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The Language of Fear

Reading Time: 7 minutes

When was the last time you stared fear in the face? I bet there was a time that comes to mind. Maybe it was that time you were walking down a path and you came face to face with a rattlesnake. Then again it may have been when you got that call from your son that he was in a wreck. There are those times that we know we are facing fear.

There are those times that fear actually shows up in other ways that we are not aware of. Yet you can notice fear because of the words that are used. It isn’t so much that you are frozen in fear but you will make decisions that go against your goals and dreams when you are faced with fear. Even more so when you are not actively recognizing the reason as to why you are making that choice.

One of the biggest clues that you are facing fear is with the language you are using. These words are the screams of help that you need your logical part of the brain to take over because your emotional side is trying to take control. When it is in control that is when you will turn towards being comfortable. Remember you don’t grow and become stronger when you are comfortable. This is where discomfort is that sadistic trainer that compels you to go day in and day out because they help you get the results you are after.

We all face fear
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So what are these words? Well, I won’t be able to give you them all because well there are many if you pay attention to what the word you say is you can come to understand where that word is originating from. If you look closely you can see all the derivatives of fear showing up on those questions you are asking yourself.

Those questions really get noticeable if you are about to make a decision on a project. You will hear these words and more rattle off in your mind as you start to be pressed for a decision. Those objections you hear is fear. That is your mind screaming that you don’t want to do that. You want to come over to the couch and watch the whole walking dead series for the 8th time.

Fear will have you say, I Can’t

This is warning signal #1. If you say you can’t because, insert any reason here. This just screams fear. My son was always saying he can’t climb down when he was young because he was stuck in the tree. He would eventually have to overcome his fear of climbing down only to face that bear once more.

Anytime you hear, I can’t leave my abusive spouse because I can change him. That fear is closer to being correct if you were to say I can’t leave this abusive environment because I don’t trust me to live on my own.

I can’t say hi to that guy he probably has a girlfriend. What is closer to being true is I don’t trust myself.

Fear will hold you in chains if you don't pay attention to what you are afraid of
Image by JONGHOON LEE from Pixabay

I can’t is just fear hiding under the thin disguise of an excuse. If you recognize it you can then disassemble the excuse and get to the heart of why and what you are afraid of. It could be our old nemesis the Imposter.

Fear will have you say, I Couldn’t Help it

This also is an easy one to recognize when you start paying attention to your words. I couldn’t help myself from eating that whole tub of ice cream. That excuse is often said because in all reality you are afraid to admit that you did have control and the problem is actually your responsibility. You could have stopped at on scoop but you just kept on eating spoonful after spoonful.

This is saying that I know I screwed up but I am afraid to face the judgment of my actions. Which is interesting because the worst judge of your actions already knows and that person is you. Most other people may judge you for saying that you are into fitness and you are an ice cream slut. Yet, the worst judgments are from you.

road landscape nature man
Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

If you find yourself stating you can’t, look into the why can’t you. You may find a person who is out of integrity and you don’t want to be judged.

Fear will have you question, But What If

Here is the big one that people use when they are afraid of failure. They will come up with as many reasons they can to state a roadblock. What if nobody will buy my widget? I can’t go because what if someone looks at me crosseyed? What if my son doesn’t want to connect with me? What if… What if… What if?!?!

This term comes up when you can’t fully predict the outcome. Sure the unknown can induce horror in people. But those who are successful come through bigger and stronger. This veil of fear often is just that a veil. It is easily pierced and once you are through you almost laugh at what you feared never came close to happening.

Photo by Zoltan Fekeshazi on Unsplash

Is there a chance that people may not accept your widget? Well yeah, you may just have a flat out bad idea, but then again you may just have to make one small tweak and suddenly you have a winner on your hands. The key to this Term is to not give up. You have to show yourself that you are completely wrong.

Yeah, others may say this very excuse to you too but it again is showing their fear. They want you to be safe because they don’t understand what you are doing. Then again perhaps, they don’t want to see you struggle. Either way, this term is nothing but an excuse created by fear.

