Five Irrational Fears That Keep Us From Moving Forward

If you are a human being (which means all alien beings can stop reading now) then you are going to experience fear. Fear is emotion – raw, unfiltered anxiety that has evolved over time to protect us from the painful and maybe fatal situations we encounter.

Rational fear is good fear. It protects us. It is a healthy fear that keeps us from putting ourselves into the path of unnecessary danger. For example, we don’t jump the fence into the lion’s den at the zoo. We don’t stick our hand into the burning logs in the fireplace.

Healthy fear is like wisdom’s cousin. (tweet that)

Photo Credit: agentparanoia via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: agentparanoia via Compfight cc

On the other hand, we all have experiences that create and develop irrational fears. These are the bad or misplaced fears in our lives. Painful past memories or situations cause us to anticipate a similar negative experience. Irrational fears keep us frozen in place and rob the energy from our dreams.

Here are five irrational fears you may have faced in your own life. Each own places roadblocks on our ability to pursue our passions.

1. Fear of failure

I think this is the fear that stops most people in their tracks. We don’t want to put a lot of effort into something that won’t work out in the long run. What if we make a mistake? What will people think of me? We equate failure with embarrassment. But what if we changed our thinking about failure. What if failure was a part of a greater path toward success (which I believe it is)?

The best successes have come as a result of people having to walk through failure. It was in the process of recovering from it that they learned the greatest lessons and made their biggest moves forward.

2. Fear of  disapproval (or rejection)

There is something within us that is constantly looking for outside validation. We don’t want to be wrong. Yet the most successful among us are confident in themselves and their ideas. They aren’t surprised or derailed by disapproval. They actually expect it.

Every time we don’t move forward on our dream or idea out of concern that someone will disapprove, we are robbing ourselves.

3. Fear of commitment

A commitment is a promise. When we make a commitment, we promise to follow a certain path – saying yes to certain things and no to other things. Unfortunately, we also like to keep our options open. When it comes to commitment, we don’t say yes to the possible if we don’t think it is probable.

We know that commitment is hard work. Yet it is our ability to commit to a certain course of action – to focus on a few things – that brings about our greatest successes.

4. Fear of the unknown

None of us can predict the future (although I do have ESP…N). We may believe that greater possibilities exist out there, but we’re not ready to let go of the familiar. It’s difficult to give up certainty. The circumstances and rewards of pursuing a different course of action can freeze us in our tracks. But opportunities aren’t cyclical. They don’t come around every year.

There are moments when we must face our fear and plow ahead. If we look back, we’ll never move forward. (tweet that)

5. Fear of success

It’s hard to be successful because the world is full of people who don’t want us to be successful. When things go well for us, we may find they dislike us or shun us or think we’re arrogant. It takes a lot of work to create something successful. But it’s even harder to remain successful.

The world is full of one hit wonders who did something great…once. Some of us succumb to the taste of success, feeling like we have arrived. We rest on our laurels and forget to keep doing the hard work that brought about the success.

When you’ve experienced some type of success, it’s time to leverage that momentum and energy toward your next opportunity.

Leave a comment: When have you experienced one of these fears in your own life?

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