Black Belt Thinking | Our top three fears
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Our top three fears

Different psychological studies give different ranking of fears. We are talking here about deep-rooted fears, as opposed to phobias (flying, spiders etc).

See if you have one or more of:

A fear of failure

A fear of success

A fear of being judged

How can the Black Belt within overcome these fears?

A good first step is to focus on living in the present. We can do this by doing mokuso, the karate meditation technique, where we follow the in-breath up and over our heads, down our back, up through our tummy and then out through the mouth.

Just by focusing on our breathing, we are taking ourselves one step away from our daily selves, away from the pressures and stresses of 21st century life, away from our fears and phobias.

Specifically here are some ideas that may help to begin the process of addressing these fears.

We can address any fear of failure by accepting that we only fail when we give up. Many successful people, in business, sports, the arts, education, in all walks of life, have experienced setbacks and ‘failures’. But they didn’t give up. They learnt something, perhaps made one or two changes to how they operate, and went again. Never give up, never fail. To quote the well-known saying “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”

We can address any fear of success by first thinking of what ‘success’ means to us. For many people ‘success’ is something that is not in their present! They will only ever be successful at some point in the future. Woah! Use mokuso, ground yourself and think about all the successes you have had in your life. Maybe write out a list. Now take just a few of these successes and put them, bigger, in to your future. So they are just more of the same. More of the same successes that you, with your Black Belt within, have already achieved.

A fear of being judged can be related to the psychological phenomenon known as the Spotlight Effect. This showed that we over-estimate the effect by which other people take notice of us by up to 100%. In other words, if we think 10 people are looking at us, probably only about 5 are. Or, if we think people are really looking at us, they are probably looking at us but are only half-interested. Usually people are so wrapped up in their worlds that they don’t take much notice of you or me.

Clearly, this is a big topic. Hopefully the ideas above can give you a start – something to work on and develop if you think it may be of help to you.