Fear will to blame others with, They won’t

This is one when someone is afraid that they are going to get blamed. Will they get blamed? Possible but this is often cited by people who are in the depths of the victim mindset and they are too afraid to actually take the responsibility for their actions. ‘

Taking responsibility for your actions has actually more benefits than negatives. First, you are able to keep your respect instead of losing it because you are wanting to try to blame others for your shortcomings. You also have the ability to learn from what you did wrong if you stop passing the blame. Nobody likes a finger pointer and they are able to trust those who admit their faults and how they are going to fix the failure at hand.

Look at exercise equipment. They won’t make you any stronger until you use them. Just saying your have equipment isn’t enough. You have to take the responsibility of actually using those dumbbells to see the results you want. Simply saying they didn’t help me, or these items won’t make me stronger doesn’t fix the problem.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

If you are finding yourself using this excuse, try to understand what you are avoiding. How are you supposed to control people who have agency? You cant You have to inspire people to follow your suggestions and if they don’t then that is where you failed.

Also simply put take full responsibility for your actions. Don’t point fingers because we all know that when you point a finger you have 3 more pointed back at you.

I Had No Choice

This is also a big message of fear when in a victim mindset. When you don’t want to take the responsibility for your actions. We all have choices yet we often don’t want to make the choices that are tougher to handle or put us into an uncomfortable situation. So we make the choice of doing nothing and then say we had no choice.

When you find yourself using this phrase understand what you are fearing. Then take responsibility for your actions. Yeah, it may be uncomfortable but you will keep your integrity and respect as opposed to losing it because you froze under pressure.

Fear can make you feel as if you had no choice
Photo by MARCIN CZERNIAWSKI on Unsplash

Next, if you think you don’t have a choice talk to someone, especially your superior. If you let them know you are stuck they normally will want to help you to find a solution to your problem. Most good leaders are there to be a resource for those who follow them, not as a whipping post.

If only

If only I knew how it would go I would take the leap. If only you knew for sure. Well, the cold hard truth to it all is that you can never know fully. Many people get paralysis by analysis but just reading more and more books about a subject. Then there are those who are professional conference attenders who never launch anything. All of this is fear trying to hold you back. It is your mind saying don’t proceed there might be dragons ahead. Yet you will never know if there really are dragons until you find one.

Many people find that the ready fire aim approach helps them to get past this barrier of fear. The most successful people actually use this technique. They will hope over that brook when they get to it. Why worry about whether or not the river will be flooded until you see it?

It’s Their Fault

The last example of words that come from fear is the pointing of a finger to other people. This again is passing the blame. It isn’t your leadership, they wouldn’t do as they were told. If you are using this stop it immediately. You will never earn the hearts and minds of those who are following you if you are constantly pointing a finger of blame at them. Yeah, you may be afraid as to what people are thinking of you. Yet if you are being an ass and blaming people for your shortcomings then you rightfully earn that blame. Yet people will stand behind you more if you take full responsibility for how you failed them. Almost like falling on your sword. You will rally people if you do the hard thing a fess to how you were not the leader you thought you were. When you shrug the fear aside and take the reigns of your life and your purpose people love you and will follow you to the ends of the earth.

Fear will cause you to point a finger at the wrong person
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So, there are a few of the big words that are based on fear. How many have you used? Me? I have used all f them more than once in my lifetime. That is OK I have started to pay attention to those words and use them as an indicator of what I really need to do. You can do the same. If you find yourself in the clutches of fear. And you want assistance in overcoming them may I suggest the men’s group The Brotherhood of Men. This group can help you to find your path and help you stay on it as you grow and become the leader of your community and family.

The Language of Fear
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About Bryan Goodwin

I like being able to help people find their "why" and achieve the personal freedom they desire. Besides writing for Relaxed Male I also am a life coach. By helping men find the leader that is found in each and every one of us. I do this by encouraging men to get outdoors and find the balance they are missing. Realize that they need to be in contact with the outside as often as they can. It is not only good for them but for their families and relationships.

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