Your Top 10 Fears: Why You Should Face All of Them

Many of us live in fear all through the day. This fear may be intense or it may be very mild, but it is always there.

Now that is startling isn’t it? I can almost hear you – say “I don’t do that!”

Well OK, here are some questions then:

1) Have you ever felt very uncomfortable with a stranger or avoided talking to a stranger? Do you generally prefer to interact a lot with people you KNOW and avoid people you don’t know? That is fear, if you’ll be honest with yourself and admit it.

2) Have you ever actively hidden something from your friend, spouse or a person you are intimate with? That is fear.

3) Have you ever lied to your boss about why you want a day off or closed a chat window when he/she was nearby? That is fear.

4) If you were thrust in front of 100 unknown people right now and asked to make an impromptu speech, what would you feel? Fear?

5) Do you have any secrets which noone knows about? What would you feel if you saw them on your Facebook wall tomorrow? Fear?

Overall, most of us lead reasonably good lives. Life goes on. We wake up, work, relax, spend time with dear ones, sleep… But if we really, really look closely at our life – there are so many fears, going on in repeat cycles.

For many years, I had just these fears, in fact even more. One day, however, I decided to do something different – I decided to face EVERY single thing I was afraid of. This simple act of not succumbing to my real fears but facing them, changed my life.

Afraid of the boss

Even after facing fears like this one, using this fear facing technique and conducting a fear experiment, there are still many fears I have to face. But I have realized one simple thing: your life improves 10 fold (if not more) when you start FACING fear instead of avoiding it.

Here are 5 reasons, why you should make a list of your top 10 fears and face them all right away.

1) A World Full of Possibilities and POWER

During the first year of college, I was a complete introvert. I was afraid of interacting with strangers. I kept to myself and to a limited group of friends. I did not participate in any group activitiy because I was afraid to venture out and do bold things. There were days when I would just stay in my room and do nothing.

In my third year, I decided enough was enough. I went ahead and introduced myself to many other college students. I was afraid of dancing and so I made sure I was the FIRST person to dance during the Lohri celebrations. I was afraid of public speaking so I made sure I anchored 5 events that year in front of an audience > 100 in number. I co-convened a festival, headed the cultural section of my department, was the internship coordinator…

I am sharing all this to point out that all that I did in my 3rd year of college was IMPOSSIBLE for the Meghashyam in the first year of college. Then, how did I do it? How did these new possibilities and worlds open up for me? Simple – I committed to myself that this year I would do WHATEVER I was afraid of. I am not talking about physical fears here but social ones – the ones that are completely in our heads. MY simple commitment to face my fears, made me realize how much of an impact I could have and what I could achieve.

What about your life? What are your desires today that you are stopping yourself from pursuing because you are afraid? Everyone is afraid. But facing your fear makes the fear vanish and makes you realize just HOW powerful you are. Just after anchoring an event, I remember thinking: Who could say that the guy who anchored a national level quiz was someone who was afraid to come out of his room some time ago?

Do you want to start a new business? Ask your boss for a raise? Approach a girl you like and tell her you love her? Interact more with people around you? Quit your job and figure out what you want to do in life? Admit the truth to yourself and then face your fear. I am telling you with my deepest conviction – nothing will happen. The world will still go on. In fact, you will be filled with a WORLD of wonderful possibilities you never knew existed.

Treat facing your fear as a fun act – an experiment to see what will happen if you move beyond your fears. And then face them.

Here’s a quote:

“The difference between great men and cowards is not the fear they encounter, but how they deal with it.” – Jashobeam

2) Love and Respect For Yourself

 When you start facing your fears, you will suddenly start feeling a lot of love and respect for yourself. I know everyone talks about loving yourself and such things but I want to ask you a question, “Deep down, who do you think you are? Do you think you are AMAZING? Or do you think you are NOTHING at all, a fool?” You need not admit the truth to anyone else but you can atleast admit it to yourself.

Well, when you face your fears and rise above them – it is very interesting but true – you start feeling deep within that you are actually AMAZING. You automatically start feeling this without even the need for any affirmations or belief-change thingies. The reason is that when you face something you are afraid of doing, you realize – “I am really cool. I am greater than my fears. I am amazing.” And this statement comes from deep within.

