What are the things we fear most?

The capacity to fear is part of human nature. Fear often warns us that we are in dangerous situations, and that we need to run away, or fight, or do something else to protect ourselves. However, fear is not always caused by accurate information. Nowadays, we are often afraid of things that are either unlikely to happen, or things that we only imagine might happen, or things that are upsetting but not really life threatening. There are few fears we are all afraid to admit to and that we all deal with throughout our lives.

1. Failure

We fear that we will get fired from our jobs, that we will not have good grades in our school, university, at work. We fear that we will not live up to other people’s expectations, that we will fail to please others and accomplish what they expect from us. We all do, or don’t do, things to avoid failure. The fear of failure can cause us to do nothing and in that way resist moving forward. And when we allow fear to stop our forward progress in life, we are likely to miss some great opportunities along the way.

Most of us will fail in life more than once. But failure can teach us things that we would never have learned otherwise. Failure can help us discover how strong we are. Failure can help us discover our true friends, or help us find unexpected motivation to succeed.

We need to realize that in everything we do, there’s always a chance that we will fail. As someone said: “To fail is a natural consequence of trying. To succeed takes time and prolonged effort in the face of unfriendly odds.” We need to face chances and embrace them. Only then will we live a fuller and more rewarding life.

2. Rejection

We fear rejection because we fear to be alone. Most of us can only justify our existence if it is acknowledged by others. The fear of rejection definitely goes together with the fear of being alone. We feel empty if we don’t interact with other human beings. Being alone and lonely, and even just the fear of being alone, make many people insecure, anxious and depressed.

As human beings, we long to be accepted and wanted. It hurts to be rejected and experience loss.

Everyone of us experiences rejection at some point of our lives. The only people who never experience rejection are those who never have any interaction with other people. However, if we continually hold back from interacting with people because of our fear of rejection, we will lose the chance of potential happiness that other people can bring to us. And actually, we are the ones who can choose loneliness or we can choose life. It is up to us. Remember, life is an adventure, a journey. The more adventures and journeys you take the better.

3. Getting old

It is very common that the fear of ageing is often connected to the fear of rejection and death. Getting old often means that you are not that physically attractive, that you are weaker and your health is not as good as it used to be. This does not apply to everyone and there are still some very energetic and vital people in their 70s and 80s, but, unfortunately, the majority of people do have more health problems as they grow older. It means minds failing and losing independence.

We live in the world that is obsessed with looking young and beautiful. Once we start facing the loss of youth, many of us feel fear, loneliness and regret.

However, we definitely can change our perspective on ageing. During the whole life we can feel that joy that we feel in our youth, and we can live the life full of possibilities, opportunities and adventures.

The older we get the more important is that we matter to someone and feel a sense of connection to at least few dear people. In their company, we can find a place full of peace and love.

We need to find those things that bring freshness to our life and practice them regularly. Whether it is meditation, prayer, yoga, surfing, writing, we can all find that sense of meaning in life that fulfils us on a daily basis.

4. Change

Change is always exciting but it also brings the fear of abandoning the comfort zone you’ve got used to. The fear of change is one of the most common reasons for resistance to change because it stops you taking any action at all.

The fear of change is connected to the fear of unknown. Not knowing what to expect occurs when we don’t have enough information about the change. We are expected to take a “leap of faith”. Our mind tells us that in order to move forward we must know what is waiting for us, because if we know we can control the situation. And if we don’t know the situation, we are in control. The fear of change and unknown often stops our progress and makes it harder for us to discover and understand new things. We take solace in the predictable. And, as already said, we fear failure and loss. We stick to what we knew worked. The looming specter of failure is pretty scary. And it is often irrational.

Uncertainty is a part of life. Know that uncertainty is inevitable but also keep in mind that it can turn out to be amazing.

If you are spending your life playing it safe, sticking to what you know and what is comfortable, you are missing out on the possibilities of what could be.

The best thing is to start small. When you conquer little fears first, they will make you braver and stronger and more confident.

And no matter that the change might seem scary and that the fear of failure is intimidating, focus on things that you’ll always have (your family, your parents, siblings, best friends, your talent, your hobby…). Even though some things might change, there are also those that are likely to stay certain.

Once you’ve made a decision to make a change, move forward with confidence and don’t look back. What was is over and what matters is what is now.

There are plenty of other fears we all deal with. However, those already mentioned are probably the most common and the most prevalent. It is interesting to note that these fears are not innate, which means that we have learned to have these fears. The great news is that we can learn not to have them.


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