What is Fear Costing You?

JT - Waiting to develop courage is just another form of procrastination. The most successful people take action while they’re afraid! ~ Unknown‎

I am human… I have fear and fear definitely stops me from taking action in my life.

The fear is not as chronic as it used to be, however it is still there. The fear is made up of a variety of memories, experiences and situations from the past.

I have been aware of the fear for many years. I have had a fear list and have been crossing off different activities one by one, from skydiving to the Giant Drop at Dreamworld here on the Gold Coast.

However, what I didn’t realise until recently was that fear was tripping me up in other areas of my life.

Therefore today, I have decided to start to unpack fear, so you can discover is fear is tripping you up as well…

In this post, I will discuss –

  • What is Fear?
  • 9 Quotes on Fear
  • Different Levels of Fear
  • Causes of Fear
  • It’s Your Choice…

Let’s get started…

What is Fear?

Maybe you have heard –

  • FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real
  • FEAR – Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise
  • “…an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.” – Google
  • “…an emotion induced by a threat perceived by living entities, which causes a change in brain and organ function and ultimately a change in behavior, such as running away, hiding or freezing from traumatic events.” – Wikipedia
  • “to be afraid of (something or someone)” or “to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant)” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  • “An unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.” – Oxford Dictionaries
  • “A very unpleasant or disturbing feeling caused by the presence or imminence of danger.” – The Free Dictionary

9 Quotes on Fear

A few of my favourite quotes on fear also come to mind –

  1. “Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” ~ Japanese Proverb
  2. “Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.” ~ German Proverb
  3. “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.” ~ Unknown
  4. “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” ~ Marcus Aurelius
  5. “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
  6. “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
  7. “People living deeply have no fear of death.” ~ Anaïs Nin
  8. “The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ~ Nelson Mandela
  9. “Waiting to develop courage is just another form of procrastination. The most successful people take action while they’re afraid!” ~ Unknown‎

Different Levels of Fear

In her famous book, Feel the Fear.., and Do It Anyway, Dr Susan Jeffers discuss three levels of fear. The first level of fear is the surface story and this type of fear can be divided in to fear that “happens” and fear that requires “action”.

Some level 1 fears include –

The level 2 fears are not situation-oriented and involve the false self or ego. They include –

  • rejection,
  • success,
  • failure,
  • helplessness,
  • loss of image,
  • being vulnerable, and
  • disapproval.

The level 3 fear is the biggest fear of all and according to Jeffers that is the fear of “I can’t handle it!”.

Causes of Fear

Causes of fear are often referred to as stressors. Stressors can be a thing, person or situation. There can be many stressors in life, including –

  • Your Body – for example: ageing, diet, exercise, injuries, illness, puberty, unresolved emotions and menopause;
  • Your Environment – for example: pollution, weather, noise, traffic and chemicals;
  • Your Finances – for example: income, insurances, superannuation measuring your self-worth in $;
  • Your Job – for example: your boss, colleagues, deadlines, expectations, job security and working long hours;
  • Your Mind – for example: your beliefs, expectations, memories, perceptions, thoughts and values;
  • Your Relationships – for example: family, friends, partner and spouse, colleagues, business acquaintances; and
  • Major or Critical Incidents – for example: accidents, death, divorce and emergencies.

What Are You Afraid Of?

Is fear tripping you up from taking action towards your dreams? Maybe you could be afraid of –

  • public speaking,
  • intimacy,
  • disharmony,
  • making decisions,
  • failure,
  • success,
  • getting it right,
  • getting it wrong,
  • ending a relationship,
  • starting a relationship,
  • aging,
  • asserting yourself,
  • rejection,
  • disapproval,
  • changing careers,
  • driving,
  • death,
  • vulnerability, or
  • ____________ (fill in the blank with your fear!).

What is Fear Costing You?

Once we have identified the causes of fear, then it is up to us to take responsibility for the fear and make conscious changes. If we don’t we can end up experiencing a number of short-term and long-term costs. For example – fear could be costing you –

  • Peace of mind,
  • Perspective on life,
  • Time,
  • Love,
  • Sleep,
  • Energy,
  • Relationships,
  • Fulfilment,
  • Productivity,
  • Financial income,
  • Sense of humour, or
  • Overall health.

It is Your Choice!

For many of us, fear can be debilitating and very real. It is not about ignoring the fear, pretending it is not present or becoming fearless. It is about recognising fear and taking action with the fear present (i.e. feel the fear and do it anyway).

I love the following quote that sums it up quite nicely – which choice are you going to make?

I hope this article has given you some insight in to what fear is costing you. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to share them below. Also – please make sure you find a qualified heath professional who can help you with fear as it can be too overwhelming to try to manage and deal with it on our own.

If you are ready to take yourself on the adventure of getting to know yourself (your true self), why not join the Toolkit? A place where I share tools, inspiration and ideas to live a courageous and openhearted life.

References –

Albrecht, K. (1979). Stress and the Manager. New York, USA: Touchstone Books.

Jeffers, S. (2006). Feel the Fear… and Do It Anyway. London, United Kingdom: Vermilion.

Miller, L., & Smith, A. (1993). The Stress Solution – An Action Plan to Manage the Stress in Your Life. New York, USA: Pocket Books.

Posted in

Leave a Comment