Most Common Fears

12 Most Common Fears Holding You Back From Success


Success Tweet: Everyone is afraid sometime. Self-confident people face their fears and act. Look your fears in the eye and do something.

Fear is the enemy of self-confidence. Self-confident people face their fears and act. Procrastination is the manifestation of fear. When I find myself procrastinating, I stop and ask myself “What are you afraid of here, Bud?” Usually, the answer is on the 12 most common fears holding you back on the list below. Which of these stop you from moving forward? What are you doing about them?

1. Fear Of Failure

This type of fear has its roots in the misconception that everything you do has to be 100% successful.

2. Fear Of Success

This type of fear is based on the idea that success is likely to mean more responsibility and attention, coupled with pressure to continue to perform at a high level.

3. Fear Of Being Judged

This type of fear comes from the need for approval that most people develop in childhood.

4. Fear Of Emotional Pain

This type of fear is rooted in wanting to avoid potential negative consequences of your actions.

5. Fear Of Embarrassment

This type of fear is a result of empowering others to judge you when you demonstrate that you’re only human by making mistakes and having lapses of judgment.

6. Fear Of Being Abandoned Or Being Alone

This type of fear is related to rejection and low self-esteem.

7. Fear Of Rejection

This type of fear comes from personalizing what others do and say.

8. Fear Of Expressing Your True Feelings

This type of fear holds you back from engaging in open, honest dialogue with the people in your life.

9. Fear Of Intimacy

This type of fear manifests itself by an unwillingness to let others get too close, less they discover the “real you.”

10. Fear Of The Unknown

This type of fear manifests itself as needless worry about all of the bad things that could happen if you decide to make a change in your life.

11. Fear Of Loss

This type of fear is related to the potential pain associated with no longer having something or someone of emotional significance to you.

12. Fear Of Death

The ultimate fear of the unknown. What will happen once our spirits leave our bodies?

By identifying your fear, you are more than halfway to conquering it. Action is the antidote to fear. In most cases, you’ll choose wisely and your fears won’t be realized. In the cases when you choose poorly, you’ll find that failure isn’t as catastrophic as you imagined.

Successful people learn from their failures. By taking action on your fears, you win on both counts. You win if you make a good decision and things work out. You even win if you make a bad decision and things go poorly, because you have an opportunity to learn from your decision and the subsequent problems you faced.

The common sense point here is simple. Successful people are self-confident. Self-confident people face their fears and act. They follow the career advice in Tweet 45 in Success Tweets, “Everyone is afraid sometime. Self-confident people face their fears and act. Look your fears in the eye and do something.”

Procrastination is the physical manifestation of fear.

When you find yourself procrastinating, figure out what scares you about the situation. Is it fear of failure? Is it fear of success? Is it fear of rejection? Is it fear of being embarrassed? Is it fear of the unknown?

Once you’ve figured out why you are afraid, do three things; admit your fear to yourself, embrace your fear, take action. Action is the antidote to fear.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Bud Bilanich

Bud Bilanich, author of the free e-book called, Success Tweets, is a motivational speaker and blogger who will help you create the life and career success you deserve.


  1. Good article. Identify what fear you have (relate), identify what counteracts it (remedy) , then do it (act). 

    *Relate: Nervous about a job interview (Fear of not having responses).
    *Remedy :Determine likely questions and responses 
    *Action: Practice the scenario.

    Fear is lowered by certainty.Whether the certainty you create by doing this is True or False, it’s generally irrelevant,  the outcome is more certainty, which will in any case reduce fear.

  2. How about fear of repeating yourself so often that the reader doesn’t finish what may be useful information. And ‘taking action’ is more easily said than done. What action is the one that is healthy and leads to progress? But your suggestions do match a tool I heard once and try to use: The Three A’s. Acknowledgment, Acceptance and Action. You have to know the fear is there, know how it works, and accept that the fear is a part of who you are. Only at that point can you choose ‘right action’ to alleviate self-imposed limits.

  3. The physical manifestations of fear are multitudinous. Some people shake, some hide under the covers and still others react with aggression. It is the myriad ways in which people react to fear that make it such an interesting topic. It is not impossible to differentiate between the various levels of fear. All types of fear produce the same physiological effects but not the same mental ones. The context of each situation determines the individual’s ultimate fate.

    In short, fear is intensely personal and, at its most base, is universal. In many instances, it is really a social construct. You are not naturally afraid but are taught what to fear.

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