We all have things that we fear in life. But here’s something to remember about fear: It’s a natural human response to something unfamiliar, challenging, or uncertain. That’s why the advice “Be not afraid!” it’s terrible.
Trying to be fearless when doing new things is like trying not to laugh at a funny joke – it’s impossible. As a mental health coach, my job is to help people identify and overcome their fears.
Here are the three most common fears I’ve seen that prevent people from achieving success, and how to overcome them:
1. Fear of failure
When it comes to taking on something new, there’s no way to know if you’ll succeed or not. But if you constantly focus on all the things that could go wrong, you’ll have less mental energy to invest in your goals.
To overcome this fear, connect with your “greater reason” – or a sense of purpose behind what you’re doing. Ask yourself:
- How can taking this challenge help me grow or get closer to my goals? For example, your startup idea could fill a need in an industry, while giving you the freedom to work your own hours.
- How can this challenge improve the lives of others? Research shows that when we adopt a pro-social mindset – or think about how our actions can benefit others – we become more resilient and motivated.
2. Fear of not being good enough
This fear can be something like, “That job requires a lot of communication skills, and I’m terrible at it,” or “I could never work at that company. They just hire people who don’t. graduated from the Ivy League.”
The secret to overcoming this fear is self-editing. Ask yourself:
- Is this thinking correct? Maybe you’re afraid you’ll mess up a giant presentation and your colleagues will judge you. Usually, when you do this, you will learn that your thoughts are colored by your brain’s negative bias and are not rooted in facts.
- What do I get when I believe I’m not good enough? Let’s say you’ve just been promoted and you’re convinced you won’t know how to handle new responsibilities. Does this mindset encourage you to give your best? Of course not. When you realize this, think about what you maybe What can I do to increase my chances of success? That could be taking an online course or seeking advice from a mentor.
3. Fear of disappointing others
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