5 Fears You Might Not Realize Are Holding You Back (And What To Do)

By Melissa Chu

May 4, 2016   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

workwork“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” – C. Joybell C.

Isn’t it interesting how we all want to be successful, but when the opportunity comes, many of us shy away? Mentally, we tell ourselves we can’t do something, while conflicting pressures from others make it easy to give up. What were once perceptions about fear can quickly become reality. So, see if any of the following reasons keep you from pursuing your dreams and facing them head-on. When you do, you’ll realize that you were stronger than you ever believed.

1. You might end up successful beyond what you imagined possible.

Fear of success is just as relevant as a fear of failure. It’s important to acknowledge the discomfort you feel as part of the process, rather than ignore it. Recognizing that you feel uncomfortable, nervous or anxious about growth is a strong first step to finding a way to manage it. When I first launched my blog, I felt excited, energetic and nervous all at the same time. I was worried partially because of the fear of failing, but also because I was afraid of what would happen if I was successful. We find ourselves planning so far ahead in our minds that it paralyzes us from taking any action. Instead of focusing on what we can do now, we worry about something we don’t have control over. A better method would be to focus on today, because that’s all we have. Fight the fires that need to be put down today. Recognize the potential worries that may come up in the future, but don’t put energy into something you can’t fix right now.

2. People will judge what you choose to do.

In life, there will be people who don’t celebrate your successes. Some people will be envious of your progress, while others might be genuinely concerned about your well-being. It’s tempting to get worn down by what others say, think or feel. They can erode who you are and what you stand for. If you let them, you’ll end up choosing to do what others want out of you, rather than yourself. You can’t stop anyone from forming opinions about you. It might hurt in the beginning, but things will get better. As you walk on your own journey, you’ll come to realize that how people feel is usually a reflection of themselves, not you.

3. You just can’t let go of things.

Letting go is something we all need to do in our lives. It doesn’t mean forgetting a memory or pretending something didn’t happen. It’s about appreciating something for what it is, whether it’s a past relationship, or where you used to live. At the same time, you know what’s right for you in the present. While something or someone who was good for you in the past, they might not be what you need now. In truth, letting go is liberating. It frees us of our burdens, the past and unnecessary worries. When you let go, you simply carry the knowledge that you can choose to shape your present and future.

4. You won’t fit in with your peers.

The people we interact with on a daily basis define what we see as the norm. If you do something unusual from what your friends and family are used to, it’s going to feel strange, even if no one calls you out on it. Whatever your peers decide to do, it’s going to make an impact on you. Instead of trying to fit in somewhere you don’t want to be, create a new norm. Spend more time with people whose goals and dreams align with your own. Many communities and groups exist for like-minded people to share, grow and inspire one another. If you spend time with those who choose to build each other up, you’ll find that fitting in will help you become your best self.

5. You’re afraid of being by yourself.

Success can be lonely, because most people aren’t prepared to do the hard work needed to achieve something. The struggles you face along the way can be isolating as fewer people understand what you are going through. As a result, it’s easy to assume that your problems are unique. The good news is: they’re not. Every problem you’ve ever faced has been encountered and dealt with by someone in the past. Other people have been through your situation. The details might take a slightly different form or shape, but overall, your problems are probably similar to someone else’s. You’re not as alone as you think. At every stage in your life and progression, there are people who have been through what you’re facing and found a way to push past their difficulties. Remember, if someone else can do it, you can find a way out, too.

What to Do Now

What’s something that you want to achieve but haven’t found the courage yet? I’m still discovering new things when it comes to making changes in life, but I hope that my research can help you. I spend every day analyzing and writing about the art of success and building good habits.


Melissa Chu

Melissa Chu shares ideas on living better and making an impact. You can grab the guide on how to set and achieve your goals.

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