Uncovering Hidden Fears That Are Holding You Back from Success
You might feel an urge within you to move forward – to do something to change your life – but fear is keeping you firmly stuck in your comfort zone. You want success.
Maybe you crave it. But life seems so much easier if you avoid change rather than embrace it. It could be that you’re subconsciously resisting change because of fears that are holding you back.
Exercises to Identify Your Hidden Fears
If you want to overcome and overpower fears that exist inside you, you have to uncover first your feelings and hidden emotions. After comprehending your feelings and emotions, you have to know how to manage them and finally correct or overcome them.
Here’s a simple exercise that will help you to achieve that. This exercise will help you identify the conscious and sometimes subconscious fears that lie inside you.
Select an area of your life that you feel is negative and needs some improvement.
Now, ask yourself these three questions:
- What do I want, what are my aim and objective?
- Enumerate the obstacles that stop me from reaching my goal.
- What prevents me from dealing with or overcoming that obstacle?
For each fear that comes to you in response to question no. 3, ask yourself the following questions:
- Describe the worst-case scenario if it’ll happen?
- What will be the benefit for me or others if I will face this fear?
- Keeping in front of you the answer to question B and comparing it with the answer to question A will inspire you to overcome the fears that lie inside you.
Not All Obstacles Are Obvious
There are always obstacles whenever you make a forward movement. Some of the challenges are pretty easy to figure out. Others aren’t – because they’re not as apparent to us.
Most people can recognize when fear strikes, and they’re afraid to do something. But other times, you come up with excuses – anything really, so that you don’t have to face the facts and admit that it’s actually fear that’s holding you back.
There are common fears people have that are hidden in excuses that keep us stuck. One of the top ones is thinking that you don’t have time to reach for your dreams, life changes, success, or whatever it is that you want.
This excuse is one that’s used to keep you busy on the surface, but it’s a smokescreen for staying in place. Everyone can find time to take a few small steps toward a dream regardless of how busy they are.
It’s just a matter of prioritizing where you do spend your time.
This excuse is often also feeling that you’re so busy, you just can’t add one more thing to your plate.
“I don’t know enough” is another excuse people use when fear is actually the driving force. Learning what you need isn’t as hard as your fear can make you believe it is.
“I have time, but it’s not the right time.” If you wait for the right time, you’ll never make a move. The right time is elusive, and no one ever manages to find it. All you have is the time you’re currently in. The best time to move forward is the time you have.
“I need to focus on what brings in the money. I have to live.” That’s one of top excuses people use, but it’s actually fear to talk. It means that they’re afraid they won’t have enough money to pay their bills if they make specific life changes.
“I’d really like to go for it, but my friends, family or spouse thinks it’s a bad idea.” This excuse is used to justify holding back out of fear of failure. If you can place the burden of not acting on someone else’s shoulders, it helps you feel better about not chasing your dreams.
“The right doors haven’t opened for me.” Doors don’t always open to your dreams. This excuse is one that’s found in the fear that if you try, you might discover there are no opportunities for you.
The thing about opportunities is that they don’t always jump out at you when you’re not taking action.
You have to knock on the doors, or you have to create the opportunity yourself.
“I don’t know if I feel capable” is an excuse that hides the fear that everything won’t work out. The truth is that not everything works out all of the time. If it did, this would be a perfect world.
But if you’re not moving forward toward your dreams, you will never know if yours could have worked out. Don’t let the fear of time, money, lack of experience, skills, lack of support, network, or any other of the hundreds of excuses people use be the reason that your dream dies before it gets a chance to be realized.
Is Your Mindset Secretly at Odds with Your Level of Success?
You can have a fixed or a growth mindset – and both can be used to bring you the success you deserve in life. Your mindset can be used to make your dreams come true.
But your mindset can also be at odds with the success that you currently have. You might have a mindset that leans toward success, and you become aware that the success you have right now isn’t where you want it to be, and it’s not as high as the level of success that you deserve.
To get there, you need to take action steps.
Otherwise, you won’t break free of that mindset. You’ll stay stuck. You can reach out to a coach or a mentor to help you come up with an action plan.
A coach can evaluate where you are and help you see obstacles and setbacks that may be keeping you from making progress. Some people may need to join a community of others who are also aiming to level up personally or professionally.
This can give you accountability because they hold you to the goals you set. Plus, you get the support that can help you push forward. An example of this would be the group helping you find solutions through brainstorming, tutorials or advice.
You can also have the kind of mindset where you’re not okay with more responsibility being heaped on you. This can happen if you get a promotion at work or if you work for yourself.
It can also happen in any area of your life – from relationships to weight loss, to financial desires. People who have a mindset where they’re uncomfortable with leveling up and handling more responsibility may find it easier to avoid tasks that could move them forward.
Some people feel like they’re not qualified. Your mindset might tell you that you don’t have what it takes, but making action steps such as taking on more responsibility, will cause your confidence to grow.
You have to accept that the good things – such as a better career or advancement, the position with the company, a dream come true, or the rewards that come your way – are meant for you. You deserve all the good things in life.
Patterns of Self Sabotage
Fear can cause self-sabotage. This can lead to you having actions, thoughts or emotions that interfere with what you want out of life. That might be a relationship change, a job, a move or anything you dream of accomplishing.
When you’re experiencing fear, you might not even be aware that’s what it is. But fear has a way of causing people to sabotage their own lives. Your fear might not be so outwardly noticeable where you pick up on it, but you can always tell when you’re sabotaging your own success.
