Criticism. Failure. Success. Rejection. Uncertainty. These are the types of fears we are facing as we attempt to make changes in our lives — which end up feel more like rough endings than fresh starts. Each change we make in life demands a heartfelt goodbye to what’s familiar. As I began new chapters and transitions throughout my own journey, I’ve realized that it’s natural for us to feel fear of the unknown as we move forward – but embracing progress involves being brave enough to let go of something old so our futures remain wide open with possibilities.
When something shakes up our lives, it can be an exciting opportunity for a new beginning. Whether it’s the end of one relationship and start of another, newfound motivation to prioritize health after an illness or loss of job that signals a career change – every shake-up offers potential growth if we’re brave enough to take on what lies ahead.
Some of these shake-ups are good things. For example, you might watch a
motivational video and feel inspired to make a change in your life. More often
than not, though, these changes tend to have a more negative connotation, like
that time you stepped on the bathroom scale and came to the conclusion it was
time to change your eating habits completely. Let’s face it. Sometimes you’re not
on board, even when deep down you know it’s the best decision for you.
Every day is a chance for personal growth and evolution, and I urge you not to be intimidated by change. Every new start brings the potential to tackle problems head on and make an incredible difference in life – no matter how intimidating it may feel! Don’t let fear or doubt hold you back from achieving all that you are capable of – keep striving towards greatness!
Facing fears can be frightening, and if we allow fear to consume us it will have a detrimental effect on our mental and physical well-being. Anxiety, depression, fatigue and even pain may start appearing in various forms as stress levels rise. Let’s not let these feelings take hold of us; instead let’s create lasting change by proactively embracing new beginnings with an optimism that helps foster good health overall!
The 8 Worst Fears That Hold Us Back
So, let’s begin dismantling these fears by identifying them. What are we so afraid of when it comes to making a fresh start? Here are the eight worst fears that tend to hold us back from realizing our potential:
Fear of the Unknown
Have you ever been held back from seeking a fresh start in life due to doubts and questions? Many of us can get stuck wondering what lies ahead — will it be worth the challenge or is there something better out there that we haven’t discovered yet. See if these questions have popped into your head before:
- What is going to happen next?
- What if I don’t like the change?
- What if the new way isn’t better than the old way?
- What if I am unsure what to do next?
- What will happen if I a make a poor decision?
- What if all of this is a terrible mistake?
Notice a trend here?
When we’re unclear on what the outcome is going to be, our imagination has a tendency to imagine the worst. We become more pessimistic, or even worse, we begin to doubt ourselves and our ability to make the change at all. It’s no
wonder fear derails us completely!
Fear of Rejection or Abandonment
There’s not a person alive who likes rejection. The thought that people in your life, especially friends and family, might not accept or understand the new journey you’re on, or worse, become critical of what you’re trying to do can feel terrifying.
Why? Simply put, rejection is a separation from the other person. It means a loss
of their presence, respect or good opinion of you. At its worst, rejection can break the relationship completely, removing the other person from your life entirely. Fear
of abandonment on any level is a core fear and is generally one of the first we
learn in life.
Fear of Disappointment
Whether it involves your circumstances or looks inward and focuses back on you, disappointment sets in when things don’t turn out the way we planned. When we step out on a new adventure, often, we have an idealized vision of what we
hope to accomplish or become. When this perspective doesn’t hold up, it’s normal to experience deep feelings of disappointment over the outcome. As human beings, our imperfections often result in unforeseen results. We can’t expect ourselves to be perfect or accurately predict what lies ahead – but that’s OK! Embracing these truths means we’re ready for whatever comes next and open to the opportunities life has yet to offer us.
Disappointment comes in many forms, but none are as hard-hitting than when we let ourselves down. When the goals that once seemed so achievable suddenly become unreachable or our actions take us further away from where we want to end up – those moments can seem insurmountable and it’s easy to lose hope fast. Disappointment can be a harsh teacher – it teaches us our own limits and shows us where we may have gone wrong. But there is no reason to fear this — these failures don’t define who we are unless we let them. Failing forward allows us to learn lessons and shows the strength of our resilience, rather than an inability to succeed.
Instead of dreading the worst case outcome and letting doubt creep in, we must remember that sometimes when our paths diverge from what we originally planned for ourselves – something even better lies ahead if we take a leap with an open-mind!
