Through my experience in working with people, and from my personal example as well, I’ve noticed that many people,despite successfully defining their goals, hesitate to go towards them for some reason.. They resist it because of something, they are afraid of something.
One of my favorite NLP models, Conscious – Unconscious, tells us that our unconscious mind is thousand times more powerful than conscious one, which is limited to only seven groups (two groups more or less) of information that it can pay attention to at a certain time.
If I would ask you now to pay attention to the index finger of your left hand or your right foot, you would certainly begin to notice what kind of feeling you have in those body parts at that moment. Were you aware of that feeling before our attention was focused on it? Our unconscious mind registers all of that, and influences us without us even being aware of it. Our fears as well, being hidden in our subconscious mind, affect our decisions and behavior. The very first step towards overcoming them is that we become aware what we are afraid of..
What are the most common fears that may distract you? (The ones you should become aware of)?
The fear of losing freedom
- – By this I don’t mean physical freedom, I am talking about
what would happen if you lost control over your life
- . This fear might start off with some small things, such as when we were kids and we got occasionally sent off to our rooms by our parents, who commanded us not to go out before we complete our homework, down to the fear of getting married, because we may not have the freedom to do all the things we have fantasized about because our partners may hinder us.
- Fear of the unknown – In order to move forward, we need to know what is waiting for us there, since knowing what is there gives us control over the situation, and not knowing leaves us with no control. Many of us were afraid of the dark as kids, mostly because we had no idea what was out there. It’s the same today, when we don’t know what lies at the end of that dark hallway, we feel the urge to escape from there.
- Fear of loneliness – That is the horrible feeling that comes from lack of interaction with other people. It’s a side effect of evolution: the chances for our survival are increasing if we stick to the group.. Today we connect this fear with the possibility that others may not notice something we’ve done. Or, on the contrary, that we will get abandoned for doing something. We feel that our actions become meaningful only when noticed by the others.
- Fear of being mocked and ridiculed – In other words, the fear of a critic, caused by our social fear that we haven’t presented ourselves in the best way. It’s a well known fear of public performance. We are afraid of messing something up, which will make others laugh at us. We simply don’t want to attract attention for the wrong reasons, when we are left at the mercy of others and their opinion of us.
- Fear of disappointment – Fear that we will let others down, or let ourselves down in my case, which is even worse. When I was a child, I preferred to be grounded or yelled at if I had done something wrong, rather than being looked with the sad eyes and hearing: ’I didn’t see this coming from you, I’m disappointed.’ This sentence would hurt me much more than any sanction. Fear of disappointment is the feeling of discontent for not meeting the expectations. The feeling that is often accompanied by regret, during which we ask ourselves if our decisions are what has led to such result. If I had done something differently, would I have made the difference?
- Fear of conflict – većina nas ne voli konflikte. Majority of us is not fond of conflicts. Instead of addressing the issue directly, we are trying to be nice, so we end up talking to ourselves or the others, feeling frustrated.One of the reasons is that we may be afraid of our own reaction, that we could go crazy or even do something beyond our control that we might come to regret later on.
- Fear of rejection – This is one of the very basic reasons why people behave in a way they usually do. We tend to follow the actions of others (often blindly), in order to avoid rejection. As well as in the case of the fear of loneliness, we tend to justify our existence through acceptance that we get from the others. This is one of the key reasons why many young people start smoking cigarettes. The nail that sticks out gets hammered down first.
- Fear of authority – Person with authority is someone who is able to tell you what to do and can treat you in a particular way or punish you in case you don’t do so. This might be your boss, parent, policeman, even your partner.If you feel ’little’ or inferior in their presence, then you have this kind of fear. The way you behave in the presence of such person depends on your perception and expectations that you have. We were taught as little to listen to these people. We have managed to subconsciously adopt the duty to answer to them in the right, required or expected way when it comes to things that we should or should not do.
- Fear of failure – This fear may represent many things, coming to realize that we don’t live the life we want to live, or that we fail to succeed in our intentions, that we are helpless, or that we have hit the rock bottom in the worst case. The main reason for feeling this comes from the feeling that follows, that regardless of all of our efforts, nothing may turn out the way we imagined, which makes us not even want to try it in the first place. We delay many things because of this fear, or we don’t do anything in order to change some situation for better. ’Why do I even try?’ ’I am not good enough.’
So, what are you afraid of?
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Now, what are you going to do about it?
Dipl.Ing. of Organizational Sciences
Trainer and facilitator