Five Subconscious Fears (that may be holding you back)

  • Energy therapist Carol Look asks - "Are you being sabotaged by a crippling subconscious fear deep within your mind? Fear that keeps itself hidden from you – yet rears its head in every second of your waking life. Try answering these questions…

    Do you ever feel stuck at work, as if you’re slogging away just to pay the bills while other people are out there enjoying dream careers?

    Do you desperately yearn for love, only to attract abusers or losers?

    Have you ever had an amazing opportunity to accomplish a lofty goal or get a dream job, only to hear a voice whispering “you’re not good enough for this?”

    Do you ever worry about what others might think if you start focusing on earning more money and living a more successful and prosperous life?

    Do you have a hidden negative perception about money, love, or success that could be silently causing you to reject it instead of attract it?

    Whether it’s at home, social gatherings or during important meetings at work, do you ever avoid speaking out because you want to avoid drawing attention to yourself?

    if you answered yes to any of these questions, a subconscious fear is blocking your success and abundance right NOW. Almost all success, abundance and wealth issues are due to self-limiting fears and beliefs.

    The good news?

    You’re not alone, and it’s not your fault. Everyone is held back by some form of subconscious fear that’s been programmed into them through past experiences, bad mentors or guides, poor parenting or teachers, and more.

    The even better news? Once you become aware of them, you’ll begin to liberate yourself from these fears forever. Keep in mind that you won’t eliminate all your fears within a day or two – but you should notice a profound decrease in the intensity of the fear you’re working on. fears work on us becasue we hide them. And by spending just a few minutes a day acknowledging and talking about your fears, you can completely eliminate them in a matter of weeks if you work at it.

    So what exactly are these fears, and which are affecting you? We’ll get to that in a moment, but first let’s take a look at…the 5 most common fears. Which one’s affecting You?

    No matter what subconscious fear you’re experiencing, it almost always falls into one of 5 categories. Take a few moments to read the descriptions below and see if any of these have popped up in your life.


    You’re a doer. You’ve got the brains and the potential to move mountains. But you’ve also got this pesky habit of wanting to avoid the spotlight no matter what. In meetings, you’d rather say silent than voice out your amazing ideas. At home, you give way to your partner, even when you think he is wrong. You fear power and leadership, because you’ve seen others hurt by it. You know you could earn more money, but you’re paralyzed by self-doubt and procrastination. When you think about your past, there may be one or two incidents where your friends or family members were jealous of you and your accomplishments. Sometimes you find yourself with a goal you think you should want to achieve, but you just don’t seem to be taking enough action to reach it. You aren’t really afraid of failure or rejection, the path to the goal seems clear enough and might even be an interesting challenge, and occasionally you’ll make some progress. But most of the time you can’t seem to get into that flow state, and you’re not sure why. This often happens with long-term goals that require intermittent action, like losing weight or transitioning to start a new business and eventually quit your job.

    Even if you are not affected by this fear, you should get to know it so you can look out for it in your friends and family - because their thoughts and feelings can bring you down too.

    One question to ask in these situations is this: What will happen if you succeed? Forget about what you hope will happen or what you fear might happen, but realistically consider what probably will happen. So you achieve your goal. Then what? What else will change? Set aside at least 15-30 minutes just to think about how your life will really change once you achieve your goal. There are often unexpected side effects that you may not be aware of consciously, but subconsciously they can be enough to prevent you from taking committed action. For example, if you lose a lot of weight, here are some possible side effects: people will notice and will comment about it, other people will ask you for diet advice, you may feel you need to continue with a permanent lifestyle change to maintain your new weight, you may need to buy new clothes, you may become more attractive to others and thereby attract more social encounters (wanted or unwanted), overweight friends might become jealous, your family may resist your changes, you may feel stressed about whether you can keep the weight off, you may worry about the loss of certain favorite foods from your diet, and so on.

    It’s rare that a goal is all roses. Success requires change, and change has both positive and negative consequences. Often while people claim to want to succeed at something, the reality is that the negatives outweigh the positives for them. But one way to overcome this problem is to consciously think about what those negatives are, and then uproot them one by one. Uprooting a negative side effect could mean figuring out how to eliminate it completely, or it could mean just accepting it and learning to live with it.

