The 9 Types of Fear
The great stoic philosopher Seneca once said, "We suffer more in our imagination than we do in reality."
He was referring to one simple thing. "FEAR."
False Evidence Appearing Real.The Self-inflicted emotion that has the power to control our lives and cripple our futures.
The truth is fear has plagued the human condition since inception, and it will continue to do so. No one is immune to this disease regardless of your genetics, background, or social status.
The real question lies in how long you will allow yourself to suffer from the death grip of fear? To be more specific, what fears are suffocating your potential and stealing your genius?
This article is about giving that fear a face. Understanding it's root. Marginalizing its power, and using fear to serve your life, not strangle it.
It's time to manipulate your relationship with fear. It's time you dance with your fears. Play with them. Spar with them. Even laugh at them from time to time. After all, in the grand scheme of life, they can even be a bit comical.
The more you test your fears, the more you understand that the majority of them are foolish. It's harsh but true.
After all, doesn't it sound a bit crazy to not express your gifts, because you are afraid that someone might criticize you? With words. Not actual weapons, just words.
Now, I am not about to act like I haven't suffered from the fear of humiliation. It's quite the opposite. It's taken me years to get over this fear. I still battle it to this day.
But in hindsight, I feel pretty ashamed that I used to not post things on Social media, because I was afraid of a little hate.
I mean what was really going to happen?
- Was I going to feel the physical pain from the arrows from these keyboard warriors?
- Was I going to be rushed to the ER for emergency surgery. A surgery that can alter the way I live my life?
- Was I going to die?
- Would my internal world fall apart simply because people didn't like my work?
NO. That is not what was going to happen. And it won't happen to you either. You can't let fear control your life unless you give it permission. Sadly, I had to learn that the hard way and refuse to learn that lesson again.
There were many moments when I let my imagination run so wild, that I thought that my world was going to crumble. Stacking these imaginary scenarios that destroyed my internal peace. I was creating a narrative that ended in peril. Those thoughts were delaying a life of success and fulfillment. I was designing a future of cowardice and mediocrity. And it all started with letting my fears run loose.
As you attempt to solve the puzzle of life there is usually one piece that is glaringly missing. Attacking your fears. Only you can place that final piece in that gaping hole to solve the puzzle of fulfillment.
Fear is what makes us heroic. You can't have courage without fear. You can't be heroic without being courageous.
Are you willing to take that walk? Making fear your compass. Choosing to walk through the bonfire of fear. Knowing that you get burned by the public, fall flat on your face, or even abandoned by the people you care about.
But success is always on the other side of fear. You can't go around, only through. Once you cross that threshold, the only thing left behind is the debris of your former self.
Fear is a master of seduction. It will charm you into thinking that you are doing perfectly fine when you are actually running from the things you need to do most.
You unconsciously suppress your deepest desires. Putting your dreams on hold because fear persuaded you into thinking that this is all that your life could become.
Don't believe the lie.
We are so amazing at masking our fears with the hardshell of ego and distraction. Manipulating ourselves like a cute young toddler fools their grandma into giving them anything they want.
We make excuses on why we can't do things, knowing that if the stakes really meant that much to us, we would get it done.
"In the end, the easiest person to fool is yourself. And fear is what makes you the fool."
As you skim through the 9 types of fear, I took the liberty to write a couple of mental cues on how to slay those fears. It is a slightly different perspective on how to approach these internal enemies.
The 9 Types of FEAR
1. Fear of failure
If you look throughout history, almost every high performer has failed more than they succeeded. They just have the uncanny ability to learn from their mistakes and adapt to new circumstances.
"Fail fast. Learn faster. Get better. That is the name of the game."
You have to fail your way to success. Failure is feedback. It forces you to make adjustments. Ultimately, taking you closer to your goal.
More importantly, you miss 100% of the shots that you don't take. We are all playing the game of life, you might as well shoot your shot instead of riding the pine. Criticizing others from the sideline.
2. Fear of rejection and humiliation
In your 20's, you care about what everyone thinks.
In your 30's you care about what your friends think.
In your 40's you stop caring about what anyone thinks.
In your 50's you realize that no one was thinking of you at all.
The most crippling words to a person's future is "What will they think about me?" That statement has forced people to live at only 60% of their capacity. Never let those 6 words own your life.
You will never meet a successful person who hasn't risked some form of humiliation, criticism, or hate.
As Jeff Bezos said, "If you aren't ready to be criticized or humiliated, then you can forget about doing anything interesting in this world."
3. Fear of commitment
Commitment breeds clarity. It breeds focus. Once you go "All in" on something or someone, the right outcomes will eventually shine through. And you can live with those results because you did everything you could to make it work.
Commitment is directly aligned with vulnerability. To me, you can't be completely happy unless you allow yourself to be vulnerable. Unless you put yourself in a position to be hurt. Joy and pain are just part of the game. You win some and you lose some. But make sure you never tie your self-worth to anything or anyone outside of yourself.
4. Fear of Change
People look at you and say 'you CHANGED' as if you worked that hard to stay the SAME. - Jay Z
There are 3 things that are guaranteed in life, death, taxes, and change.
A life without change is a life not lived. We were born to be challenged. To evolve as species. Neither of those things would happen if we didn't put ourselves in uncomfortable situations. Growth happens outside of your comfort zone. You should try living there more often.
If you want a different life, you need to do different things, and become a different person.
5. Fear of being alone
Solitude and Self-reliance breed strength. The strongest people are very comfortable with being completely alone.
In fact, few things more empowering than achieving something all on your own. Don't get me wrong, we all need help in this life, but there is a difference between asking for help when it's necessary and being codependent. You need to know the difference and most people don't.
Take full responsibility for where you are right now, and start changing your situation. Don't look for everyone to save you or guide you. Be your own angel. Be your own leader.
6. Fear of Pain
Pain equals power. To me, temporary pain leads me to long term power. I know for a fact that this pain will eventually fade. This too shall pass. And when it does, I will be better for it.
7. Fear of missing out
The only way to avoid the fear of missing out is to make sure that the activity you are missing it for is making you a better person.
Don't stress about missing a couple of parties if you know that you are building the life you deserve in the long term. Sometimes you have to pass up good opportunities for great ones.
8. Fear of the uncertain
If life was so predictable, where is the fun in that? There would be no spontaneity. There would be no surprises. There would be no moments where you could say, "I didn't see that coming. But I am glad it did." There would be no trigger events to lead you where you are supposed to be. What type of life is that?
Embrace all the chaos and uncertainty that life has to offer. Take it as it comes. Be like water. Let it flow. Let it crash. Let it pass. Just find a way to adapt.
9. Fear of Death
You should never fear death as long as you are doing everything you can to make your time on earth worthwhile. Keep serving others. Keep building your legacy. Lay your head on your pillow at night and know that you did your part. That you did the best you could in the last 24 hours. If you can embrace that type of mentality, death shouldn't scare you. Allowing life to pass you by, that should scare you to death.
One day, our time will come. And all we have to hang our hat on is our actions and your impact on the people around us. You won't get high marks for your intent. So, I suggest you start building a large volume of action and impact before your time is up.
Go to sleep with some peace that you left it all out on the floor.
Never allow a self-injected dose of fear to tranquilize your faith and paralyze your genius.
Recognize that you hold the syringe that has the power to build or destroy you.
Ask yourself what you are injecting through that needle? What will course through your veins? Courage or Fear? What shot do you need to take to create your greatest life? Are you even aware of what fears are cripping your potential?
In the end, your life starts and stops based on how you manipulate your relationship with fear.
Control your fears. Don't let them control you.