Our Greatest Fear

Our greatest fear

Our greatest fear

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to talk about our greatest fear.

First a quick update:

“Insights into human behavior”
I have created a series of six short 3 minute videos with insights into the real causes of weight and body shape and the link between our subconscious thoughts, emotions and our physical and mental health.

Now let’s talk about our greatest fear.

What do you think is the utmost fear we have?

Is it death, divorce or old age?

Research shows that in the Western world, our greatest fear is not death, it’s not growing old, it’s not becoming sick and it’s not losing our money.

Our number one fear is …

public speaking.

How shocking is that?

Why would we fear to such an extent public speaking? Why would that be our number one fear? What is it about public speaking that freezes or paralyzes us? What is it about public speaking that could possibly leave us thinking that it is the most frightening thing?

Could it be making a fool of yourself, getting stuck or not knowing what to say next?

Ultimately, what we fear is humiliation.

If we stand on the stage and get stuck, don’t know what to say next or make a fool of ourselves, then we will feel humiliated. And beneath that feeling, there is another greater fear – rejection. We are afraid of people rejecting us. And if you flip that around, most of us are seeking the approval of others. And the fear of failure and rejection destroys our confidence, our ability to express ourselves, our true selves, our ideas, thoughts and feelings.

Yes we fear that we will be made fools of, we will be humiliated, that people will no longer accept us, like us or approve of us. Thus, we either shut down and hide who we really are or we manipulate ourselves and our persona to be who we think other people want us to be. The result is that we are not happy; we become exhausted from trying to please others and from wearing our mask. We often resent others and ourselves, and ironically, the more we seek the approval of others, the more they reject us. Why? People sense our insecurities, our self-doubt, our lack of self-confidence and our sense of desperation, neediness or weakness.

We are innately drawn to people of strength, integrity and self-assurance.


We feel safer around people who are strong, confident, forthright and self-assured than people who are weak, insecure or afraid. When we feel safe with someone, we feel we can trust them and we feel we can express ourselves. Thus, the paradox is that when we choose to hang out with people who don’t seek other people’s approval, and whom freely express themselves we feel safer to express ourselves, to be us! When we are around people who accept themselves, we feel safer and more inclined to accept ourselves. Yes, you do become who you hang out with.

Thus, the key here is to seek your own approval, remembering that you will never be able to please the six billion people on this planet.

Many years ago, I was a TV journalist and reporter in Canberra, Australia’s capitol. I was forthright, persistent and relentless in getting the story, getting the truth and maintaining high standards of excellence in each story. When it came time to leave for a promotion as Executive Current Affairs Producer of a radio station in Melbourne, the staff shared their thoughts and feelings. I was shocked to hear people say to me how much they respected me. And the Federal Political reporter told me that many people within the then Administration hated me because I was so relentless but they deeply respected me.

The point is that I never ever thought about, nor cared about, what people would think of me or if they would like me. I simply focused on what I had to do and on my own integrity. The paradoxical result was that people liked me more, or at the very least, they respected me.

A celebrity once said, “and I’m the ONLY person in this world that matters…” but this is the other extreme. These are the words of someone who doesn’t respect him or herself and who is screaming loudly for acceptance and hopes to get it by pretending that she doesn’t need it. Approving yourself does not mean being selfish, thoughtless, narcissistic, cold or lacking sympathy and empathy for fellow human beings. Seek, love and approve of yourself and you will find that others do it to you and you will have greater positive feelings for the people around you.

For additional support, help and exercises to overcome the fear of rejection, use my hypnosis CD Supreme Self-Confidence.

Remember to check out my Blog on my website to read my past Success Newsletters, post your comments and take a few exciting quizzes. If you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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