    It’s certainly helpful to focus on the positive side of a goal. But don’t forget to take an occasional survey of the dark side and accept that you’re going to have to deal with that too. Often it’s not fear of success itself that is the problem, but rather fear of the side effects of success, many of which may be genuinely unwanted. Fears that are never evaluated consciously have a tendency to grow stronger.


    You’re capable of great things, if only you’d get off your butt and do them! You self-sabotage through behaviors like procrastination, being late and starting conflicts, all because you’re always asking yourself: “what if I try my best and I still fail?”. You’re often known as the person who has their heart in the right place, but has trouble getting things done. When a new career or business opportunity comes along, you find it hard to stay excited for long. And because of your tendency for leaving things unfinished, there’s a high chance you have dozens of half-read books on your bookshelf. The fear of failure is perhaps the strongest force holding people below their potential. In a world full of uncertainty, a delicate economy, and countless misfortunes that could happen to anyone, it’s easy to see why most people are inclined to play it safe.

    But playing it safe has risk as well. If you never dare to fail your success will have a low ceiling. Most people underestimate their merit and ability to recover from failure, leading them to pass up valuable opportunities. The ability to fail big and fail often has been a mark of the spectacularly successful throughout history.

    Even if you are not affected by this fear, you should get to know it so you can look out for it in your friends and family - because their thoughts and feelings can bring you down too.

    To overcome this fear, try these helpful exercises:

    1. Consider the cost of missed opportunities – the biggest risk that people fail to consider is the benefit they lose by avoiding high risk/high reward opportunities. The ideal career contains a wide range of job opportunities (some risky, some safe) that combine to form a relatively safe career with a high potential for growth. Taking high risk opportunities is essential because they offer the greatest reward: The issue is that without taking risk, you can’t exploit any opportunities. You can live a quiet and reasonably happy life, but you are unlikely to create something new, and you are unlikely to make your mark on the world.

    2. Research the alternatives – The unknown is a major source of fear. When you don’t know what you’re dealing with, potential consequences seem far worse than they actually are. Take the power out fear by understanding it. Research all the potential outcomes (both good and bad) so you genuinely understand the risk of failure and benefits of success. Analyzing these outcomes will help you see through the fear of failure and make a logical decision.

    3. Put the worst-case scenario in perspective – If you chase your dreams and fall flat on your face, worst-case scenario, how long will it take you to recover? The answer is probably less than you expect. How hard would it really be to find another job, life, or partner? Chances are you could recover completely in a few months if you believe in yourself. Is the fear of a few rough months strong enough to keep you in a mediocre situation indefinitely?

    4. Understand the benefits of failure – As Emerson said, "life is a series of experiments, the more you make the better". Each failure is a trial in an experiment and an opportunity for growth and learning. Even if a failure costs you financially or emotionally, the valuable experience and educational benefits can far outweigh the loss. It will help you do better next time.

    5. Make a contingency plan – reduce the downside. Hedge your risk by creating a contingency plan. Even if your first option fails, you can maintain the status quo with a solid backup plan. Daring to fail doesn’t mean you have to risk losing it all. If you manage risk intelligently, you can capture the benefits of high risk opportunities while leaving yourself a safety net.

    6. Take action – The best way to reduce fear and build confidence is taking action. As soon as you do, you’ll begin accumulating experience and knowledge. Everything is hardest the first time. It’s like jumping off a cliff into a lake — after you do it once, you see that the water is safe and each time afterwards is easy. Start off with small steps and build up your confidence until the fear of failure is manageable.

    7. Burn the boats - When ancient Greek armies traveled across the sea to do battle, the first thing they would do after landing was to burn the boats, leaving them stranded. With no way to make it home besides victory, the resolve of the soldiers was strengthened. When success and failure are the only options, you have no choice but to follow through. If you have a goal, but are afraid to commit, force yourself into action by burning the boats. Register for an exam in advance if you want to go back to school. Set a deadline to move to a new city without signing a lease. Accept a date, despite not feeling ready to move on from your ex. Fear of failure disappears when you realize it can’t save you.