Why not try facing ONE fear today and find out if this is true? You may shiver, you may feel like this is the end of the world. But if you do face your fear, it’ll be all worth it.

Facing your fears is vital
Source: Photobucket

3) Discovering Your Uniqueness

Let us say you meet someone you DO NOT want to meet at party or a gathering. If, instead of being afraid and avoiding this person, you go ahead and meet him consciously, you will feel amazing. And you will also feel that you are a unique and beautiful person. If you keep your Facebook or email window open when your boss is behind you, and if you smile and talk to your boss WITHOUT minimizing any windows, you will feel that you are unique and superb. If NOONE knows about it and you YOURSELF go and tell your wife or a loved one a truth about you that will make her detest you, you will percieve yourself as a unique and beautiful person.

Being true to yourself makes you a unique human being who has his own power while succumbing to your fears makes you that person in the crowd who has nothing to call his own. Which one are you? You will start discovering the amazing traits that only YOU have once you start conquering your fears. You may even start exclaiming when you are alone “Wow. I’m uniquely amazing!”

4) An Exciting, NOT-Boring Day

When you start facing your fears instead of avoiding them, you can NOT have boring days. If someone asks you – “How are you?”, you will never reply “just the usual stuff, nothing else”, if you are used to conquering your fears. Life will bring up new and exciting challenges each day – each of which will help you grow, learn, and feel amazing about yourself.

Should you tell your wife/girlfriend/loved one the truth or avoid it? Should you talk to your boss about your future and a raise or postpone it? Should you start your own business or postpone those thoughts? Should you take the initiative and stop the fight going on before you on the road or deny that it is happening?

When you commit to facing your fears, everyday becomes interesting. Try facing just one minor fear today and notice your emotional state after you’ve done that. You’ll see what I am talking about.

5) Fear Vanishes!

Here’s an interesting fact: whatever you do now, however you behave now, you ENCOURAGE that behaviour in the future. So, when you face just one fear consciously, doing so immediately reduces the impact of other similar fears many, many times! It makes a lot of other fears that you might have felt earlier, vanish! For example, if you open a social networking site in front of your boss despite feeling afraid, you might lose the fear of asking for a raise! Or, if you address 50 people spontaneously, you might lose the fear of initiating conversations with strangers apart from the fear of speaking in public.

The decision to face JUST one fear out of your top 10 fears will change your attitutde towards fears and that will quash so many other fears too. Your life will suddenly become easier and more relaxed.

Isn’t It Difficult to Face Your Top 10 Fears?

Now while we may agree that facing anything you are afraid of is a great way to live more happily, to realize your potential, expand your world etc., is it not very, very difficult to face your fears?

It is.

It is very difficult UNTIL you decide to feel the fear and do it anyway. But once, just once – if you can feel really afraid, feel like the world is ending, that you are almost dying, and STILL take action and face your fear, you will get it. You will feel more powerful than ever. And that “first fear triumph” will then pave the way for many, many future triumphs.

It can be done. Conquering your fears will be exciting. And it will be worth the effort.

It’s OK to Have Fears…

While I may have appeared to talk like “Mr. Perfect who has faced all his fears” in this article, the truth is that I still have so many fears to face myself! All of us have them and will have them as long as we live, only the level of those fears will keep increasing like the levels of a game.

Just to give you an idea, here are some of the fears that made it to my own top 10 fears list in the last year or two:

  • The fear of telling my parents about the girl I loved
  • The fear of telling my friends certain truths about how I was feeling
  • The fear of dancing in public
  • The fear of quitting my job
  • The fear of sharing some facts about myself that I was ashamed to share with my wife
  • The fear of logging into Facebook when my boss was behind me (during the time when I used to work in an office).
  • The fear of being labelled a loser by my in-laws or some other people I know
  • The fear of talking to some relatives of mine who I thought would criticize my marriage and career plans very much

I have faced most of these ‘top 10 fears list’ toppers today and feel much more powerful than before. But the point is: none of us is perfect. Yet, going in the direction of conquering your fears is much better and more satisfying than succumbing to fear.

What are your top 10 fears right now? Which real fear can you face today? You can start small and slowly proceed towards bigger fears if that feels easier.

In any case, all the best with facing and conquering your fears!