1. What other people think of us – This one is at the forefront. We have our social media pages with our meticulously constructed images of our “lives”. We need to be dressed in the latest fashion or drive the nicest vehicles. This “keeping up with the Jones’s” mentality is detrimental to true happiness. It seems that in this day and age many of us spend the majority of our time doing things for the approval of others rather than the fulfillment of our own wishes. We are scared to death to fall flat on our face in front of a crowd. I’ve got some news for you. If you don’t have any haters whatsoever, then you’re nobody. It’s natural for some people not to like you. Get over it.
2. Going broke – If you start a new business venture, there is a distinct possibility that you will lose your money. However, in the western society we live in, it’s nearly impossible for you to actually starve to death if you lose everything. If you go bankrupt, chances are you’re not going to die. Donald Trump went into multiple billions of dollars worth of debt, and subsequently dug himself out of that hole. He ended up richer than he was previously. If he was tough enough to recover from such an ordeal, what do you think you are capable of withstanding?
3. Failing – This correlates to number two but it deals with more than just money. I blame the education system partly for this phenomenon. We were raised to fear failure. If we did not reach a certain mark in class, we were subject to scorn and ridicule. This fear extended into our own households where the people who we may love the most (our parents) might scold us for not living up to certain standards. Our upbringing is literally a process of conditioning us to fear coming up short. As cliché as it may sound you can overcome failure, and as long as you’re alive you can try again, and again, and again. You get unlimited chances under one condition: you have to be breathing. Colonel Sanders had dozens of failed businesses in his lifetime, and did not hit pay dirt until he was a senior citizen. Many of us give up after one or two plans gone awry. You have to take that leap.
4. Change – This mental diversionary tactic blocks us from reality. It’s called loss aversion. We cling to what we already have, and we would rather stay stagnant than lose the ground we’ve gained. In order to get what you want, you must be able to adapt. It’s not the strongest or smartest that thrives, it’s the ones who are able to pivot on a dime when it’s necessary. One strategy you attempt may prove futile, and you will have to ditch it and go back to the drawing board, over and over again, until you get it right.
5. Being different – Conformity is comfortable. It’s safe to live in anonymity in a sea of average people. Standing above the crowd takes courage. This is a bit similar to number one but I think it deserves to be said in its own right. We fear what is unfamiliar. To live in a way that is divergent from the conventional wisdom will lead to resistance from others. When you try to stand out some will envy you, and may even actively work against you. People want you do to well, but never better than them. You are not serving the world by living small just so that other people will not feel insecure around you. You can’t be pinned down by the fears and limitations of other people. Their problems are not yours, and there is no need for you to shrink and shrivel just to make them feel better.