Fear is that nattering voice inside our heads that says, "you can’t, you shouldn’t, what if…." Fear keeps us from taking risks that might enrich our life and career or holds us back from doing some things we need to do. Fear can stand between you and achieving your dreams
This isn’t to say that fear is all bad. At its best it’s an instinctive, natural ability to help us survive, however many fears are literally in the mind.
So what are we really afraid of ?
Dr Karl Albrecht did some work on classifying the types of fears we all experience and what may trigger it:
- Fear of Extinction.
Triggers: The dark, flying, heights, fatal diseases. Consider the panicky feeling we get if we look over the edge of a tall building. I know I recognize this one as I have a fear of heights and can get the wobbly legs!
2. Fear of Mutilation or Bodily Invasion.
The fear of losing a part of our body, having our body’s boundaries invaded, or of losing a natural function. Feeling physically unsafe or under attack.
Triggers: Anxieties about creepy crawlies (spiders or snakes), animals like dogs or sharks or any animal you consider harmful. Everyday anxieties about crowds, needles, germs, surgical procedures or going to the dentist can all come under this one.
3. Fear of Loss of Autonomy.
The fear of being restricted, confined, trapped, suffocated. As Dr. Albrecht puts it “the fear of being immobilized, paralyzed, restricted, overwhelmed, entrapped, imprisoned, smothered, or otherwise controlled by circumstances beyond our control.”. This can be whether in a physical or emotional sense.
Triggers: Commitment, poverty, debilitating illness, aging. Any situations where we feel helpless or powerless. (work , home, relationships). As a leader and employee - this one happens frequently in our workplaces during times of change and uncertainty.
4. Fear of Separation, Abandonment or Rejection.
The fear of abandonment or rejection – we humans have a strong need to belong. Dr. Albrecht refers to a “loss of connectedness; of becoming a non-person—not wanted, respected, or valued by anyone else.” which literally threatens our wellbeing and survival.
Triggers: A relationship ending ie, divorce, death of a loved one, loss of friendship/colleagues. This type of fear can also be triggered when a relationship deepens and we experience more vulnerability – so a fear of intimacy. Giving a difficult employee message, introducing a changes or a major disruption to the team, or type of work we do can trigger this.
5. Fear of Humiliation, Shame or Worthlessness.
We all need to feel lovable, worthy of love and of value in the world order to have healthy relationships with others and with ourselves. Shame or embarrassment can be an excruciating feeling and something many of us will go great lengths to avoid. It can leave us feeling physically sick, or flush or in extremes give us stabbing pains, we want to disappear. When we are shamed and humiliated it can threaten or destroy our belief in our worth, our lovability and our value in the world.
Triggers: Failure, criticism, bullying, victimisation, mistakes, public speaking.
Making that presentation to people at work, not achieving work objectives, being unable to perform new tasks or requirements, feeling unsure how to manage a particular situation with a team member can trigger this fear.
Here’s the surprising fact – 99% of what we worry about never happens, according to Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. “There’s a voice inside our heads that’s always heralding doom and disaster even before we get started on something,” she says.
Yet despite this – we allow FEAR to stop us moving forward towards our dreams and goals
- What are you afraid of as a Leader?
- What is your FEAR stopping you from achieving as a Leader?
Aspire HR Ltd offers Training programmes, Workshops, Personality profiling and Coaching to support new and experienced Leaders be successful in leading their teams to perform at their best. Contact us to enquire about how we can help you.