    You know change is necessary for your personal growth – but you often can’t help but shy away from it in favor of the choices you’re familiar with. At work, you’re known as the one who plays it safe. In love, you don't date anyone you don't know. You may have a reputation for being reliable, but you’re rarely the one who comes up with game-changing ideas. You crave security and love the consistency of your routine. At home, your friends and family might even call you stubborn for always sticking to your ways. Oh, and you’re not very fond of surprises.

    People are especially afraid of changes which may affect their existence in a negative way. Wherever we live, we create a comfort zone for ourselves. It could be the room in the house where we live and feel cozy and comforted every time we go there. Or it could be cubicle in the office pr the partner we have gotten used to. We get accustomed to some particular routine, people, or things and highly detest the change that might occur. For some, this fear of change starts occupying a major share of their thoughts. They run the whole spectrum from slight nagging thought to obsessive thinking. They fear losing their jobs or the company of a special somebody for whatsoever reason.

    How to deal with our fears of change?

    We need to understand life in a wider and deeper aspect. Because when we fear something we are actually running away from it. But it is better to face the truth than running away. The most important thing is to understand that life is always made of ups and downs and nobody can be in a permanent ascending trend, simply because that is impossible. Even the most envied celebrities or millionaires experience the downs life has to offer, so nobody can avoid them. It is crucial not to let problems overwhelm you, but to know how to use them in your favor.

    There is no doubt that problems affect us, which is actually normal, due to the fact that we have feelings, but, nevertheless, every single hard moment of our lives should make us even stronger. Analyze and meditate on the worse situation you have to deal with, in the course of your life. Try to learn from your mistakes, because they will help you be prepared for the changes or less pleasant situations to come. Every single episode of our lives happens with a pre-determined reason. Life prepares us for events to come, so if we focus enough attention on our previous experiences, we will understand many things from the present.

    Yet the unexpected can happen anytime.

    However, you should keep in mind that a change in not always for the worse and consequently, you must never let go of a chance, because you are afraid to take the risk. Remember that, from time to time, something has to happen in order to free you from monotony, so you shouldn't be surprised if, at a certain moment in time, instead of being afraid of change, you desire it with all your heart. If you just don't feel capable of realizing what a certain change in your life actually means, here's a list of tips that might help you get mobilized:

    Try to think only of the positive impacts that will result after the change. See how important they are and meditate upon how to multiply them, by adding some other good aspects, which need certain assistance.

    It is always good to picture somebody else in your situation, as picturing ourselves in a less desirable position always looks more dramatic than it really is. If you realize that the other person can handle the change, you can be sure you'll be able to handle it as well. From the persepective of an outsider, you may even see a possible solution. Imagine the worse situation that can result after the change. Now try to find various solutions to it. Meditate on how much you can lose, if the worst happened, and how important those things are to you. If you find more than one reasonable solution, you are safe - the change can't be stronger than you are!

    Change is the truth of life. It is inevitable so you may as well be ready for it. If you do not change when you need to, the Universe will organize a change for you. Do not fear the truth but embrace it.


    You’re able to accept yourself for who you are today, but you’re worried about changing and losing yourself along the way. You’re reluctant to push for more money at work, because you’re afraid spirituality and wealth don’t mix. People may know you as a good person, but you’re rarely described as charismatic or forward-thinking. By sticking to who you are instead of who you could be, you find yourself missing out on a variety of career and financial opportunities. When you see people with the abundance you know you could have, you may experience an uncontrollable feeling of resentment towards them. You may avoid romantic commitment because you are afraid that, if you merge your life with someone else, you will lose your freedom and your individuality. But while compromise is necessary to a successful relationship or job, you should never feel like you have to give up your self. This will only lead to resentment down the road.

