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Don't Let These 7 Fears Prevent You From Pursuing What You Love

Don't Let These 7 Fears Prevent You From Pursuing What You Love

Admin | Oct 31, 2016 - 11:17 AM

Am I living up to my potential?

This question used to eat at me. I know so many people who continue to ask it of themselves.

My answer was ‘no’ because I was living someone else’s life. I was acting a part. Playing a role. Wearing a mask.

When the psychic pain was too much I elected to turn off a part of myself to numb the pain.

In honest moments I let it slip to others that I was concerned with whom I was becoming.

I was choosing to behave in ways others approve or accept when, deep down inside, I felt a yearning to deviate from the future immediately ahead of me.

Joseph Campbell said, “If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.”

Removing the mask is an act of defiance. It’s choosing to live the shit out of life.

The following fears are common reasons why people fail to make the all-important choice to follow their bliss.

1.         Fear of the unknown

The well-worn ruts in our lives keep us “on track.” Life is familiar and comfortable and because the inertia is strong, a concerted effort is required to halt the momentum and change directions.

“One is never afraid of the unknown,” Krishnamurti remarked. “One is afraid of the known coming to an end.”

2.         Fear of being labeled a failure

Repeated failures are the preparation for future success, and if you’re already having success in one field, you may not want to endure failure in another.

“Your biggest liability is your need to succeed, your need to always find yourself on the sweet side of the bell curve,” Conan O’Brien counseled graduates at the 2000 Harvard commencement. “Success is a lot like a bright white tuxedo. You feel terrific when you get it, but then you’re desperately afraid of getting it dirty, of spoiling it.”

Failure is a threat to the ego’s rigid identity, one attached to the label of success.

Moreover, failure is easier to dismiss when it’s related to an endeavor you aren’t deeply committed to. It’s much scarier to admit that you’re failing at the very thing your inner voice beckoned you to do.

Jim Carrey used his father’s example of what not to do to motivate his career in comedy:

My father could have been a great comedian but he didn’t believe that was possible for him. So he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant and when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job and our family had to do whatever we could to survive.

I learned many great lessons from my father. Not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.

3.         Fear of financial ruin

Money matters. It’s hard to stomach a loss in earning potential. It feels like you’re taking a step backwards. It means changing your lifestyle and paring back on what you used to have.

“Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness,”Benjamin Franklin observed. “The more of it one has the more one wants.”

When you forego a salary, not knowing where the next money is going to come from creates a heightened sense of insecurity.

This fear is compounded when you put your savings at risk to fund your work

John Wooden reminded us not to let “making a living prevent you from making a life.”

4.         Fear of seeming self-indulgent

Friends and family may give you flak for being ungrateful or selfish. Be content with what you have, they say.

But it’s only natural for you to want to take advantage of the position you’re in to stretch for more in life.

“Following your bliss is not self-indulgent, but vital,” Campbell explained. “Your whole physical system knows that this is the way to be alive in this world and the way to give to the world the very best that you have to offer.”

5.         Fear of loneliness

Sometimes it’s not failure that scares us; it’s success. You fear the isolation and loneliness that comes from no longer being a man of the people. So you sabotage yourself.

To dare to defy cultural expectations is to lose acceptance by others. Albert Einstein said, “It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.”

6.         Fear of responsibility and authority

I write about career and talent development in the new economy 

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Continued from page 1

4.         Fear of seeming self-indulgent

Friends and family may give you flak for being ungrateful or selfish. Be content with what you have, they say.

But it’s only natural for you to want to take advantage of the position you’re in to stretch for more in life.

“Following your bliss is not self-indulgent, but vital,” Campbell explained. “Your whole physical system knows that this is the way to be alive in this world and the way to give to the world the very best that you have to offer.”

5.         Fear of loneliness

Sometimes it’s not failure that scares us; it’s success. You fear the isolation and loneliness that comes from no longer being a man of the people. So you sabotage yourself.

To dare to defy cultural expectations is to lose acceptance by others. Albert Einstein said, “It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.”

6.         Fear of responsibility and authority

 Success has its burdens. The world expects you to use your gifts once recognized.

If you have an authority complex, you’ll struggle to be thrust into a position of superiority in the eyes of others.

Sigmund Freud believed, “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.”

7.         Fear of growth

Growth induces pain. The pain stems from the disintegration of the past. But the loss is necessary to make room for something else to grow in its place.

Frank Haronian presented the following idea at a conference in 1967:

The anxiety felt at the prospect of dissolution of one’s current mode of being has been related by some to the fear of final dissolution, of which human beings have the certain foreknowledge; since growth requires the breaking of old patterns, willingness ‘to die’ is a precondition of living… Excessive fear of death is often a correlate of the neurotic fear of growth and change.

It makes sense that in his Stanford address, Steve Jobs said he knew of no better tool for focusing the mind than death. He went on to encourage the graduates to use this tool to remind themselves that life is short:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.

To follow your heart means to grow and become the person you truly want to be.

 

Source From: http://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhansen/2016/10/30/dont-let-these-7-fears-prevent-you-from-pursuing-what-you-love/#474ab0885efc

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