Of course, there’s your usual list of phobias. Snakes (ick), heights, spiders, clowns, enclosed spaces…
Then there’s the list of frightening experiences that happen to most of us just because we’re alive. Losing someone we love, public speaking, root canals, being seen naked or half-dressed...
Then there’s an even more frightening list: the list of deep-seated fears that keep us from doing things that are good for us. Maybe we’ve been traumatized in the past. Maybe we’re naturally anxious. Maybe our brains aren’t very good at handling new experiences. But we’re still afraid, even (or especially) when we believe the end result will bring us happiness.
Here are a few reasons some of us might be scared to reach for our dreams:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of conflict
- Fear of trying something new
- Fear of social disapproval
- Fear of hard work/sacrifice (hey, this is very real!)
- Fear of not feeling capable
- Fear of being proven incompetent/ ignorant/ less than talented/ stupid
- Fear of losing other things that matter as a result of pursuing our dreams
- Fear of disappointing others
- Fear of being mediocre
- Fear of the possibility of embarrassment
- Fear of making a sacrifice for nothing
- Fear of feeling less important
- Fear of being perceived as selfish or morally deficient
- Fear that the dream isn’t the right one or that you won’t like it once you get there
- Fear of success
And just because you’re dying to know, I’ll tell you some that hold me back: fear of mediocrity and fear of making a sacrifice of time or money that turns out to be for nothing. Plus, you know, grown-up people are scary. For me, baby steps are helpful in convincing me that I can take bigger steps down the road.
Do you find your dreams frightening? If so, how do you overcome that fear?