The Three Fears

Jun 21, 2023

The Three Fears

Have you ever felt that electrifying rush of inspiration and crystal-clear clarity? That moment when you know exactly what you want and can vividly envision your path to success. But then, as you contemplate the practical steps to take, you find yourself ensnared in a repetitive cycle of inertia, unsure of how to move forward maybe even neglecting or moving on from that moment entirely.

In his insightful book "High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way" (2017), author Brendon Burchard delves into the common fears that hold us back from pursuing what we want. Drawing from his expertise, we explore these fears and discover strategies to overcome them, embracing the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy. By identifying and acknowledging these fears, we gain a deeper understanding of their impact on our lives and realize that they are not menacing threats, but rather manifestations of our own anxieties.

Let's delve into the three common fears together and uncover the transformative strategies to transcend them, inspired by the wisdom shared in Burchard's book.

 

  • The Fear of Loss

When we set out to achieve something, we often focus on what we might lose in the process. Stepping out of our comfort zones and venturing into unfamiliar territory can trigger feelings of uncertainty and apprehension. We often develop attachments to our current circumstances, whether it's a stable job, a comfortable routine, or established relationships. These attachments create a sense of familiarity and security, making it difficult to envision a future where we no longer have those elements. Humans also have a tendency to value avoiding losses more than acquiring gains. This cognitive bias, known as loss aversion, influences our decision-making process. We are more sensitive to potential losses and tend to overestimate their negative impact compared to the potential gains. As a result, we may focus more on what we stand to lose rather than the potential rewards of pursuing our goals. For example, when considering a career change or promotion, the fear of leaving behind the stability, security, and familiarity of our current job can be overwhelming, despite the potential for personal growth and fulfillment.

Awareness of our tendency loss aversion, can help us to flip the script and ask ourselves: What can I gain? 

In the context of a promotion, the possibilities are exciting. You can acquire new skills, experience heightened job satisfaction, and even enjoy a boost in earning potential. By shifting our focus towards potential gains rather than fixating on what we might leave behind, we cultivate a positive and optimistic mindset that propels us forward toward our goals. So, take a leap of faith and embrace the possibilities that lie ahead, for the rewards of your efforts may far outweigh the perceived losses.

 

  • Fear of the Process

When faced with the work required to achieve our goals, it is common for fears and apprehensions to arise. The idea of putting in effort and committing time can feel overwhelming, causing us to question our capabilities and whether we possess the necessary qualities to succeed. We may find ourselves wondering if we have enough energy, skills, or resources to make meaningful strides forward. Additionally, past experiences of failure or setbacks can instill a fear of repeating those disappointments, while the pursuit of perfection can become paralyzing.

The fear of the process often arises from our inherent desire for instant gratification and our inclination to avoid discomfort and challenges. In a world that promotes quick success and immediate results, we can develop unrealistic expectations and impatience. Our brains naturally seek comfort and efficiency, preferring the path of least resistance. This makes the idea of investing time and effort, and potentially sacrificing other aspects of our lives, overwhelming. Stepping outside of our comfort zones can trigger feelings of vulnerability and uncertainty, which our brains instinctively avoid. 

However, it's crucial to understand that great accomplishments rarely come without effort. Instant gratification may provide temporary satisfaction, but it often leads to shallow learning, a lack of resilience, and a sense of unfulfillment in the long run. On the other hand, the process of working hard at something cultivates discipline, determination, and perseverance, which are vital traits for long-term success. So how do we overcome this innate fear?

Instead of dreading the effort and time required to achieve our goals, we can shift our perspective and find ways to make the journey enjoyable. When pursuing a goal, such as writing a book, we can explore different strategies and techniques that bring excitement and inspiration to the process. We can seek out books, workshops, or online communities that provide guidance and support, connecting with fellow writers who share our passion. By embracing the challenges and celebrating the small victories along the way, we can transform the journey into a fulfilling and rewarding experience. So, instead of fearing the work ahead, let's embrace it as an opportunity for growth, learning, and personal fulfillment. By finding joy in the process, you'll be more likely to stick with it and reach your goal.

 

  • Fear of the Outcome

The fear of the outcome, which often stems from a lack of confidence or a fear of disappointment, can have a profound impact on our pursuit of goals. When we put ourselves out there, whether it's applying for a job or pitching a business idea, we expose ourselves to the possibility of rejection or failure. This vulnerability can trigger a range of emotions, from anxiety and self-doubt to a fear of judgment and criticism.

One reason for this fear is the attachment we may have to specific outcomes. We invest our time, energy, and hopes into our endeavors, and the thought of not achieving the desired result can be disheartening. We fear that failure will validate our doubts about our abilities or potential, leading to a blow to our self-esteem. The fear of disappointment can be particularly strong if we have experienced setbacks or rejections in the past, as those memories can resurface and amplify our apprehension.

Additionally, societal expectations and pressures play a role in fueling the fear of the outcome. We live in a world that often celebrates and rewards success while downplaying or stigmatizing failure. This cultural narrative can create an aversion to taking risks and facing potential setbacks, as we fear being seen as inadequate or unsuccessful in the eyes of others.

Overcoming the fear of the outcome requires cultivating self-confidence and resilience. It involves recognizing that failure and rejection are part of the learning process and not reflective of our worth as individuals. Embracing a growth mindset allows us to view setbacks as opportunities for growth and improvement. Building self-esteem through acknowledging our strengths and accomplishments can help counterbalance the fear of disappointment.

But instead of fearing the outcome, ask yourself:

  • What if the outcome is the best possible result?
  • What if it's even better than I could hope for or imagine?
  • What if I learn invaluable lessons that set me up for success in the future?

By embracing the possibility of positive, unexpected results and personal growth, we tap into a mindset of abundance and possibility. We let go of the fear of disappointment and embrace the potential for transformative outcomes. This mindset shift cultivates a sense of confidence and resilience that propels us forward, even in the face of uncertainty.

Get ready for something incredible coming your way at FiiT4GROWTH. It's your chance to conquer your fears and embrace transformative change. Keep your eyes peeled for updates - subscribe to our mailing list to make sure you don't miss out.

 


Burchard, B, 2017, High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way. pp 255 - 288. 

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