Worry is like paying interest on a debt that we don’t yet owe. It’s useless, wasteful, and ridiculous, yet all of us do it. Why? Well, it’s important to note that worry stems from fear, an evolutionary emotion with which all of us are familiar. While fear can certainly save us from entering a dangerous situation, it can also prevent us from pursuing a life changing opportunity. More often than not, it’s fear that keeps us from applying for our dream job, boarding an airplane, or falling in love. Worst of all is when fear keeps us from fulfilling our highest purpose. One thing is for certain, the more power we give fear, the more it lords over us. By identifying our most common fears, specifically as they relate to going after what we want, we give ourselves an opportunity to stare them down, face them head on, and ultimately, take away their power. Here I list 5 fears that are likely holding you back right now from living the life of your dreams.
1. Fear of Wasting Time.
Ah yes, time. The most valuable resource we have and the most precious gift we can give. It makes sense that we’re afraid to waste it. But consider this, has going after your dreams ever really been a waste of time? Recognize that going after our dreams inherently involves challenging ourselves, pushing past our comfort zones, and striving to be the best we can be. Does that sound like a waste of time?
2. Fear of Going Broke.
Closely related to the fear of wasting time is the fear of going broke. Let’s face it… time is money. It’s understandable, then, to be concerned about money while in the midst of pursuing our dreams. Especially when said pursuit doesn’t pay. But the solution is simple; keep your day job until it does. Cut back on frivolous activities like watching TV or posting Instagram Selfies. Instead, spend your free time carving out the life you want for yourself.
3. Fear of Being Inadequate.
Psychologists call this the “Imposter Syndrome”. It’s an internal experience of chronic self-doubt characterized by feeling like a fake. Sound relatable? Just remember, simply because we feel inadequate, doesn’t mean that we are. This is especially the case when surrounded by information that indicates the opposite is true. Chances are good that if the dream is truly embedded in your heart, you’re as likely a candidate as anyone to make that dream a reality.
4. Fear of Failure.
Also known as the fear of not being successful. Of course, any endeavor into which we pour our time, energy, and resources, we want (and maybe even expect) to be successful. But alas, this isn’t always the case. Not at first try, anyway. Ask yourself this, what is my definition of success? If I don’t make any money from it, did I fail? If people don’t enjoy it, was it pointless? Any person who is truly successful in their field will tell you that failure is merely a stepping stone. The only real failure is not having tried at all.
5. Fear of Success.
Perhaps more common than the fear of failure is the much more deep-rooted fear of success. As Marianne Williamson famously wrote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” All too often we sit on the verge of success listening to that small, insecure voice as it whispers, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?” But the real question is, who are you not to be?