Fear of Loneliness
Deciding on a new direction in life can feel like a lonely endeavor since we often embark on these journeys alone. Taking the plunge into self-improvement can be daunting, and this feeling of isolation can become even more challenging when you come face-to-face with your fears. This journey could take many forms–whether it’s overcoming anxieties or tackling a new project–but it’s important to understand that you don’t have to go through this process alone. Reaching out for support from friends, family and other resources helps make facing fears much less intimidating. With their help and guidance, you can start your adventure with confidence.
Take, for example, the individual who decided one day to give up smoking. Because most smokers tend to hang around with other people who smoke, it can
be difficult to embark on this new journey if you keep to your old habits, and yes,
your old friends. You find yourself separating yourself from other smokers not to
be tempted. Now you’re not just losing what had been a satisfying habit, but an
entire social network made up of fellow smokers.
This kind of loneliness can be difficult to deal with, especially when it is caused by a major change or decision. Moving to a new place, separating from a partner, setting boundaries, or making the decision to distance ourselves from negative relationships can all cause us to feel isolated and alone. This fear of being alone often intensifies because we may feel like more people are being pushed away than are actually close to us.
Fear of Leaving Your Comfort Zone
We are all creatures of habit who gravitate toward routine very easily. In part, this
is because we take a lot of comfort in knowing what comes next. Surprises are
Fresh starts mean trying new things and abandoning those routines, at least in
part. This uncertainty is what leads to fear. We don’t know what comes next as
we form our new routines. We no longer have a roadmap for our day. This break
from old routines doesn’t mean we aren’t creating new routines that will soon
feel comfortable. But in the now, as you’re starting, this can feel pretty
Fear of Losing Your Status
Whether you realize it or not, there’s always a risk in changing, even for the
better. For some, this might include the risk of status, whether real or only in
one’s imagination. For example, say the fresh start you’re engaged in involves not
losing your temper quite so easily. To you, this gives an immediate benefit of
lowering stress, blood pressure and making you more likable to those around you.
But to some, this new, quiet demeanor might be seen as a loss of authority. To
someone who works under you at work and is used to your noise and bluster,
they might even exhibit their attitude toward the ‘new’ you by not listening to the
instructions you give.
As with many of these other fears, we need to realize a lot of these fears are ones
of our own making. We’re guessing what other people are doing or thinking. Even
in the example given here, what you might be seeing as a loss in status can just as
easily be the co-worker’s reaction to having a bad day, or even in just not hearing
or understanding the instructions thoroughly.
This isn’t to say your fear is irrational, though. Sometimes the fresh starts we
make will impact how other people see us. Your fear might be perfectly valid, at
least to some extent.
Fear of Success
This fear is one people don’t often think about until they’re experiencing it
themselves, and even then, they tend to be surprised when they realize what’s
going on. At the same time, the fear of success is quite common.
While we might not think of success as a problem when it comes to a fresh start,
it can represent a new and unfamiliar status quo. This new feeling alone is reason
enough for many to find success worrying. Success also brings a wealth of other
- What if this success is only temporary after all?
- What if I can’t do it again?
- What if this success was just a fluke, an accident, or luck?
- What are people’s expectations of me going to be if I succeed?
- Does success mean my life has to change?
- Will people treat me differently if I succeed?
- Will I have new responsibilities if I succeed?
Fear of Criticism
Last we hit on a fear so common you’ll find it cropping up in many walks of life: the fear of being criticized for what we have chosen for our lives.
The way the world sees us can impact us more deeply than we might realize.
Unfortunately, we learn this young in our elementary school days. When we are
children, being unusual in any way is an open invitation to teasing and even
bullying. We quickly learn to avoid bad interactions with our peers. We learn to be
aware of their opinions of us. Sadly, this toxic mindset consistently sets us up for failure as we constantly check ourselves to keep from standing out.
The problem is, when you’re embracing a fresh start, people are generally going
to notice. This fresh start is a new you being formed after all! As with the fear of a
change of status, we can’t help but be aware of what those around us might say
or do when they realize we’re neck-deep in a New Beginning.
Choosing a Courageous Outlook
What if instead of feeling terrified anytime someone brings up making a fresh new start, you instead felt excited and couldn’t wait to get started? This feeling is the joy that comes from embracing your potential, and it’s an amazing feeling!
So, what do you do when things look a little scary when embarking on your new journey? We can take a few key steps to help ensure success.
The first thing you’ll need is to get a firm grip on any fear you might be
experiencing. This is about control, plain and simple. Take time to notice what
you’re so afraid of, and don’t hesitate when it comes to probing to find out just
what’s at the heart of this fear.
