The Fears That Change-Makers Need to Overcome

By speakforchange | Leadership

Sep 19
It’s very human to fear things. From fears of public speaking to a fear of spiders, these fears may prevent us from getting to where we want to be (sometimes literally). But humans have also been known to overcome them, and more often than not, the people who achieve success tend to have gotten past these mental barriers one way or another. Here are 3 fears you must overcome to become successful:

Fear of Failure

It’s almost become a cliché in self-help books and motivational speeches. “Don’t be afraid of failing!” or “Failure is one step closer to success!” they all say. Everyone’s heard of this, but what does it really mean?

Hypnotherapist Tellman Knudson identifies failure not as something tangible itself, but rather “failing to do something right for the first time” because of the way we were taught to be rewarded only for having the ‘right’ answer. This has cultivated within us an illogical fear of thinking we have to be always ‘correct’, because we believe one failure will ultimately result in, well, failure. But that obviously isn’t true.

He suggests re-training your brain to embrace trying new things and failing the first time around, and that will ultimately lead down the path to success.

Fear of Looking Silly

Remember the time you accidentally farted in a public place and felt really embarrassed? Yep, you’re probably the only one who remembers it. Many of us are caught up in trying to protect our own reputation and fear being seen as ‘not normal’ making a decision that differs from others.

Owner of Virgin Group Richard Branson was labelled crazy for attempting to take on the big companies when Virgin Airlines first came to life, but they are now one of the world’s most recognisable airlines simply because they provided something different. Here’s the billionaire wearing makeup and a dress, performing a safety demonstration on board an AirAsia flight. He really doesn’t mind looking a fool.

If you want to overcome this fear, try this: Lay down on the street for 30 seconds. As Till H. Gross explains in detail in his Ted Talk, the more you do the things that put you out of your comfort zone, the less you care about what others think and do what you know is good for yourself – and that’s a mindset successful people have in abundance.

Fear of Regret

This fear is a little different; it involves keeping your emotions and rationality in check to make sure you make the best choices. In his international bestseller “The Art of Thinking Clearly”, Rolf Dobelli describes the fear of regret as making a bad decision because we were fooled into thinking that it was the ‘last chance’ for us to do something.

He gives the luring example about a safari brochure promising the opportunity to see a rare species of rhino before it goes extinct: “If you never cared about seeing one before today, why would you fly all the way to Tanzania to do so now?”

Remember to analyse the situation instead of making decisions based on impulse, falling victim to this fear of ‘regret’ or ‘missing out’.

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