    True potential can only be fostered at the level of identity, your own special way of being in this world. It is your identity, or your perception or concept of who you think you are, that directs and organizes your beliefs, core values, capabilities, actions and behaviors. It is at the level of your authentic self that you will find the source of all your resources. The acknowledgment that each of us is truly unique leads to an innate desire to express that uniqueness, which unleashes a person's natural sense of creativity and passion.Montana Gray said it very well when he wrote that if you live your authentic life, you have no competition. Throughout life's experiences, the way you are is expressed through the different roles you have chosen to take on - roles such as being a mother or a father, a brother or a sister, a business professional, a community leader, a CEO, a husband or wife, a construction worker, a friend, and so on. But fulfilling all these different roles can be intimidating. We may fear that we may become unable to express ourselves fully and authentically within a certain role. Some continue to stay in roles they have outgrown or are no longer satisfied with, trying to live up to the expectations of others.

    To overcome your fear of losing your identity and exploring all the roles you could take on in life and be extremely happy and satisfied with, you need to have a firm sense of who you are. You must identify yourself with your skills and abilities, instead of identifying with your achievements or wealth or status or possessions or partners, because even if you lose these things, your abilities, beliefs, personality, and skills - the authentic you - won't go. After all, it's your abilities and skills that make you succeed and by identifying with them, you will be able to better protect your self worth.


    You’re an intelligent, talented and likable person. Yet despite your strengths, you’re constantly worried of what others think about you. At work, you’re worried your co-workers will “find out” you’re unworthy of your role. You may find yourself going out of your way to please other people and do unnecessary favors for them, just so they don’t think badly of you. You often feel guilty for no apparent reason, and you may have this automatic habit of brushing away people’s compliments – no matter how sincere they are. You were told so often by your parents or partner that you were ugly or stupid or useless that you find it hard to believe you deserve love or success or abundance.

    Self-doubt can be insidious and prevalent because it is in its own way safe and secure — a cocoon of protection that insulates from risk, chance and the unknown. If we don't try, we cannot fail. If we don't hope, we cannot be disappointed. If we don't love, we cannot be hurt. So we continually postpone happiness and success through fears of being unable to achieve anything. Feelings of unworthiness are so common because people outside of ourselves hardly ever see or hear our own self-doubt. If we wore self-doubt on our sleeves, we would soon find ourselves repulsing many important people and loved ones from our lives: an outward lack of confidence or belief in one’s self are incredibly unbecoming traits. Self-doubt is private; unworthiness is quiet. But that they are confined within our minds doesn’t mean they are docile and peaceful: unworthiness and self-doubt are powerful inner demons that with time can grow to heavily weigh upon us — so much so that our lives are wracked by fear and self-loathing. Yet we pretend we are happy and content and confident, though deep down we are miserable and ashamed of our unworthiness.

    So to help us undo feelings of unworthiness, if their prevalence comes from their very private and quiet nature, we counteract them by making them loud: what if we imagined verbalizing or publicizing our self-doubt? How would others react? When you speak your unworthiness out loud, how does it sound to your own ears? Through verbalizing self-doubt, journaling insecurities, or even keeping a written or video diary, we can counteract self-doubt and undo feelings of unworthiness.

    Imagine…Could you tell someone you love/who loves me this self-doubt? What would he/she say? — A loved one will likely be very understanding, but strongly encourage you to overcome it and convince you that you’re capable of doing so. Could I tell an acquaintance, associate, or coworker this self-doubt? What would he/she say? — As we get further away from our closest friends, lovers and relatives and extend out from our inner circle of relationships, people will start to be repelled from your verbalized self-loathing. Could you tell a stranger on the street this self-doubt? What would he/she say? — You might start to get some stares at this point. Ask yourself, is it worth wasting my own time harping upon self-doubt and unworthiness? Could you tell a mentor or someone you look up to this self-doubt? What would he/she say? — Your mentor will likely react by telling you to discard those pointless thoughts, to carry on, to persevere. And you can, without someone else telling you to do so. Could you tell someone who looks up to you this self doubt? What would he/she say? — Someone who looks up to you wouldn’t believe his or her ears if you expressed self-loathing. Be strong and overcome it, if not for yourself, then for those who look up to you.

