What Fear Really Means

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“Fears holding you back: fear of rejection, fear of ruin, fear of regret, fear of responsibility,” Brendon Burchard.  The common ground for all these fears (aside from starting with “R”) is they are based in ego.  They look at how we are impacted personally from perceived failure.  They look narrowly at the consequences on the big picture if you don’t pursue what you are meant to.  Rejection triggers the idea that we aren’t good enough.  Ruin triggers failure.  Regret triggers the what if and the 20/20 hindsight.  And Responsibility scares the crap out of all of us because, consequences. 

The way I look at is this: Rejection means you went out on a limb and you didn’t engage the right people or it wasn’t the time—or you just needed a few tweaks.  It doesn’t mean you’re idea isn’t needed—it might not be the right crowd you pitched to.  And if the rejection is based solely on other people’s opinions, we know what they can do with those anyway 😊.  Ruin can happen if we don’t plan carefully—but more often than not this isn’t the case.  We feel like a failure if our idea doesn’t come up to speed within our timeframe or exactly as we expected it to.  This is more about patience and projecting our fears than about what is actually happening. Sit with what is rather than what we think it is. Learning to slow down and make moves from a place of authenticity will guide you right 100% of the time.  Also learning a calculated risk keeps your head above water so you have room for failure.  Stop looking to eat the whole pie and learn to take small bites.  It still tastes as sweet and we don’t get sick after.

The last two are a bit more complicated.  Regret is about shifting the perspective.  If we had known better we would have done better—but now we do so we must move forward doing better.  We can’t expect to get everything right 100% of the time so we have to learn to accept what happened as a lesson.  Slowing down to move correctly leaves little room for regret because you’re on target.  Regret can also be about missed chances so learn to jump when it feels right.  It is harder to forgive ourselves for the chances we let go than for the opportunities we took and had to learn from.  So move. 

And the big one: the fear of responsibility comes from our society’s need to blame.  We have been taught to push and deny our role in anything that happens to us.  We are conditioned into victimhood, led to believe from the time we enter school that we aren’t supposed to have a say in our lives and how they look.  You need to follow the program or you won’t succeed.  That those who aren’t following the prescribed steps are either lazy or crazy.  We are taught and forced to take responsibility for the actions of others so we learn to control things and responsibility becomes too great a burden to carry.  But if we were taught personal responsibility we would see that we are no longer victims and that it is necessary to put the accountability where it lies—on ourselves.  We would see how powerful we really are and how little other people’s opinions matter.  It’s easier to control people following the same course—it’s more difficult to keep people in line when they are doing something they know is right for them.     

I want to make a side note that none of this is to say these fears aren’t tied to small portions of something real.  If we are ruined then we may not have enough means to try again or we may lose what we have built for our family.  But for me, even that is a shift in perspective because we are taught those fears as well.  If we lose a status symbol is it really a loss or an inconvenience?  The things we are taught to value really don’t matter at the end of the day: making a life that matters is what’s important.  Having it all isn’t really a focus anymore.  Now people want to be able to move.  They want freedom, connection, and time with family.  So what’s really holding you back?  Because if it’s something on this list, let it go.  Don’t let your fears stop you from moving. 

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