Fear is tricky. It can sneak up on you and take over certain areas of your life. The worst part is that you don’t even recognize how much it’s ruining your life.
But you can’t let fear string you along. It will suck out your courage, hope, and determination.
We’ve rounded up 5 signs to help you determine whether fear is stopping you. We’ll also give you some tips on how to stop it from taking over your life.
1. You let people’s reactions affect your decisions
When we want to be accepted by our peers, we allow their thoughts to fester in our subconscious. They start controlling how we think, act, talk, and behave. This isn’t how normal life should be because you’re constantly running defense.
The way out of this continuous defense scenario is to renew your conviction. Stop gauging your actions by how people will react.
Instead, focus on what you want to do and why. Setting up realistic goals makes things more tangible and easier to attain. Only then will you be able to beat out your fear of rejection.
2. You keep your opinions to yourself
Just as the fear of rejection holds you back, fear of criticism is just as powerful. It can impact your actions and your decision.
When you’re always hesitant in your conversations, that means you’re always afraid of what you may say. That can lead to negative results at your workplace and at home. People may get the feeling you’re holding out on them or that you’re being deceptive.
One way to stop this vicious cycle is by renewing your determination and courage. Take some time to tell yourself that everyone deals with fear.
It’s those people who don’t let it get in their way that ultimately reaches a state of peace-of-mind in the end. It’s not that they’re braver than everyone else. It’s that they respect their ideas enough to have them be heard by others.
3. You hold off trying new things
Sometimes the fear of failing at something overtakes our emotions. It makes you reluctant to get involved in challenging work projects.
The worst part is that most times, you don’t recognize it as fear. It can show up as procrastination, self-sabotage, or even full-blown anxiety attacks.
When we’re crippled with this type of fear, we tend to use negative statements that undermine our abilities. We tell ourselves things like, “I’m not good enough to part of that team” or “I’ll never be as good as they are.”
These kinds of statements further reduce our self-esteem, not to mention our faith in our abilities.
You’ve probably heard how some people write motivational messages to boost their confidence. While it may sound too good to be true, it does work.
Try it for yourself. Hang up one or two on your bathroom mirror or fridge. Seeing those positive messages day in and day out will slowly start to have a positive effect on you. You’ll begin to trust yourself more and enjoy a more positive self-image than ever before.
4. You avoid doing the right thing
We put too much emphasis on peer pressure. In many circumstances, it can almost make us almost sell our souls for fear of suffering potential backlash.
It could be that you don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, or you simply want to be accepted by those around you. So, what do you do when you have to choose between right and wrong? Nothing.
You become someone who forgets their principles. It’s the ultimate fear of any retaliation or repercussions that may come as a result of your actions.
The way to remedy this is to make a conscious decision to stand up for what’s right. Find the courage you need by allowing yourself to sit with your fear for a few minutes.
You can even write down what your fear entails on a piece of paper, then tear it up or burn it. Once you see your fears going up in flames, you can let them go and move on.
5. You settle
You settle in your job, you settle in your relationship, settle in your health. That feeling you get that tells you this is as good as it gets is wrong. That’s fear of rejection taking over your life and running the show.
Settling isn’t being realistic, and it doesn’t do anyone any good. It kills off that beacon of hope that fills us with life and creativity.
Another way we avoid this type of fear is by micromanaging everything. We feel we need to be in control of everything all the time.
The way to remedy settling is to take risks. Even if it’s only small risks, it’ll do you a world of wonder. It’s time to leave the sidelines where it’s safer and step into the game where you belong. Stop worrying about disappointing people, and start dreaming of a brighter, more exciting tomorrow.
Different Types of Fears Holding You Back
Fear is always skulking in the background. Here’s a list of the types of fear that hit all of us in our lives at one time or another. The important thing to remember is that you’re not alone in your fear.
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of making a mistake
- Fear of criticism
- Fear of failure
- Fear of abandonment
- Fear of not being popular
Overcoming Your Fears
This article isn’t meant to scare you — just the opposite. Take it as a friendly wake-up call to give you hope and inspiration.
Below are some helpful tips. Use them to help transform fear from something that holds you back in life to something that boosts your courage and drives you forward.
- Question your values
- Have faith in yourself
- Practice mindfulness
- Keep a journal
- Realize that you’re not alone