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Are you being held back by fear?

Updated on June 30, 2014

Whay Are We Afraid?

What we don't know or understand we are by instinct afraid of and this can serve us very well. The positive side of fear of the unknown can protect us from physical and emotional harm but it can also hold us back and create upset...the key, as to everything in life, is balance.

Leading an unfulfilled life, being a wage slave, discrimination, hatred and even wars all stem from fear. The worst people in history used fear as a weapon and themselves were afraid of not have respect, power...ultimately they lacked significance and gained it in the most drastic ways.


Fear Held Me Back

Most people don't realise but fear rules most aspects of their lives. How do I look? What will they think? What if I'm late? What will happen? How can I get through this? I myself still struggle with the daily fear of failure and used this to self-sabotage myself when it came to making money. I kept myself busy but I wasn't productive...

Self Sabotage

I tried all-sorts! I spent most of my childhood developing my design skills and had a portfolio of (pretty okayish & some downright weird) cross stitch designs. I'd competed and won a couple of national competitions run by magazines and felt this was the way I should go.

I contacted a publisher, put together some little kits from materials my mum kindly invested in for me and took out an advert in one of the top cross-stitch magazines in the country. I got little response, sent of home-designed and printed brochures and I didn't sell a thing. Not a one!

So after a while I moved on. Over the years I tried logo design, knitting, web design, natural cosmetics, pixies and even tarot readings and I had the same pattern every time...spend ages on the setup, have a feeble attempt, move on to the next idea, all the time wondering why I was such a failure and couldn't get a break, not realising my lack of focus, confidence and determination were the only things stopping me, but then hindsight is a wonderful thing ;)

It all came down to fear. Every time it came to the crunch and I faced success or failure I backed off and started all over again. I was scared of the unknown and how to deal with whatever happened next whether good or bad.

What's the Worst That Could Happen?

To be truly happy, fulfilled and successful you have to be fearless! Most people have had hard times in their life and it's scary the thought of having in any way to relive those times, but the next time you feel things aren't going your way ask yourself 'What am I afraid of here?'.

Are you scared what people might think? Why? I'm sure they'll be the first ones to congratulate you when it works.

Are you scared of failing? Why? Is there any reason you couldn't start again? Who's to say you will fail anyway and imagine how wonderful the success will be!

Run through the worst and best case scenarios of the consequences of taking action- more often than not the best outweighs the worst and remember you're strong and have probably been through worse before and came out the other side. If you do make a mistake the biggest failure would be not to learn from it.


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    • Midlife Magic profile image

      Midlife Magic 5 years ago from Canada

      Funny I always revert to the worst case scenario. I need to have a plan to address that and then I can allow myself to dream about the best case.

    • LauraD093 profile image

      Laura Tykarski 5 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      Karen I just knew I wasn't alone:) Thank-you again for a hub that makes someone go hmm... please keep them coming I really like your style and your work.

    • KarenCreftor profile image

      Karen Creftor 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      Thanks for the vote and wonderful compliment Laura :D

      I can totally empathise with your story. I think it's particularly easy to be afraid of putting anything creative 'out there' as creative subjects are often pushed down the list of priorities in education and society and you're putting a part of your soul out there to be judged. That's why it's so important to do them for yourself~ if you are happy with what you create, don't let anything or anyone take that away from you.

      Whenever I feel the 'what if it goes wrong' monster raising it's ugly head I just remind myself...'what if it goes right?' which is far greater every time :D

      End of the day, how people react to your work or lifestyle even is their personal opinion. An opinion isn't right or wrong it just is what it is. It's my opinion that Aerosmith are a fantastic band, it doesn't make me a bad person if someone else can't stand them :P

      ~Kaz x

    • LauraD093 profile image

      Laura Tykarski 5 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      Karen-I voted this Hub up and interesting. It also really hit a nerve for me. I had so much fear of rejection and fear of consequence when a younger artist/writer. As I grew older I still seldom allowed my own true voice or opinions to have a voice without a cloak of amenity. I verbalized and was an activist for years but for some odd reason (taught never to leave a paper-trail?)and fear I always hesitated to put the face or identity of the writer (myself) out there. So went my 20's and 30's a frustrated closeted writer who published or tried to publish only under pseudonyms because of my unrealistic fears. I really enjoy your work as an artist and writer you are a risk taker-that is to be commended. Ty.

    • KarenCreftor profile image

      Karen Creftor 6 years ago from Kent, UK

      Thanks Pearl and Johnjfernando :)

      ~Kaz x

    • Johnjfernando profile image

      jkchandra 6 years ago

      Thanks for the hub. Really brings out the fear and makes me look at the inevitable with more pride.

    • Precious Pearl profile image

      Precious Pearl 6 years ago

      Wonderful Hub! One of my favorite scriptures says "For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind." Fear can only put us in bondage ... and I choose to be FREE! Thanks for sharing!

    • KarenCreftor profile image

      Karen Creftor 6 years ago from Kent, UK

      Wow what wonderful responses thanks everyone!! Really encouraging for a Hub newbie :D Oh and thanks for the welcome Cyndi10

      Mike, Love it!! I'm going to remember that one thanks. It's probably the same for everyone tbh, the worst things that have ever 'happened' to us have never actually happened lol

      Thanks for the linkage too much appreciated!

      ~Kaz x

    • profile image

      mikeq107 6 years ago

      Hi Karen :0)

      great hub on a topic that effects everyone one on the Globe...heard it described once as

      F FALSE




      I think for myself at 49 now I have learned to face many of my fears and learned to handle and keep moving when it shows up and belive me I can relate to the self sabotage..moving to this country was a big one and shortly planning to move to Maui..but for the record my worst fears have never come true...they were just false ev appearing

      Great hub!!!

      Mike :0)

      ps, voted up and shared with followers :0)

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 6 years ago from Georgia

      You're so right. If you are able to conquer those unwarranted, baseless fears, then you have a huge burden that you weren't even aware of lifted. That's real freedom when that happens. Thanks for posting this hub. Oh, and welcome.

    • KarenCreftor profile image

      Karen Creftor 6 years ago from Kent, UK

      Thanks for the wonderful comments :) I agree it's a very powerful emotion that rules most of us every day but so liberating if we can conquer it.

      ~Kaz x

    • philipuae profile image

      philipuae 6 years ago from Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

      Yes 100% true, I suffered the same predicament. There are fear of many things, only way to overcome it is to approach it with educated understanding and determination.

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 6 years ago from Oklahoma City

      You've touched on a powerful, limiting emotion that so many of us fall prey to within our lives.