3 Fears That May Be Holding You Back

3 Fears That May Be Holding You Back from Reaching Your Potential

Does fear hold you back from pursuing things in your life and career?

If this sounds familiar to you, don’t worry because you’re not alone. Most people have some fear or the other at different times: fear of heights, fear of water, fear of flying; you name it, there are so many different types of fears that can keep us from experiencing life in its full measure. While these fears impact our lives sometimes, there are some fears that have a bigger, more profound, impact both on our personal as well as professional lives. They are more subtle in nature but actually keep us from realizing our true potential and capabilities.

People are often afraid of taking risks and keep themselves ‘frozen’ typically because of the following three types of fears:

Fear of Unknown. This type of fear arises because of lack of familiarity. You are not acquainted with the ‘unknown’ be it a location or a variable and because of that you stop yourself from attempting new things. For example, you are afraid of travelling or relocating to a new destination so you pass up on a job transfer or looking for a new job even when you know that it will be good for your career and overall life. Unknown variables cause the basis of this type of fear.

Fear of Change. Change is uncomfortable for many and one would rather choose to stay in the familiar even though it may be unhealthy or ‘bad’, because of the fear that if they introduce change they are not sure what that will mean. For example, people would rather choose to stay in unhappy jobs or certain positions because they don’t know if they will find another position. They are familiar and comfortable being where they are and they don’t know what change will bring, so they’d rather not rock the boat, if you will. Therefore because of their fear, they pass up on potential opportunities to grow, evolve and move forward.

Fear of Failure. Fearing the worst outcome that you won’t be successful if you took a certain action keeps many paralyzed. Say you want to start a business and this is your first time, you could be afraid of whether you will succeed — or not. If you are starting a new course in school and have made a significant investment, you could worry what if you aren’t successful? What will others say if you did do something and it didn’t work out?

If you find yourself immobilized due to the above fears and want to change your situation, the first thing is to become aware of your situation. What kinds of fear hold you back? How do they hold you back? What kind of choices do you make because of your fears? How are they impacting your career, and for that matter, your entire life? Recognizing that fears are not rational most of the time, they are simply a state of mind, will help in moving past them.

And finally, recognizing that change and movement is part of growth and expansion in life as well as your career will help you get the courage to embrace your future. Staying still, not taking opportunities because of your fears is robbing you of success and fulfillment that you so deserve.

Ruchira Agrawal is CEO of a communications company, an author and personal development coach.