The experiences of personal suffering and confusion of directions or choices usually come about to evoke a deep sense of discomfort within one´s consciousness. This discomfort we may feel is nature´s way of bringing our attention to lessons we need to learn through these experiences, which we may have already passed over multiple times.
Why then, despite the constant reminder from one´s inner self and the pressing nudging of intuition, is it so difficult to act?
While there are multiple reasons one could cite, in my personal experience of sufferings, life changes, choices, epiphanies, and regrets, I have learned that there are three main fears that cause a total block to advance or bring about a new habit. I have also understood that overcoming these fears is not an overnight process, but a journey of inner engineering and emotion processing that can well be very excruciating to realize. Therefore, because of the pain that this processing may cause, it often leads to an inability to act, keeping one in the same loop of repeated experiences. Disappointments.
Let us examine these three fears.
1. Metathesiophobia: The Fear of Change
Holding on to the same set of people despite feeling out of place, being stuck in a situation where one is not happy, or accepting unfulfilling jobs because of the uncertainty of leaving are some of the symptoms of a more profound fear of change.
This fear is rooted in one´s perspective of the world. It stems from the accumulation of truths and lies that one tells themselves through life. These illusions of truths and deceits that one forms over time come from the life experiences, difficulties, and expectations of other people that form our comfort zone of security. It is important to note that these comfort zones can be conducive to one´s wellbeing or a complete self-sabotage. A comfort zone can be a death bed of personal hopes, visions, and fulfillment if stayed in for too long. Mainly because the idea of sticking to one´s comfort zone too long is, in reality, escaping change or evolution of any form, and is often a deceptive metaphor used to hide more pressing personal needs. These urgent needs or signs from one´s intuition, when avoided, can cause a deep inner conflict, often paralyzing one´s ability to act.
2. Atychiphobia: The Fear of Failure
It can be enticing to put in the struggle and the work that is needed to achieve anything only if one is certain of a successful outcome. The difficulty lies when there is no guarantee of it. Uncertainty of the future often makes one assume disappointing scenarios or worse-case possibilities more than successful outcomes if one thinks from a place of desperation and help.
What will result if I do this?
What will people say if I do that?
What will my peers and friends think when this occurs?
What will I think of myself if I do not achieve it?
These are questions that often paralyze one´s ability to move forward, basing their response on an imaginary picture they have created from their interpretation of failure. More often than not, these interpretations are a result of what the society and their surroundings have made them define. What is failure for one person may be a success for another.
The obsession with perfectionism, comparisons to other, imaginary negative assumptions of possible scenarios, and lack of self-confidence because of hyper-critical adults during childhood are some of the reasons that fuel the fear of failure.
3. Achievemephobia: The Fear of Success
A disguise of the previous fear, the fear of success stems from one´s criticism of own self, a false perception about one´s inability to accomplish something, or a simple feeling of unworthiness that is fuelled by a bickering childhood or manipulative support circle.
People experiencing stagnancy and anxiety in moving ahead may often dread success despite being exceptionally talented because of their belief that they are not good enough. Often this I-am–not-good-enough conclusion comes from one´s comparison to their previous successes or their perceived lack of capacity to achieve it again in the future. This comparison further instills a deeper fear of failure, which shuns any possibility of further action, therefore, forming a vicious circle of fear and disappointments.
Achievemephobia can make people self-destructive because of the belief that they do not deserve the success. This often leads to addictions, harmful patterns, and damaging choices that make them destroy their successes and lose it altogether, by intention.
Fears are part of being human. Although given terms as phobias, in my opinion, everyone at some stage of their lives experience them. What is important is to be aware of the tricks of one´s minds and develop an ability to differentiate one´s true and higher self from negative talk, and develop the consciousness to move forward with courage. After all, courage does not mean you do not get afraid. Courage means to move forward despite the fears with an awareness and self-acceptance while not letting anything pull you down. Least, your own self.