Understand the 5 Main Fears in Life and How to Conquer Them
Dear April Masini,
I have been trying to lose weight for a couple of months now and can't seem to do it. No matter how hard I try to eat healthily and work out, I just don't seem to be dropping any pounds. Sometimes I feel hopeless that I just end up eating a huge meal ...i f I can't lose weight anyway, why does it matter? Because I'm on the heavy side, I don't go out that much because I want to lose weight before I start looking for a relationship. I also need to lose weight before I can find a new job; I hate my current job and I'm miserable there. Why can't I lose weight so I can move on with my life?"
Dieting for Life
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Dieting for Life,
One of the most obvious ways that I see women sabotaging themselves is not knowing what it is they want and not knowing themselves and what they are capable of and not capable of.
They know that they want to lose weight, but they don't set a realistic goal.
They also don't know how their body reacts to food, exercise, lack of exercise, and sleep. Knowing yourself is the best way to making your goals work out. If you don't know yourself, you're going to learn as you go -- and that can take a long, long time. Being conscious and aware while you are doing things -- whether it's ordering a meal in a restaurant, grabbing a snack, or spending a weekend away at a hotel in a different city -- will help you learn about yourself, and how you best lose weight. Then there's fear of losing weight -- or fear of not losing weight. This fear can send messages that sabotage your goal, easily.
Fear is a major motivator in life! Fear of a doctor, of hospitals, of illness and other related people and situations can absolutely keep a person from going to the doctor, the hospital and seeking medical care -- or of losing weight.
Chances are that if a person fears going to the doctor, they fear other things, too.
I've documented five main fears in life, and the ways to get over them, below.
Fear Factor Big 5:
- Fear of Disapproval or Rejection—The method for conquering a fear of disapproval or rejection is to understand that you simply cannot please everyone – it’s physically impossible. You cannot do it. Which means, you’re not supposed to do it. You’re not expected to do it – by anyone who’s sane. (And if you’re dating anyone who’s insane, let’s eliminate them right here and now.) You must not expect yourself to do the impossible. You must accept that fact that everyone has different motives, goals, tastes, likes, and dislikes. You will not be everyone’s cup of tea, nor will everyone be yours. You will be rejected or disapproved of by some men. And you, too, will reject and disapprove of men, as well. You need to expect that it will happen. And while it can be painful and hurtful to realize you’re not "good enough" for someone – yikes, think about what would happen if no one rejected anyone! You would date the wrong people, who didn’t really love you, but didn’t want to hurt your feelings, and waste your time – and their time! You would both be living lies and hurting each other in the long run. You would be spending your most precious commodity – time – with the wrong person! Doesn’t that make rejection seem like a gift, now?
What matters is that you remain true to what you know to be important and right, and count on others to do the same. If you are certain about who you are and what you want, you will be able to put this fear aside because your opinion, and those of others, will be guideposts along the road to success. A rejection, like a flashing red light, will keep you from going down the wrong road.
- Fear of Failure—The key to overcoming the fear of failing is to change your concept and definition of failure. True failure is lying: Lying to others is failure, and lying to your own self is the worst failure of all. Anything else is just an obstacle along the way. Embrace perseverance. Embrace the idea that this search for the right man is precious and when you find him, you will value the relationship because of all the hard work it took. Embrace everything you’re learning along the way.
Diamonds are expensive because they are precious. They are not easy to find or cut. The same is true with oil. Treat your dating life with the same respect. Who said it was going to be easy? See the world and your dating life in terms of batting averages and practice shots – not perfection. Recognize that even the best of the best miss over 50% of the time, in fact the best home run hitters in professional baseball are the ones that strike out the most. Most successful home run hitters spend most of their baseball careers striking out. They are famous, however, for that handful of those out of the park wallops. Every time you step up to the plate and take a swing, you’re getting one step closer to realizing success.
- Fear of The Unknown—The things we don’t know, can’t understand, or can’t explain, are what I refer to as, "fear of the unknown." For instance, when we were children, we feared darkness and the boogeyman. As an adult, we may fear people of different cultures and beliefs or situations that are new and different. There is a simple remedy for this kind of fear—knowledge. Knowledge brings a comforting familiarity to the unfamiliar, unheard-of, and obscure.
- Fear of Change —Whether it is a new situation, like moving to a different state, a new challenge, like getting divorced, or a new job, many of us fear change. The antidote for this type of fear comes in the form of the confidence we gain from accomplishing goals, overcoming hardships, and meeting challenges ... however small they may be. The first change is always the hardest, but when we see that the roof doesn’t fall in, we will be able to remember it next time we face a change and do so with less fear and more grace.
- Fear of Success—Few address their fear of success because it can be hard to even believe it exists. Yet it is a very real and very prevalent fear for many of us. Often a fear of success comes from a deep seeded belief that we do not deserve success, so we subconsciously sabotage ourselves. We do this by creating drama, often. Breaking up with a boyfriend or husband or starting a fight when things are calm, are other ways we sabotage our success and happiness. If you find yourself doing this, try to figure out where the idea that you don’t deserve something came from. The more aware you are of the origins of this fear, the better chance you have of uncovering it, examining it, and conquering it.
Check out my book, Think & Date Like A Man, for more advice on how to get over your fears and gain more confidence. And if you're a man who needs more confidence, check out Date Out of Your League.