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The Greatest Limiting Fears that People have

Updated on April 19, 2012

Fear! We always have it. Fact is, there is always somebody somewhere who is afraid of something at any given point in time. Sometimes our fears could serve as a natural way of protecting us from hidden or unseen dangers even as the world we live in continues to grow more and more dangerous and the things and people we are afraid of continues to multiply but if the truth must be told, sometimes our fears are completely baseless or unfounded.

In this piece, I will attempt to mention some of those fears which always have a way of working against us even though at the first examination, they might seem to be justified or sensible.

I call them the greatest limiting fears that [most] people do have.

Fear of what people will think or say

This is the strongest and the worst of them all. This type of fear is responsible for many people not being able to do exactly what they want to do because they are so afraid of what others might say or think about them.

We are always afraid of how others will judge us. We don’t want to embarrass anybody most especially ourselves. We are afraid that people will think us to be insane if we really voice our opinion.

We don’t want or like to be castigated, chastised, stigmatized nor criticized. Forget about it, criticism no matter how constructively it might appear to be, is just enough to make friends go separate ways and just enough to create an enemy for life for one.

Many of us are socially conditioned conformists and as such we don’t want to be seen as being “different” and any person who tries to break free will face a very big uphill task in the form of tough criticism, verbal abuse, extreme vitriol and of course, unwholesome caricature…

Worst still, we are so comfortable with the status quo.

But there is a big problem in there because by instilling conformity without any reasonable reason will only rob us off that very necessary individuality that is needed to make us complete as humanity.

It will be important to mention that the people who we fear the most are not the politicians or the government or even the military guys with all those their sophisticated weapons.

No way! As far as I am concerned, those guys could continue living in their high mansions, who the hell cares?!

The people we fear the most are our close family members and friends who we do not want to judge or see us in another light because we don’t want them to be hurt, disturbed, disappointed and/or upset by our new self and that’s because we already know that the fear of being neglected, lonely or not loved by those people so close to us can only be better imagined than felt…

Fear of the unknown

Often times, when I hear people utter this misleading or misguiding statement that the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t know and I am like what the f*** is that supposed to mean?!

Since when did the devil become better than the angel? Ain’t that ridiculous?

But then, I know what the fear of the unknown can do to us as people. The unknown is always confusing and mysterious and we are used to wanting things to be as they are because any small shift in perspective will require us to start learning and adapting, something we don’t so much fancy doing even though we are always calling for change…

But let me ask this question. Have we forgotten that all scientific breakthroughs and discoveries started from people wanting to go “beyond”; people wanting to discover the possibilities that lie latent in forays hitherto unknown? Have we forgotten so soon that we are always in the battle of trying to improve ourselves and this can only be done by trying to go over there? How can we forget that the unknown is only mysterious because we want it to be so by the choices we make?

But I still try to understand them all the same because I know that it is the fear of trying new things, fear of confronting our doubts, fear of discovering that what we thought was true and real is not so, fear of discovering that the people who we really thought loved us didn’t, fear of discovering that our spouses are unfaithful, fear of discovering that we are so much in love with something we thought was so bad, in fact, the fear of discovering what good and bad deeds we are capable of.

So to play it by the ear, we simply remind ourselves and every other person concerned not to go there…

…out of fear of the unknown!

Fear of failing

Fear of failing can be such terrible limiting fears if care is not taken in that it has the capacity of making one not to even try thus forcing us to resort to all forms of ridiculous excuses because it is like the world is watching out for you to fail.

It has a terrible way of imprinting on someone’s mind the destabilizing idea that cynicism is the order of the day and the only good news is bad news.

This fear of failing can easily become a type of limiting fear whereby it discourages us from even attempting to try something new all together simply because we think we already know that it is always wise and better to avoid ending up being a laughing stock amongst folks in our society as a result of our embarrassing failures…

I will also like to admit that fear of failing can also have its good side because I have heard and read about some people who said that the fear of failing is what has kept them at the top or what is keeping them going and I can only say keep it up to them.

But while doing that, it will be important to remind us that this fear of failing can also be responsible for people resorting to all sorts of cheating, manipulations, and wickedness just to be at the top and they justify it by saying it is a cold world out there where dogs eat dogs!

Fear of succeeding

It might sound funny but people are also afraid of succeeding. Why do you think most people will always vote for mediocrity over excellence or brilliance?

It is simply because most of us already know that the greatest “problem” with achieving success is not in the achieving itself. It is more or less the question of retaining or maintaining that very successful height so attained that is the problem.

Agreed, sometimes success can be also daunting as it requires a lot of personal effort, hard work, commitment and denials on our own part which is not so easy for many people.

So what then is the best thing to be done in that case? Why don’t you just leave things as they were after all don’t you know that we all are not meant to be successful?

You see what I'm saying?

Fear Of Starting All Over Again

Of all types of fear I have mentioned, this very one is most likely the worst! Oh yes because in the eyes of any conscious security-minded individual, the fear of starting all over again is the beginning of wisdom, so to speak.

Many people are stuck in different areas in their lives, in their relationships or marriages that are literally dead, in the different activities that give them no pleasure or joy, in their jobs that seem to suck the life out of them, in cities that they hate to wake up in every morning, in various business that seems to lead them nowhere, in various academic pursuits that they will never even wish their worst enemies…

Yes. People are in these types of situations not because they don’t know what to do but because they are afraid of doing what they already know they should do – starting all over!

We cannot handle the trouble, the pains, the disappointment, the confusion and the drama that we already feel is going to come from making such decisions most especially after coming such a long way to reach where we are.

This is quite understandable when viewed from the angle of rationality in reasoning but then when you look at it closely and you really want to call it what it is; you will find out that it is still fear!

It is this type of fear that prevents us coming to the quick realization that sometimes the easiest things to do to take back control of our lives appears to be the hardest thing which is to start all over again!


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      You make very good points. This hub is worth reading.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Good information and very true.

    • Mellonyy profile image


      6 years ago

      Very good point of view! I think fear of failure is is a phobia and many phobias are related to performance anxiety. Thanks for sharing!

    • Emmyboy profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Nigeria

      Thank you so much Yoginjoy for saying that. People need to be liberated from the terrible shackles of fear!

    • yoginijoy profile image


      6 years ago from Mid-Atlantic, USA

      I love this hub! I always say there are only two underlying forces for every action/decision: fear or love. I try to act from love! It is hard though to live in a world where there is so much fear. How can we liberate others from being so afraid?

    • Emmyboy profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Nigeria

      You are welcome.

    • jxb7076 profile image

      James Brown 

      6 years ago from United States of America

      Great insight - thanks for sharing.


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