How to Recognize your Fears and Deal With Them

Fear is the most prevalent factor that hinders people from taking the actions they need to take in order to succeed. Two of the most common fears among people all over the world are fear of failure and fear of success. Let’s examine those fears and see what you can do to eliminate them from your life.

What are the Common Fears?

Fear has a purpose, and the good type of fear is valuable to us because it serves us as a protective shield.  Healthy fear prevent us from harming ourselves.  However, uncontrolled fears, the one that are NOT serving us, but rather handicapping us, will prevent us from taking actions that would help us move forward to reach our goals. Fear can be so sneaky that it can also disguise itself in such ways that you won’t recognize it as fear.

So, what are the negative fears that don’t serve you? There are many, but here are the principal ones.

  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of success
  • Fear of being criticized
  • Fear of being alone
  • Fear of getting old
  • Fear of getting sick
  • Fear of losing someone
  • Fear of death

Just about any human being on this planet is suffering from one or more of such fears. In this article we are going to analyze two fears that are preventing you from succeeding which are fear of failure and fear of success.

None of us were born with the negative fears that we carry around. Those fears were learned. The good side of this is that what has been learned can be unlearned, so let’s see how.

When did our Fears come into Play?

If you’d watch babies between the 6 months to two years of age, there are not many things they are fearful of. As the baby starts walking, he courageously tries to stand on his two little legs and takes his first steps. Sure enough he falls to the ground and gets back up right away and tries walking again.

You, on the other hand, you are starting to get nervous and you want to help your baby by holding him or placing him in a baby walker. However, your baby wants none of that; he is crying and screaming to be let go to try on his own again. Have you ever wonder why is that? It’s because your baby has no fear. Only you do!

Why do Babies have no Fear?

Most of our fears, the ones that are not the natural protective fears, are learned as we grow up. Before your baby learns any of that stuff he has no reason to fear the natural process of learning how to walk; even if it’s going to cost him a few falls. Even if the baby scratches his knees or hands a bit in the process, he will still get up and try again as soon as he’s able to.

If babies had the same fears we carry around every day, they would never learn how to walk, would they?

The fear of falling, the fear of hurting ourselves, the fear of breaking a leg, the fear of scratching our skin, etc… would totally prevent us from learning how to walk. Therefore, we would put it off, somehow. We call this procrastination.

Where do our Fears Come From?

As I mentioned above, most of our fears are learned. You were not born with most of the fears that you carry around today. Our fears a learned from our parents, from the society we grew up and live in and other external factors.

Since most of those fears were embedded in our mind before we reached the age of 7 years old, no wonder that they are not only hard to extract from our mind, but in many cases even hard to even recognize at all. This is why the best and easiest way to find out what type of fears are affecting you is by watching your actions or the lack of it in regards to any specific situation.

How to Recognize the Fear of Failure and the Fear of Success

Two of the most prevalent fears that are responsible for people not succeeding in life are fear of failure and fear of success.

If people would only recognize that they have fear of failure or fear of success, they would be able to take the necessary steps to overcome them. However, when you are not even aware that you have such fears there is nothing you can or will do – it’s like having a disease but not having been diagnosed with it.

The first step to heal from anything is first knowing that you are being affected by it. So, how can you recognize that you have fear of failure or fear of success?

Fear of Failure

I personally know two very talented people for whom fear of failure was key in preventing them from achieving the success they would have had achieved if such fear had not been in the picture.

Fears of failure will show its ugly head by preventing you to start a new business, quite that job that you hate, or take the next step you need to take to increase your income. What the fear of failure does is bring to mind ONLY the possibly negative outcomes that may come up. You are like that baby that would never try to walk because all he sees are the falls and scratches.

Fear of Success

The fear of success is very similar to the fear of failure, except that it can be even sneakier. People who have fear of success are afraid to make people around them jealous and lose their friendships.  They are afraid of being criticized.  They are afraid of the unknown, and when you have never been successful, success is “unknown” to you.

