Do you have fear of love, fear of failure, fear of intimacy, fear of rejection, fear of fear, fear of people, or other fears that block or limit your success, relationships and happiness? Most people do. We all have fears in our conscious and/or subconscious minds.
Some of our fears are rational fears and others are irrational fears. Rational fears, such as fear of rattlesnakes, are healthy. They keep us safe. Irrational fears are the rational interpretation of the false stories we make up and then believe. It’s Make Stuff Up (MSU) learning (I’ve had others use a different "s" word).
Here’s an example of an irrational fear: An entrepreneur whom I’ll call Adriana, thought that if she held her employees accountable for what they were supposed to do, they wouldn’t like or respect her. After some executive coaching, she instituted accountability with her team. The result surprised her. She learned that when she held her people accountable, they actually liked and respected her more as a leader, and they performed at a higher level in their jobs. Her fear was irrational.
Irrational fears distort perception. When you think and act out of fear, everything is distorted. It’s like wearing glasses that are tinted red. When looking through red lenses, what you see and what you perceive are tinted red. It’s the same with fear. When you look through fear, everything seems scarier; irrational fears distort your thinking and perception.
What stories are you "MSUing" in your relationships? At work? In your family? Complete the exercise below to find out.
Exercise: Identify your fears.
Fill in the rest of these sentences with as much information as you choose:
- I can’t …
- I don’t because …
- I’m afraid …
Whatever follows "I can’t," "I don’t because," or "I’m afraid," likely reflects an irrational fear.
The five steps to overcome fear
What are the irrational fears in your professional life? What are they in your personal life? Let’s explore how you can begin to master your fears. Keep Reading...
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