make decisions that can effect you. You hate to be in the mercy of others. So what do you do? You control everything, and everyone around you. The problem is that leads you to live a very lonely life. Because let’s be honest no one wants to be controlled.
Know that there are something’s that are just inevitably out of your control. You also have to understand that no one likes to be controlled. When we are controlled we feel like the other person is questioning our judgement and our ability to make the right decisions. If you wouldn’t like to feel this way you must understand that others don’t either. Work on your confidence, when you do, you will be okay with whatever people might do because you will figure things out.
You can watch patters that have brought negative behaviors and then make judgements that way, but don’t try to control. Plus think about all the time and energy you will free up when you just let go!
6. Fear of repeating events
Our fear to control can come from the fear of repeating past bad experiences. Life can get hard but when we allow it to keep us down it can effect the way we carry ourselves through other events in our life. We can either close up and not let anyone in or control everything just because you are afraid to get hurt again. For example, someone breaks your heart so you stop allowing people to get close to you for fear of getting hurt. It is obvious no one wants to be hurt continuously but living in fear and acting in fear is not healthy.
-Don’t live with a clenched fist
I want you to consider this, when you allow people that hurt you to have an effect on you beyond that experience they gave you, you are letting them win time and time again. Why? Because that means they still have a hold on you. I read a story in one of my favorite books “On Fire ” by John O’ Leary, it said that when you live life with a clenched first. Always waiting and ready for someone to attach, you live life in fear. When you open your hand you are able to let people into your life. Your hand and your heart are ready to accept love.
7. Fear of time
From the time we are born to our last days it seems like our lives are all planned out. You go to school, then get married, then buy a house, then have kids, then send them off to school, then retire, then die. Man! that is enough to give anyone anxiety. Specially if you are not where you are “suppose” to be. Society has fed this toxic timeline and we have accepted it as true. This can make us fearful of time passing by. It’s like we are always running trying to catch up on an imaginary life expectation.
-it’s never too late
Everyone has a different path! What may work for someone else may not work for you. The good thing is that success and happiness is not based on age. It’s based on mindset. Start where you are, start now. It does not matter how old you are, it’s never too late. Also, stop comparing your beginning with someone else’s middle. If someone else has been working on their craft for longer it is obvious that they will be ahead. Focus on your progress. You will get there. Like my mom use to say, “Dale tiempo al tiempo.” Give time time.
8. Fear of your own light
I think this comes when you fear success, fear others hating us (which comes from people pleasing) fear of leaving people behind, and fear of coming across as someone that is full of themselves. So you begin to dim your light because of this, and begin to live under the norm. You start sharing memes about hating life, hating work , hating this,hating that. You start anticipating for the weekend on a Monday. The problem with this is that it is a slippery slip to mediocrity and unhappiness. Not to mention you are depriving the world of your amazingness!
-This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Be who you were born to be! Yes people will get uncomfortable at times. Yes you will grow and unfortunately some people will stay in certain chapters of your life. That is okay! Those who matter, those who truly belong in your life will clap when you succeed, grow with you and will never feel uncomfortable with your light. If anything you will inspire them to shine and be more. You can’t inspire if you pick being average for the fear of standing out. There is a line in my favorite kid movie ” what a girl wants” where the boy tells Amanda Bynes
I don’t know why you are trying so hard to fit in if you were born to stand out
That line has stuck with me! And I hope it sticks with you. Remember, you can do this!
Written by: Lupita G.
📸by: MI PHAM/ Jeremy Bishop/Aarón Blanco Tejedor/ Steve Halama/ Hannah Grace/ Dev/ Kristen 24k / Jon Tyson / Gian D