How are our fears holding us back? When we think of what we want in life, we often think of the good and bad things that could happen. All of the ways that something could go wrong or we’re not good enough. Sometimes we can’t even begin to narrow down our feelings of fear or tangibly describe them, making it harder to deal with.

Luckily, Inc. magazine interviewed a psychotherapist on the top factors holding people back, and they were able to narrow people’s fears down to 10 categories:

  • Change
  • Loneliness
  • Failure
  • Rejection
  • Uncertainty
  • Something bad happening
  • Getting hurt
  • Being judged
  • Inadequacy
  • Loss of freedom

So, how do we understand those feelings and work through them in a healthy and productive way?

1. Reach Out

One of the things that we need to keep in mind is that we are not alone. The fact that someone was able to make a list of these fears means that they are far more common than we may think. If you are genuinely struggling with something that seems too big for you to handle on your own, reach out for help. You are not an island, and there is nothing wrong with asking for help.

2.   Identifying Your Fears

There are a few things that you can do on your own to get started. Identifying what is holding you back is the first step in helping yourself move forward. Write down your biggest fears, outline why they are bothering you, and be as specific as you can. Breaking things down into smaller chunks helps you understand and find solutions. Making all of the problems you are dealing with a lot more manageable.

For instance, if you are scared of change, why? What may have caused this fear? What specific types of change are you afraid of , such as moving, meeting new people, starting a new career etc? Again, try to be as transparent as you possibly can.

3.   Finding Solutions

Once you have done this, try to find solutions. You may not be able to find answers right away, and don’t force yourself if you can’t think of anything. While writing down your fears, a few solutions may have already started to pop into your head. Write those down and make sure that your answers are actionable. Take as many baby steps as you need to, as fully overcoming your fears will not come quickly or with excessive force.
Choosing the safe option and letting fear decide your path will only hold you back in attaining your success.

You are far stronger than you think

“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.”

– Hellen Keller