    Express…Write your self-doubt and feelings of unworthiness down on paper. Work out where your feelings of self-doubt originally come from - do you really think looking back that your parent(s) or whoever put you down that they were right? Or can you now see that it wasn't personal and that they were only working out on you thweir own insecurities and frustrations? Journal yourself when you’re feeling particularly unworthy and lacking. The idea isn’t to shame yourself, but to realize how throwing a pity party and being entrapped by self-loathing are pointless and ought to be discarded from the start. Upon writing it down, do the feelings it invokes dissipate — as if a building pressure within you has finally been released?

    Self-loathing and unworthiness breeds a strong internal conflict within you — one that manifests itself in total frustration, anxiety, and even depression. It arises when the wild and free human spirit within us confronts the demons of insecurity and self-doubt that linger upon our minds. This internal clash obliges us to choose between releasing self-doubt and undoing our sense of unworthiness, or continue to be weighed down by them. With consequences as stark as night and day, one thing is clear: we ought to make the decision — right now, today — to discard self-doubt and unworthiness, to take a “leap of faith” and strive to better our lives as best we can.

  • So you CAN oversome your fears and move forward, achieving everything you want.

    Just be aware of the hidden forces shaping your reality.

    Your living reality is like a computer. See the device you’re viewing this website on? In order to display it to you, the device needs to run thousands of programs, calculations and algorithms in the background. It’s a complex process with a simple end result: a viewable screen.

    The same goes for your reality. You’re aware of what you can see and feel. But like a set of computer programs running in the background, every second of your unfolding reality is first filtered through a complex collection of beliefs in your mind – beliefs that have cemented themselves in your psyche through a lifetime of conditioning.

    What did your parents and teachers tell you as a child? What kind of books, movies and music do you consume? What kind of friends do you have? What bad experiences imprinted you with a fear of trying again?

    The conditioning you’ve received determines the nature of your beliefs, and whether they serve or sabotage you.

    Back to the computer analogy: if positive beliefs are computer programs, limiting beliefs – and the subconscious fears they create in you – are like computer viruses. They sabotage your natural state, which is to be abundant and fulfilled. Instead, they leave a mess of self-doubt, lack and negative energy in their wake.

    But by eliminating your subconscious fears, you can live in a state of abundance and fulfillment. Do it right, and you’ll notice instant and profound changes in every area of your life, from your career and finances to your relationships to your physical and emotional health.

    Do it NOW!

  • All these fears of course come from our insecurity about our own strengths and how much of life we can handle. If our self-belief and self-value is low, then we will try to avoid challenging situations and run away from life. But if we are never tested, we can never find out just how much strength, wisdon and determination we really have.

  • Oh, this is an excellent thread and I thank you for sharing it! I feel my biggest fear is self-worth, though I could've picked one or two others, more's the pity 🙂 But self-worth covers everything that holds me back I believe, and could be contributing to the possible failure of my current relationship, as good as we have been together until recently.

    Again, thanks for this and for your generosity of spirit.




  • "You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you."

    Brian Tracy

  • Consider this: 95% of all that we worry about never becomes reality.

  • True! I can't count the times I've worried about this and that, and this and that has not happened 🙂

  • And 5% of trouble is hardly worth the wrinkles, is it?

  • This is such an awesome inspiring post! Will study it tomorrow. Captain, I have a question - how do you keep so positive on life all the time? I assume? Just from your posts on other threads... I'm sure you have experienced a lot of ups and downs in your life. we all know life sucks sometime, and it's very difficult to stay calm. How do you react in those situations? You know.. Sometimes it's easier to say than to do. It's like I know what's the right thing to do or understand what's good for me, but sometime I just find it hard to pull myself outta the negative mood? Any suggestions? Thanks!

  • Aprilca, for myself it is the love and support that flows back to me from the Universe that keeps me positive. I feel the angels and guides around me all the time and it makes me feel so protected and loved. I see their interest and receive their help in so many ways. We all have this same connection but sometimes in the grand kerfuffle of life, we get distracted from it. We become blind to all the help and love that is around us.

