What’s There To Be Scared Of?
We’re all born with one tremendous quality. We are all born unafraid. As weird as it might sound now, you were not afraid of anything when you were born. Fear is a completely learned emotion. According to Brian Tracy, we are all born unafraid and spontaneous. Brian Tracy is the author of a very successful book called Million Dollar Habits, where he talks about many aspects of a positive and successful personality and traits that can lead you to your success, no matter how you define it. In this article, I want to give you a brief overview of how fear works. This will help you understand that you can control it and revert it, however bad it might seem.
Starting in early childhood, we pick up on many behavioral habits of our parents as well as we create our own reactions to the behavior they direct towards us. In most cases, we begin to learn the two negative behavioral patterns that then affect our lives.
Inhibitive Negative Pattern
The first habit is the fear of failure, risk and loss. This is very interesting because a great part of this is dependent on the way we are treated when we’re growing up. Many people use threats and punishment when their children misbehave or when they do something dangerous like touching a pot with boiling water. Naturally, children are programmed to seek love from their parents. Now if they do something bad and their parents punish them or criticize them, they start feeling nervous and frightened. This is very important because many psychologists say that most, if not all, adult problems are rooted in the phenomena they call “love withheld” in early childhood. Understand that children don’t know that their parents are doing this to keep them safe. They will think something along the lines: “Oh, every time I try something new my mom gets angry, it is probably my fault, it is probably because I am incompetent, it is probably because I can’t do it.”
This starts transforming into your habitual behavior. Soon, when you start thinking about doing something new, your habit of fearing failure kicks in and you end up talking yourself out of it. Napoleon Hill once said something along the lines – The number of trials an average person takes before giving up on something new is less than 1. That basically means that most people give up even before trying.
According to Brian Tracy, the best way to overcome this fear is a frequent repetition of the phrase “I can do it!” This starts reprogramming your subconscious mind and after some time, you will reduce that fear to the degree that allows you to try out practically anything new without any greater feeling of fear.
Compulsive Negative Habit Pattern
The second fear we develop through our lives regards the fear of rejection or criticism. When we’re young, parents often use rejection and criticism to show us that we did something wrong and that they don’t like it. Since all children are programmed to last for the love of their parents, they immediately pull back from the behavior to regain the love of their parents. According to Brian Tracy, this often turns into the use of the carrot and stick method by the parents.
They alternate with approval and disapproval, with compliments and criticism, to control and manipulate the child’s behavior (Million Dollar Habits).
This leads to the creating of a habit that forces the child to conform its behavior to the standard, to the mainstream in order to gain approval from others.
When the fear of rejection becomes extreme, the individual becomes so hypersensitive to the opinions of others that he or she cannot make a decision until he or she is absolutely convinced that everyone in the world around them will approve and support the decision (Million Dollar Habits).
The worst scenario that many people experience is the combination of the two. When people feel like they have to do something to gain the approval of others, but they can’t because they’re afraid of failure since it is something new, they turn into their caves and try to escape the situation through stuff like procrastination or even worse, drugs, alcohol and other detrimental stuff.
The root cause of negative habit patterns can almost always be traced back to “destructive criticism” in early childhood. Often, destructive criticism is accompanied by physical punishment. In either or both cases, the child very quickly loses his or her natural spontaneity and becomes fearful and hypersensitive to others (Million Dollar habits).
The Solution Is Within
The most effective and appropriate solution to these issues is prioritization of your self-esteem growth. You basically need to like yourself enough so that you can conquer these fears. The greatest habit you can ever develop is the habit of deliberately building your own self-esteem and self-confidence on a daily basis.
The very fastest way to build your self-esteem and self-confidence, and to neutralize the fears that may be holding you back, is to repeat continually the words “I like myself!” Whenever you feel doubtful or uneasy, begin repeating these words to yourself, “I like myself! I like myself! I like myself!”