The 10 biggest fears holding you back from success

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If you've ever been afraid of failing, it's time to get over it.

That's according to Adam Smith, whose new book, "The Bravest You: 5 Steps to Fight Your Biggest Fears, Find Your Passion and Unlock Your Extraordinary Life," comes out May 30.

Smith, a life coach and motivational speaker, writes that there are 10 fears that hold people back from achieving their full potential. "At some point — present or past — fear has torn us all away from some significant accomplishment or victory," he begins.

"You can probably think back to a moment in life where you avoided it, suppressed it or hid it. If your experience is anything like mine, I know that none of these reactions helped you achieve anything."

Instead, Smith says to tackle your anxieties with confidence. "You don't have to keep running from fear," he explains. "In fact, there's a way to overcome and eradicate each and every fear you face."

Here are the 10 biggest roadblocks to achieving success, according to Smith's book, and what you can do to combat them.

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1. The fear of inadequacy

Smith writes that the first thing people fear is not being skilled enough. But there's a solution: "Once you admit that you are experiencing the fear of inadequacy, understanding is on its way."

"When you understand what your important role is in carrying out your pursuits," he adds, "you will begin to see what you need to do when first stepping out to tackle your fear of inadequacy."

2. The fear of uncertainty

The second fear is being afraid of the unknown. But there's a fix to this holding you back as well, Smith writes. "Anticipating what will happen in the future is a strength that can be developed, and it will help you take the first step when you experience the fear of uncertainty," he explains.

He adds: "And vision is what will keep you moving forward regardless of your fears. In whatever you do, anticipation and vision are both necessary ingredients to fight the fear of uncertainty."

In whatever you do, anticipation and vision are both necessary ingredients to fight the fear of uncertainty.
Adam Smith

3. The fear of failure

This fear marks another reason why some fail to succeed. "My life didn't go exactly as planned and I'm sure yours hasn't either," explains Smith. "Even if you have already built a plan for your life, you can't see the future. You can try to predict it all you want, but there are just some things outside of your control."

He adds, "That said, it's a great practice to identify the things you can control in your bravery journey and to focus on them. This will allow you to stop focusing on the life happenings you have no control over."

4. The fear of rejection

Fear of rejection is another common issue people face in life. "If we devote every ounce of passion to our lives, then we are living life in the way it was meant to be live," according to Smith. "Yes, rejection will come, even when we find passion and put in the work, but we should be most satisfied with giving life our all."

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5. The fear of missing out

Missing out, popularized online as "FOMO," is another fear Smith pinpoints as crippling to a person's success. "You can tell if you are fearful of missing out if you are constantly wishing that you are somewhere other than where you are right now," he explains. "The fear of missing out is a distraction from forming lasting relationships, because it keeps you focused on what every other person in the world is doing, rather than on the people right in front of you."

The author's solution: "Instead of letting your fear of missing out put your focus on every other place in the world besides where you are right now, you can fight this fear by slowing down and focusing on the people you come in contact with every single day."

6. The fear of change

Fear of change is common, but Smith writes we must learn to be content with life's shifts "if we are to find inner peace and passion even when everything else is changing."

He adds, "Worrying about change ahead does nothing but rob us of the present joy we could and should be experiencing. Yes, life is ever-evolving, so we do need to prepare for the future, but this should also remind us of the need to take life as it comes, one day at a time."

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7. The fear of losing control

This fear is a little more complicated, according to Smith. It can be helpful, but only in moderation.

"Honestly, I like being in control when I can be, and I do believe that there are key areas of life that we can and should control, like our schedules, our self-perception and the words we speak," he writes. "But as good as controlling our lives sounds, there are some things in life that are outside our control."

8. The fear of being judged

In the office, it's common to grow weary of the feeling of judgement from peers or managers.

"Feeling vulnerable, or available for attack from others, is the main reason people won't open up in the first place," explains the author. "In a true community, people aren't vulnerable. They're open, because people in a real community aren't out to attack others in their community, but to support them."

Instead of being afraid about what others think, Smith says to "embrace your personal story, because that is what makes you unique, and share it within your community." He continues, "In fact, strive to create community wherever you are, and build confidence in yourself and the people around you while you're at it."

Feeling vulnerable, or available for attack from others, is the main reason people won't open up in the first place.
Adam Smith

9. The fear of something bad happening

Another fear outside of a person's control, Smith writes: "Yes, tragedy comes, and nothing I say will ever diminish its magnitude, but even more powerful is the experience of restoration — the mountaintop after the experience of tragedy."

He adds, "If you are in the midst of tragedy, remember that restoration will eventually come. The anxiety that comes from worry doesn't bring success into your life any faster. Fear be still, bravery come near."

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10. The fear of getting hurt

The last fear Smith highlights is being hurt: "The best way to fight the fear of getting hurt is to do life together and to get to know one another on deeper levels. Some will argue that building close relationships with others can only leave you hurt in the end, but living life without relationships sounds much more hurtful than never experiencing the beauty found in relationships."

At the end of the book, Smith concludes, "Fear is the number one obstacle you will face in life: The most difficult challenge you will ever be put to and the most important one to overcome."

Through these solutions, though, he's confident that anyone can fight these roadblocks to achieving success: "I have no fear and no doubt that you can do it. And the best part is that you now have everything you need to be the bravest you."

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