    You have to believe that things will turn out for the best for you. We all have a choice of how to react to any given situation. We are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - and for the results that they create. When you think about it, why would anyone choose to be negative? It just makes you feel bad and produces no good results. It doesn't improve your life or move you forward.

    When you are feeling bad, try to pinpoint the exact feeling - depression, anxiety, anger, frustration or whatever. Ask yourslef if it is just today's events that are bothering you or does the feeling go way back for a long time. You may think you are depressed (or whatever) because today someone on the subway was nasty to you, but you will find with further examination that the source of the emotion goes further back than just this day. If your negative emotion is something that stays with you for longer than a few days, it means you need to find the true source of it and heal it. Maybe you felt insecure when your boss criticized your work, reminding you of how critical a parent was to you when you were young. Continual negative feelings and moods go far back into your past. Once you find the source, you will realize that it was probably someone else's bad feelings that were put onto you, and that you have carried those feelings from that day as if they were your own.

    Discover what is yours and what feelings have been put on you by someone else. Then, give it back to them. Imagine saying to your mother that you no longer want to carry her fear of relationships or to your father that you will no longer put up with his frustrations at not being as successful as he wanted to be, or to a lover who abused you to make himself feel less insecure. Etc.

    Don't carry around emotional burdens that are not yours. You should only have to deal with your own emotions and problems. That will make your life a whole lot easier to bear.

  • Well said Captain!

    You know, I recall saying to my ex husband years ago that I was not prepared to carry his burdens any longer, but would be there for him if he asked. Sadly though, he did not really take me up on that, and I continued to carry around half his load until I finally left in 2009. So after reading this, I will do a "ritual" today to offload those burdens that have come from him and my family and trust that that will free me from this constant pain in my lower back. In truth, I'm a bit afraid of going back to work tomorrow because I'm still in some discomfort ... then again, we did say a little way back that 95% of things we worry about don't happen didn't we?

    Oh Lordy, I do wish I was on an island somewhere, lying on white sand, being lulled by the sound of seagulls and gently lapping waves ... sigh ... 🙂

  • Objectivity is the key to clarity and perspective. The more you can step back from your feelings and fears and calmly analyse your situation as if it belonged to someone else, the easier decisions and life direction will become. Ask yourself what advice you would give to a friend in your situation. After all, we should be our own best friends.

  • Objectivity is the key; I do understand that. I've been objective about Rodney's "confusion" and I've been repeating a few of Louise Hay's affirmations today, as well as chortling away to Ramonita's suggestion of "I've got ME babe" for the last couple of days.

    Have also received my little book on Zen exercises (ordered from Booktopia, no less) and done one that I can physically do the last two days. Once my back is right, I'll start from the beginning, but I don't feel I can cope with the lotus position ... well more to the point, I could possibly get down there, but might not be able to get up!

    And I'm aware that I have become afraid of my back issues this time, whereas last time the lower back went on me, I rested up, didn't give it control over me and the day before I was due to go back to work, I went out and mowed the lawn to "test" it. Even though I'm afraid, I'm going to do my housework as the place is a boghole. Rodney offered to do it for me, but I don't want him spending his only two days off work cleaning the house! He CAN however, take up the vacuum; I won't fight him for it ...

    Ah well. There's always the drugs if all else fails ... though I stopped taking them last week due to stomach upsets and a dislike of imbibing too many chemicals on top of alcohol and nicotine hahaha

  • Yes indeed it's often fear of pain more than the actual pain itself that can hold us back. We often blow things so out of proportion so that it seems impossible to overcome our situation. I have always loved and tried to live by the saying "A coward dies a thousand deaths - a brave man only once."

  • I like that one! I hadn't hard it before ... and it makes sense. So, I'm gonna rub PainAway on my troubled spots, take up my dustcloth and turn my house into a sparkling fairyland ... !? I've let it go for these two weeks and have refused Rodney's offers to clean it because a) I believe this has been a test of me being able to live in a bit of mess and chaos and not get stressed about it 🙂 and b) he needs to spend some of his weekend doing what he wants to do; he's already exhausted like the rest of us

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