One of the ways that can easily become a pattern of this type of self-defeating behavior is when you’re pouring a lot of time into planning what you’re going to do and what you want out of life.
You’re thinking about it, deciding how it all makes you feel – but you’re not actually doing anything. This is spinning your wheels but never gaining any traction, and without traction or taking steps forward, you will stay stuck.
This is procrastination that you may or may not recognize. When you engage in this, it gives you false proof that you’re making progress when you’re not. Another part of this pattern that’s related to planning, thinking, and feeling is perfectionism.
You can become so busy giving too much time and attention to small things rather than focusing on what you want out of life.
An example of this is someone who wants to start a business, but they spend several months agonizing over the font on a business card or the color or the layout.
They tell themselves they’re making progress because they’re working on their dream when they’re actually not. This can be caused by fear, so you drag out tasks that would move you forward toward your dream.
You have to face up to the fact that if you want something, there has to be a regular forward movement. Otherwise, you’re just treading in place. This can often be seen in poor time management as a way of self-sabotaging, too.
People don’t manage their time wisely, so then they can say they can’t do something because they’re out of time. Fear can make you waste time doing things that don’t matter on the journey toward where you want to be in life.
One pattern of self-sabotage is not having boundaries with yourself.
You give in to things that you know will impede the growth of your success or the accomplish of your dream.
For example, instead of spending time working on your business, you waste too much of it on social media. Or instead of leveling up your fitness when you want to lose weight, you choose to repeatedly give in to the friends who convince you that your life is fine as it is.
Boundaries, even for yourself, keep you from getting stuck in self-sabotage.
Other patterns of self-sabotage can be not learning a new skill that you know you need to learn.
You keep putting it off, and then you don’t move forward because you keep telling yourself you’ll move forward once you learn what you need. Being too cautious while telling yourself you’re just weighing the risks is another way people self-sabotage. There isn’t anything in life that doesn’t have some risk associated with it.
Practice Making the Leap Without Struggling
Success is something that you deserve, whether your emotions line up with that or not. Each time you have a success, it paves the way for even more victories. This success can often be beyond your wildest imagination.
You can have more responsibilities, make more money or face more significant challenges than you had in your life before. It can be frightening to think about where you could end up – which is known as the fear of success.
But many people don’t realize that they’re actually feeling success. When you think about it, who wouldn’t want to be successful? But people struggle with it because success can be unnerving – especially once you leave your comfort zone.
The key to finding success without struggling with your actions, thoughts, or emotions is to make sure that you increase the length of your commitment toward whatever it is that you’re seeking out of life.
You might be someone who needs to feel comfortable with achieving a higher level of success, and it’s okay to feel that way. Many people need to come to terms with more success.
The best way to do that is to increase your involvement.
An example of this would be someone who wants to start his or her own business, but he’s afraid to leave the comfort and security of the monthly salary that he has.
You don’t have to leap an all or nothing one.
You can slowly increase the time and effort that you’re putting into that business. Instead of giving up your job and jumping headfirst into a new business, you could start by giving the endeavor a couple of hours a day or a dedicated time every week.
You can wait to make the leap until you’re more comfortable – as long as you’re doing something to progress what it is that you want and you’re not standing still. This applies to anything that you want in life in light of what you’re looking at as your ultimate goal.
For some people, that might be moving to a tropical island and working from their laptop. You can set things in motion that are geared toward you reaching your dream and then leap.
Eliminating Guilt to Enjoy Your Efforts
There is a downside that comes with success that you might not be aware of. When you achieve what it is that you set out to do, you might be surprised to realize that you’re suddenly experiencing guilt.
Many successful people feel this way. One reason that people feel guilty is that they think they don’t deserve to have what they do. They might think they were just lucky.
Guilt means that you did something wrong, and far too many people who achieve success waste time and mental and emotional energy feeling guilty when they shouldn’t.
You haven’t done anything wrong when you achieve success. What you might be experiencing are feelings of wanting to be accepted for your success and your efforts – but you can tell that not everyone is happy for you.
Some people are struggling while you’re not. You’re getting recognition, and you’re reaching your dreams while others are stuck. They’re not able to get where you are.
You might even hear some snide comments when you’ve reached a certain level of success. While most people will genuinely be happy for you, not everyone will – and that’s just part of life.
You can’t focus on what others didn’t achieve or what they don’t have. Their journey in life is not the same as yours. It could merely be that success hasn’t happened for them yet because they still have a few more steps to take.
Or it could be that they had opportunities that they squandered and that’s a lesson they have to learn. If you’re feeling guilty because you’re reaping good things in life, you need to realize that you’re doing so as a result of all the effort and hard work that you put in.
No one handed success to you.
You worked hard for it, and because of that, you deserve all the good that comes your way. You aren’t responsible for those who don’t get where you are.
The responsibility that you have is to yourself to live a good life – one that you choose to live.
You are where you are because you fought the fear, you took the steps needed to make your dreams come true, and you didn’t give up even when things got hard.
Don’t feel bad about where you are in life.
You know the sacrifices that you had to make and those sacrifices and all that you went through to get where you are deserve to be honored by the good thing you now have.
Fears will rear their ugly heads from time to time.
Sometimes, it will be very obvious to you – and other times, you’ll refuse to acknowledge that what you have labeled as a real concern is nothing more than baseless anxiety of what may or may not happen as a result of your efforts.
The good news is – the more you open your eyes to what holds you back, the more aware you are for future obstacles, and you’ll be able to move past it quickly and recover your progress easily.