At the same time, you’re going to have to come to terms with the idea that you
can’t control what other people are going to think or do. Think about it this way:
- Some People Will Hate the New You
Fine. Not everyone will be on board, especially if this new you is somehow impacting them directly. Think about the recovering alcoholic who won’t spend time with their old drinking buddies anymore. The drinking buddies might not be keen on this change, even though their friend is clearly making the correct decision. If this is the case, ignore these folks. They’re certainly not friends, and they don’t have your best interests at heart. Focus on being the best version of yourself …for yourself!
- Some People Won’t Notice or Understand
These are your neutral folks. Generally, this group is made up of people you don’t know well. If this is the case, what are you worrying about what they think? If they’re not thinking anything about you, you’re only wasting your time thinking about them.
- Some People Will be Supportive
These people are the best possible group. People who genuinely love and care for you want to see you at your best. These are your tribe, your cheerleaders, and your ardent supporters. Embrace what these folks have to say.
Live fearlessly. Fresh starts, as scary as they might seem sometimes, often turn
out amazing. In fact, rather than getting caught up in a fear cycle every time
you’re facing a life change, consider this: what if you embraced this
opportunity for positive change instead?
Facing Fears With Intention
We have acknowledged our fears, taken charge of them, and released ourselves from relying on other people to help us through our new challenges. So now what?
Facing fears with courageous intention is an important step in personal growth and development. When we actively choose to act bravely and confront our fears, we open ourselves up to the possibilities that exist beyond our comfort zone. By choosing courage over fear, we can gain invaluable insight and experience that will help us become stronger, more confident individuals. It’s only by taking bold action that we will push through the constraints that hold us back from achieving our potential.
Here a few ways you can choose courageous action while facing fears:
Grab What’s Good
Facing fears of letting go can be addressed by taking a few moments to reflect on and appreciate all the positive experiences that came before.
Choose an Action
The key to facing fears around the direction you’re taking and clarity of action is to take small steps and not get so caught up in worrying about the perfect start that you never start at all.
Focus on the Now
Don’t get so worried about where you’ve been or where you’re going that you
stall out completely. Facing fears by staying present and not getting overly concerned with the past or future can help you move forward.
Take Frequent Breaks
Facing fears is an important part of succeeding, but it’s important to balance enthusiasm with structured breaks and rest in order to keep up positive energy and avoid fatigue or burnout.
Exploring Your Emotions
As you begin a new chapter in your life, it is important to recognize and express the range of emotions (including fear) that come with change. Don’t hold back these feelings; instead, take some time to talk about them or write them out to gain perspective.
Do Something You Haven’t Before
Facing fears and embracing new beginnings through exciting actions, such as learning new skills and discovering things about yourself, can help you maximize the potential of a new start.
Notice the Nuances
Although it can be daunting to take on a new challenge, facing fears and paying attention to the details of what you have already accomplished will help you identify the small victories that add up to a successful fresh start.
No matter how daunting confronting your fears may be, it is important to recognize that new beginnings always involve aspects unfamiliar to you and acknowledge your limits in order to make sure you are doing things correctly; thus, never be afraid to ask questions or swallow your pride when necessary.
Do you have gaps in your knowledge? Facing our fears can be daunting, but new beginnings provide us with the opportunity to identify our knowledge gaps and fill them with education, mentors, classes, books, or videos to help us gain the knowledge we need.
Facing fears is a challenging but rewarding journey, and it begins with a new beginning. Writing down goals, milestones, and emotions will help to create a record of progress that can be revisited during discouraging days as a reminder that hard times can be faced and overcome.
Share the Journey
Various studies have proved goals are more likely to be reached when those goals
have been shared with someone else. Facing fears can be made easier by sharing your goals with a trusted confidant, because doing so holds you accountable and gives you the support of someone who cares about your journey, making it a win-win situation.
Facing fears is essential if you are going to experience personal growth and evolution; to do this, common sense tells us we must prioritize our health and well-being. Exercise daily, make healthy food choices, get enough sleep and stay hydrated – these simple steps will ensure that your energy and enthusiasm remain strong.
In conclusion, recognizing and facing fears is important in order to make a fresh start and realize your potential. By taking the time to identify and confront your deepest fears, you can move past them and begin creating the life that you truly want. With determination, courage, and a little bit of self-compassion, you can take the necessary steps to create lasting change in your life. With these powerful tools at your disposal, you can make a fresh start and open yourself up to new possibilities.
So, the next time you feel fear creeping in, choose courage and see where it takes you! Live outrageously and make life an adventure!