If you’re trying to live your best life, it can be hard to move past the fear of failure. It can be the limiting belief that stops you from taking risks and pushing yourself to new heights. Those fears, which are often subconscious, can be the reason why people stop themselves from achieving their goals and dreams.
Often, our biggest fears are a result of childhood trauma, such as being bullied or having a traumatic accident. However, they can also be caused by a lack of confidence, self-esteem issues or a fear of rejection. Whatever the cause, it’s important to acknowledge your fears so you can learn to manage them and not let them hold you back.
While the coronavirus pandemic and tense political climate likely fueled some of the new fears in this year’s survey, there is still plenty that Americans worry about – including losing loved ones and money. Financial fears were influenced by the recent economic turmoil as lockdowns and layoffs left many Americans feeling unemployed, while stock market crashes and high hospitalization costs reminded them how easily their savings could disappear. Interestingly, answers to questions about finances also varied significantly by political ideology: conservatives were more afraid of gun restrictions and communism while liberals were more concerned with the death of loved ones and car crashes.
In addition to political and financial worries, the Chapman University Survey of American Fears found that a number of Americans are scared of being sick, injured or killed. This reflects the general sense of vulnerability that many feel in a time where medical advances are making people living longer and more frequently face health-related problems. This year’s top medical fear was being hit by a speeding car, followed by the fear of getting cancer and the fear of aging.
Another of the most common fears was being in a plane crash. This was perhaps influenced by the media coverage of several recent air disasters, but it may also be because this phobia can be linked to a more general fear of enclosed spaces. This is sometimes referred to as claustrophobia, and those who suffer from it can often be found hiding under their seats or turning down flights because they don’t want to be subjected to the stress of a plane ride.
Other big fears included being afraid of clowns and zombies – both of which made it into the top 10 for the first time. A fear of public speaking was also on the list as well as a fear of being stuck in an elevator. On the phobia front, it was interesting to note that Democrats were more fearful on a few of the questions than Republicans – but they weren’t significantly more afraid on any of the individual phobias asked about.