Thought Catalog
August 26, 2014

10 Fears Everyone Has And How To Conquer Them

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What is the issue?
I’ve been thinking lately about how often my thoughts are dominated by worry. Will I have enough money? What will happen to my kids? Will I be successful? Will I get sick and die? I wonder why this is the case. Do you do this as well? Do you ruin your present by fearing your future? Why are we constantly unsettled and consumed with worry? Because the purveyors of fear are everywhere. We are surrounded by fear because fear sells. We have a voracious appetite for it. And we don’t just consume fear, we are driven by fear, motivated by fear. What if you operated on a higher plane? What if you lived a life based on positive potential rather than loss avoidance? What would happen if you chose to dictate your own course rather than have your course charted for you? One way to start would be to take inventory of your fears. If you break them down one by one you will see how irrational they are. What are you worried about? I’ll dip into my vast inventory of fear and get us started.

1. Money.

Of course you worry about money. Everyone worries about money. If you are able to read this, you have enough money. Is it as much as you want? It never is. It never will be. I have a “love/hate” relationship with money. I hate how much I love it. But it’s not the money. Money is just a piece of paper. More than likely it is some numbers on a screen. This fear is directly related to the significance we give money. How do we value money? By tying it directly to our self worth. If we didn’t attach so much significance to it, we wouldn’t worry about it. It would simply be a conduit. A means to an end. You have plenty of money. Believe me, there are those with much less who are happy. You just don’t have a proper perspective. You know who sits around and counts their money? Scrooge McDuck and Soulja Boy. Not you. A) You’re not a rapper or a cartoon character. B) You have a life to lead. As the saying goes: If your problems can be solved with money, you don’t have any problems.

2. Foreigners.

If you are holding a sign in protest of refugees (especially children) there’s very little I can say to you. This is America for God’s sake. We were built on embracing a stranger, not on xenophobia. When someone needs help, we help. We don’t hide behind some fear based contrivance. Fuck the politics and the cost and the so called “long term consequences” and open your heart, even if just a little. You’ll be surprised at what you learn about others…and yourself.

3. Death and Disease.

You’re not really afraid of dying. You’re afraid you’re not living the life you’re supposed to live. When you live the life you are excited about, you’ll be too busy to think about anything but living.

4. The future.

There’s no such thing. You already know this. It’s illusory. Unfortunately you ignore what you already know because it’s too seductive. It offers the hope of something better than what you have right now. But what you have right now–right this very second–is magic. Look around yourself. If you’re reading this you have freedom to think, to spend your time as you see fit, to be leisurely. So why are you planning for the future? There’s only this moment. And at its very core, it’s great.

5. Not finding love.

I’m about to reveal to you the sure fire way to find true love. Love yourself first. If you don’t love the person you are, no one else will either. Once you feel good and confident about who you are, you will be a magnet for others. I’m not talking about arrogance or conceit. Start with acceptance, grow to like, build to love. Then offer yourself to others. Reach out. And another thing: Life is not a popularity contest. You don’t need a thousand friends. One or two really good ones will suffice. Make the first move.

6. Not finding your passion.

Screw finding it. The fun is in searching for it. I’m 50 and I still don’t know what I want to do with my life.

7. Commitment and failure.

Commitment is an important part of your legacy. You can’t build anything of value without it. The corollary fear is failure. But you can’t go into anything with the belief that you’ll fail. You don’t plan for failure. You plan for success. Nothing great was ever built planning for failure or from a belief that you’ll let someone else down. That’s cowardice. That’s not fear. Of course, I can’t help you if you have no spine. There’s a difference. At least be honest about it.

8. Rejection.

The bad news: Most people won’t like you. The good news: It probably will have little to do with you or your ideas. So the people who you care about who openly reject you? They’re not worth it. Invest in people who invest in you. There may be just one or two, and for periods of time it may be only you but that’s enough.

9. Religion/God.

If your religion scares you, you’re doing it wrong. If your religion makes you scared of God or other people or other religions, you’ve chosen the wrong religion. Just because your religious beliefs dismiss, or even condemn, the deeply held convictions of others does not mean that those others are evil. When you lie awake at night with worry, your spiritual beliefs should bring you comfort and peace of mind, not guilt and self hatred.

10. Bears.

Of course you should be afraid of bears. Don’t be a dumb shit.

Start slowly. You don’t have to be fearless. Just fear less. Either your worry will consume you or confronting your worry will. TC mark

Find more uplifting advice in Tim Hoch’s latest ebook here.

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