The fear of success translates in having all kind of negative ideas about LOSS. Such loss, of course is totally imagined and made up in our own mind; it’s produced by the unhealthy fear of success.

How to Get Rid of Both Fear of Failure and Fear of Success

Do you remember when you used to tell your mother that there was a monster under your bed? You mother (or father) may have kneeled down and look under the bed and tell you, no, honey; there is nothing under the bed!

Basically, this is what you need to do with your fear of failure and fear of success once you have recognized that you have one or maybe even both of them.

Look in there and see if that monster is really there or if you are just making it up! Remember that whatever negative scenario you are imagining in your head is just that – a made up story that doesn’t even exist – A pure product of your imagination.

We are masters at imagine the worse. We do that all the time. The best remedy to stop creating bad images due to our fear of failure and success is called “decision”. Just make the decision that you won’t believe any of the negative stories that come up to you mind. Then, make the conscious “decision” to see ONLY positive outcome.

This may take some getting used to and practice, but if you persist, overtime, you will be able to eliminate your fear of failure and fear of success for good.


What are you thoughts on the subject?  Please, express yourself below in the comment section!


8 thoughts on “How to Recognize your Fears and Deal With Them”

  1. Sylviane, aloha. You are right on with your discussion of FEARS. One thing I have found that helps people is when I tell them that FEAR is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. That definitely puts it into a different perspective.

    Wishing you a terrific rest of the week. Until next time, aloha. Janet

    1. Hi Janet,

      How I love your acronym “False Evidence Appearing Real”. Isn’t it amazing the word fear has got just the right letters? Thanks for that! I love it 🙂

  2. Hey Sylviane,

    The reason fear lives amongst us is because we let it breed. The day we let it go, the day it disappears. There might be many kinds of fear but the basic reason I feel is that lack of confidence and feelings of strength leads to people feeling the fear. I feel I can’t do something, fear develops. But the core reason was my lack of belief in myself that I can do something, that I will overcome all challenges.

    There is just too much to be said about fear. But it is better left untouched! 🙂

    1. Hi Hajra,

      Yes, there are several reasons why people fear. A lot of them a subconscious. Unless one realizes that they have such fear they most likely will never be able to do anything about it and much less get rid of it.

      In my own case, for example, when I discovered my fears, then I was able to address them, one by one. It’s always better to talk about your fear if you want to get rid of them. Ignoring our fears won’t make them go away, because ignoring is not healing, it’s just ignoring.

      Thanks for coming by Hijra and giving your thoughts.

  3. What helps me deal with fear is recognizing when my FEAR is Forgetting Everything’s All Right, or False Evidence Appearing Real. Thinking of fear this way helps me gain perspective and realize I don’t have to believe everything I feel.

    Much of the time my fears aren’t likely to come true, and even when they do I find I’m able to handle the situation just fine. The actual outcome is never as challenging as my fear of it would lead me to believe.

    I also find it useful to remember than a positive outcome is just as likely as a negative one!

    Chrysta Bairre invites you to read..Be Happy. Give Yourself Permission To Be Who You Are.My Profile

  4. Informative post!

    All of us have fears of something or the other, and sometimes, no matter how hard we try those fears just refuse to go. Yes, they are always there for a particular reason or have been there since our childhood and take root as we grow older.

    I liked what you shared about the two types of fear, that of failure and of success, though mostly its the fear of failure that doesn’t let us succeed!

    But, we ourselves are the ones who have to remove those fears with will power, determination, and facing those fears bravely. I know for one that my elder daughter has a fear of the dark or the unknown- and when she fights it out as we try explaining that its a baseless fear, she does overcome it- though she needs that push to let go of her fear and move ahead.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Harleena Singh invites you to read..How to Move On and Get Over a Break UpMy Profile

    1. Hi Deimar,

      Yes, fear of criticism is a big one, but it’s not the only one. The biggest fear that I find in people is fear of failure, but there are many others of course.

      Thanks for passing by 🙂 You should get yourself an avatar 😉

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