Little kids are known for being fearless, but even then we had weak spots. We were scared of climbing up to the tallest diving board at the local pool, or fearful of that topsy-turvy ride at the theme park.
As we get older, our distaste for roller coasters or diving boards morphs into something more abstract. Our fears are less tangible and more looming.
And quite honestly? They’re usually false.
The five unwarranted insecurities below have taken up space in our minds for way too long — and it’s about time we show them who’s boss.
The fear of not being good enough.
When it comes to measuring our capabilities, we’re often the first ones to claim we’ve missed the mark — whether it’s a work assignment or a personal relationship. We’re the champions of self-criticism, often because we feel like we’re not adequate enough in the first place. But here’s the thing: No one is perfect — but imperfection doesn’t make you worthless.
“As individuals, we have the incredible power to decide that we are, in fact, good enough,” writes author Carolyn Rubenstein on Psychology Today. “You are the person who owns the sole key to your self-worth, which governs what you do. In order to achieve the feeling of being good enough, you must first believe it.”
The fear of missing out on something.
What if instead of chasing every moment we enjoyed the present one we’re currently living? With the dominance of social media, we often feel excluded from events that we believe to be life-affirming. But our perpetual fear of missing out can actually disrupt our lives. It causes time anxiety, it makes us feel lonely and more. Here are some strategies to kick FOMO to the curb.
The fear of failure.
Failure is a fact of life, and the sooner we accept it rather than fear it, the better off we’ll be. In fact, not all missteps are bad; they can lead to extraordinary breakthroughs. Behind every setback is an opportunity for growth — just ask Vincent van Gogh (or any one of these other successful individuals). He created more than 900 works in a span of 10 years, but only lived long enough to see one of them sold.
As Thomas Edison — another acclaimed individual who once received criticism — said, “I have not failed 10,000 times, I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”
The fear of being alone.
As introverts can attest, spending a little quality time with “me, myself and I” can be quite beneficial. As psychotherapist and author Ross Rosenberg puts it, our downtime is what we make of it, and sometimes a little solitude can help us relax and recharge.
“You can be alone and happy, you can be alone and lonely,” Rosenberg previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. “The idea of being alone is what you make of it.” It’s time to stop fearing time by ourselves and embrace it instead.
The fear of not being accepted.
There are more than 7 billion people in the world, which means not everyone is going to mesh well with one another. But that also means there are plenty of other people who you will click with. The important thing is to find those people who lift you up when you don’t have the power to do it on your own (and forget about the rest).
So how do you start? By accepting yourself. “Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world,” Eleanor Roosevelt once said — and it couldn’t be more true.