What’s your biggest fear? Snakes? Planes? Snakes on planes . . . ? Most of us can think of a couple things that send shivers down the spine. But have you ever stopped to wonder where the fear came from initially?
It all starts in the brain.
The same circuit that jolted humans to fight or flee from a woolly mammoth now gets activated when you're nervous about a first date.
Long long ago, humans were probably more in tune to their fear circuits . . . because danger was a real, immediate thing with a very clear resolution. The whole process was much simpler—rustling in bushes . . . fear circuit activated . . . muscles ready. Then, after a quick check of the surroundings, our cave-dwelling ancestors would have either taken flight, gotten into a fight, or realized it was just the wind.
If it was the wind, the fear response immediately dissipated. Fear didn't linger . . . nor did it leave subtle traces of self-doubt. But somewhere along the timeline, things got a little blurry. Instead of real and immediate dangers, we have potential, imagined, and/or As-Seen-on-TV fears.
Because of our modern complexity, a bit of a disconnect happens from the source of your fear to your conscious mind . . . and end with the consequence of non-conscious fears.
Let’s connect those last two.
What are you missing out on because of fear?
Below is a list of some common fears, followed by their consequences. Take a quick skim and see if any of these applies to you. If you find one, ask yourself: Is your fear worth holding onto? If you want to be like other successful people, you must furst overcome your fears.
Fear of failure . . .
This is the fear that keeps you from even trying.
It also keeps you from learning the valuable lessons that are gained only from a failure.
Fear of success . . .
Hold onto this one, and no matter what you start, you’ll end up sabotaging your efforts.
Fear of looking foolish . . .
If you’ve ever met someone who seems like they’re just high on life, they probably ditched this fear a while ago. It keeps you from really putting yourself out there, and doing your best.
(Sometimes your “best” is kinda weird . . . but that can be a good thing!)
Fear of public speaking . . .
This one actually hurts others as much as it hurts you. That’s because it prevents people from seeing your passion, and your brilliance.
This fear’s responsible for the “wall” some people put up, to keep from getting too close.
Sort of ironic, right?
Fear of poverty . . .
Scarcity mindsets rarely have high returns. Worry about losing money, and your financial decisions will be clouded. Alternatively, you may subject yourself to “workaholism.”
What’s your opportunity cost if you spend all of your time scrounging for dough?
Fear of change . . .
Change is big and scary, at least as far as your brain is concerned.
But is it bigger and scarier than your life will be in 5 years, if you don’t change?
Fear of being judged . . .
Just like fear #3, this one keeps you from expressing yourself fully. Who cares if a few people roll their eyes and judge you, if a few more people are truly inspired by your uniqueness?
Fear of disappointment . . .
If you’ve ever failed at anything—business, relationships, whatever—you may be haunted by those memories.
When you flip a coin ten times, the first nine flips have nothing to do with the outcome of the last one.
If you failed in the past, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to keep failing.
Fear of being ashamed . . .
That’s one unpleasant emotion. We’ll do almost anything to avoid it, including sacrificing opportunities to shine.
What’s worse, being ashamed at one point or another, or never letting the world see your ideas?
Fear of being unloved . . .
Ouch. It hurts a little just thinking about this one. Social bonds are crucial for humans to survive, and especially cruical if you want to thrive. If you worry that people won’t love you, you may be more likely to stick to the ones who seem to—even if the relationship is unhealthy.
Did any of those fears resonate? (If not, congratulations! You are one shockingly fearless human.)
If so, we've created Innercises to help youtake control of your own brain. Our goal is for you to ditch the unwanted neural baggage, and replace it with patterns and habits that move you toward your biggest dreams.
Download a free 2-step Innercise on how to flip your fear off like it's a light switch!
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About The Author
NeuroGym Team: NeuroGym’s Team of experts consists of neuroscientists, researchers, and staff who are enthusiasts in their fields. The team is committed to making a difference in the lives of others by sharing the latest scientific findings to help you change your life by understanding and using the mindset, skill set and action set to change your brain.