Fears, Phobias, and Failures – why most people don’t get what they want
As an extremely powerful emotion, fear can have a significant impact on an your personal performance, goal attainment, self-confidence, self-image, earning ability, and a multitude of other things.
When you are afraid of something, you experience a combination of physical, emotional, and mental trauma that can severely impair your ability to perform at your best, or at all.
Fear can sap you of your confidence and will. Fear obviously increases your stress levels, and can put you into a negative mindset. Of course all or any blows to you physically, emotionally, or mentally will inhibit your ability to achieve your goals. However, and all too often, personal issues will throw us off track and what has, and is working is disregarded in favor of things that are seemingly less painful, or fear producing.
Phobias are often disregarded as insignificant. Yet, a phobia can be as major as fearing a deadly outcome, or just a minor distraction.
Either way, the cost is, at the very least, efficiency and time, not to mention the added stress that you didn’t need.
One of the most significant ways that fear can impair your efforts, and performance, is through a lack of confidence.
Fear can cause you to doubt your abilities, and second-guess your decisions, leading to a lack of confidence in yourself. This lack of confidence can then translate into your performance decline as you may not believe you are still capable of achieving your goal(s).
For example, if you are a student who is afraid of failing an important test, you may become too anxious to concentrate during times when you are studying for your test, thereby leading to possibly poorer test performance. In this case, fear can directly impact your ability to study effectively, and may ultimately contribute to your test anxiety, and poorer grades.
Additionally, fear can increase stress levels, which can impair personal performance. When individuals are afraid of flunking out of school, your body will release stress hormones that can cause physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, and muscle tension. These physical symptoms can make it difficult for you to focus on your tasks, which in turn can lead to your decreased performance, and further hinder your ability to study and raise your grades.
Another example is if an athlete who is afraid of losing a competition, you may become so stressed that you are unable to perform your best. In this scenario, fear directly impacts your ability to give your best showing.
Finally, fear can create a negative mindset, which will often impair your personal performance. When you are afraid, you may focus on the potential negative outcomes of what you do rather than focusing on the potential positive outcomes. If you cannot defeat this negative mindset, it can further lead to a lack of motivation and will inevitably turn into a lack of effort, again causing poor performance, and poor results.
As an employee, if you are afraid of making a mistake in your work, you may become so fixated on avoiding further mistakes that you fail to take the risks, or make the innovations necessary to show the initiative looked for to be promoted. Once again, this can lead to decreased performance and self-confidence.
If you are in management, then you likely have deadlines, meetings, and presentations that your job requires. These can often be stressful – especially if your preparation is in doubt.
Handling stress may often seem like a prerequisite for your job.
When you are under stress, it is usually due to being insecure about yourself and your ability to get things done not only on time, but also how well you do the projects.
Certainly, fear can have a significant impact on your personal and business performance. Your ability to achieve goals and further your achievement efforts are directly related to how you handle your fears.
Summing things up.
=> Undermine your self-confidence
=> Increase your stress levels
=> Cause you to develop a negative mindset
=> Reduce your productivity and progress
=> Reduce your chances of achieving your goals
All of which can obviously hinder your ability to perform at your highest levels.
By recognizing and addressing your fears, you will not only better understand what causes your fears, but managing and eliminating your fears will increase your efficiency and self-confidence.
As people in business, it is important to manage how we think. How we think translates to what we do. What we do is how we run our business, and our lives.
Your life – your business – your decisions. What personal fears are you willing to face?
P.S. Here is an informative listing of many of the various phobias out there.
This is likely not an exhaustive list of all phobias, as I would bet that by
the time you started reading this post, until now, someone has come
up with another phobia or two.
Here is the link to the list. It is really interesting to find out what people fear.
Get your phobias here.