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Some of the oldest and wisest advice in the world comes in a remarkably simple command: Fear not. Unfortunately, what sounds so simple is also maddeningly difficult. Fear can not only hold us back, it can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Aisha Beau has explored this topic extensively, including a deep dive into Do It Scared: Finding the Courage to Face Your Fears, Overcome Obstacles, and Create a Life You Love. This fascinating book’s thesis is that there are seven fear archetypes, and most people are in the grip — to a lesser or greater extent — of one or more types. The result is that people often do not act, held back by a fear they may not even recognize.
The good news is that overcoming a fear often begins by identifying it. Do you recognize any of these fear archetypes?
The procrastinator. Often afraid to begin because they obsess over wanting everything to be perfect — with a perfect plan in place — before they begin.
The rule follower. Dedicated to following rules or guidelines established by organizations or society in general — fearful of making a decision that would break the rules.
The people pleaser. Afraid of being judged by others or disappointing them.
The outcast. Often appearing fearless, the outcast is in reality afraid of rejection — sometimes, sadly, leading them to reject others first to avoid being hurt.
The self-doubter. Often insecure about their ability, self-doubters are a bit paralyzed by a fear of not being good enough.
The excuse-maker. With difficulty taking responsibility, they also often let others make decisions in order to avoid accountability.
The pessimist. Everyone goes through adversity, but pessimists struggle with a feeling of victimization for their hardships, giving them a reason to simply give up.
See a more in-depth discussion of the Fear Archetypes here, including an online self-assessment from Dr. Alicia Hodge, author of Do It Scared.