Spiders, heights, snakes, enclosed spaces, birds, outside, clowns, commitment, bugs, dentists, sharks, public speaking, flying. Ask people what their greatest fear is and most of them will say one of these things or something very similar. And they would be wrong.
Oh sure, they may be afraid of these things but they aren’t necessarily their greatest fear. These things may just be their most socially acceptable fear. Their real greatest fear is usually at a deeper level. It is may be so deeply hidden they haven’t admitted it to themself. But their fear drives their behaviour and it is the symptoms of the fear that you can see in their actions, decisions and hear in their speech.
The reasons we don’t like to share these deeper fears with people is that we have almost no control over when we are going to be faced with them. We can hide from clowns or dentists, refuse to get on planes or speak in public. We can do everything possible to live as far away from snakes and sharks as possible. But we can’t hide from people and from life.
So what are these fears I talk about? They are things like
loss of security
These are things that people and life can throw at you at any moment, particularly at your most vulnerable moments. Sometimes these fears mask themselves and present as other things like
being a high achiever
being a door mat
pushing others away
The good news is simply that once you identify your real greatest fear, and the ways it presents itself in your life, you’ve taken the biggest step. After that it is up to you if, when and how you want to take hold of some courage and address your fears. In admitting your fear, it looses some of its control and power. You can let your fear drive you or you can choose when you use it and when you ignore or fight it. It’s your choice.
My greatest fear is failure. What’s yours? Is it one of these? (Go on vote, it’s totally anonomous).
Question: Do you agree with me? Write your thoughts below.
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