My 3 Top Fears

Time to bear my soul a little bit. This was inspired by another blog post I read yet can’t remember where I read it. Still, it had enough impact on me to become a topic to write about, and that topic is fear.

Fearless Freep ain’t scared…

Why do we talk about fear? We talk about it for three main reasons.

One, because it gives us something to share with others, especially if they have the same fears.

Two, because in its own way fear can be motivating, either making you do something you don’t want to do or figuring out another way around it so it can be avoided.

Three, because like most things, if you don’t acknowledge fear you don’t have the opportunity to fix it, if it can be fixed. I talk about this often on my business blog when I’m talking about one of the most important things about being a leader is not being afraid to hear the truth, no matter how bad it might be, because if you can fix something before it’s totally off the tracks you have a better opportunity to keep things moving smoothly.

Let’s stop dodging the topic, my top 3 fears. Here we go:

1. Bugs.

This my strongest fear, which is why it’s at the top of the list. I hate them all, and I don’t care whether you call them bugs, insects, arachnids, pests, etc. I hate them with a passion.

The fear is so great that I can’t buy bug spray that has a picture on it that looks anything close to being real. I can’t look at them in a magazine, can’t watch them on TV, and if they show up in a movie I either have to cover my eyes or take my glasses off so I can’t see anything (ask my friend Scott about going to the Indiana Jones movies with me lol).

This is one that I’m never going to be able to do anything about. If I know I’m in the room with a bug I have to leave; that’s how intense it can be sometimes. Luckily, it’s not an issue I have to deal with all that often.

At home I have bug spray ready; outside, well, I’m not outside all that much. After all these years I’ve learned how to deal with the knowledge that they’re out there, waiting to get me, but I have the advantage of knowledge versus hunger; I can only hope they continue to stay dumb.

I’ve actually gotten slightly better over the years at dealing with them if they get into the house. I might have to dress up in some pretty strange stuff to get the courage to take one on, but if I don’t do it and my wife isn’t home who will?

2. Death. This is fear number two, mainly because I know this is one I probably can’t avoid. I say “probably” because I keep hoping that the episode of Outer Limits back in the 50’s where the guy got so smart that he evolved into a being that couldn’t die has a chance to work. That’s why I read so many books and many science books. However, this one is probably only a pipe dream. lol

This one scared me up until 2002, when my dad passed away. Then it scared and depressed me. Every year I get older, I realize that I’m coming close to my final day and I don’t like that thought one bit. What’s strange is that as I get older I also have one of those days every once in awhile where I say “hey, if I go, at least it’s finally over”. What that “if” is is never clear to me, and I hope to keep it that way for awhile longer. Still, very few of us get to really prepare for death; it comes when we’re not expecting it and often not ready for it. We always fear the unknown, right?

3. Failure. This is definitely in the top 3, and unfortunately it’s the one that’s closest to me, and fortunately the only one I might have some control over.

The thing about failure is that it means something different to each of us. For me, failure has more than one meaning, which is sometimes scary. Failure is not feeling comfortable enough to do more sales to promote my services, which of course could eventually lead to total failure of my business.

Failure is not having anyone read anything I write anymore, which could lead to my blogs shutting down and no one hiring me to write for them any longer. Failure could be disappointing my wife to the extent that she decides I’m not the right one for her anymore and could leave. Failure could mean gaining back the weight I’ve lost (19 now and counting), or never losing another pound. Failure could mean adding onto the one main health problem I do have because the body just can’t take it anymore. We all know where that could eventually lead to (see #2).

Those are my 3 biggest fears; anyone else willing to tackle this one, either on your own blog or here? Do you have ways you work on overcoming any of those fears? And can motivation help you deal with some of those fears?

28 thoughts on “My 3 Top Fears”

  1. We’re on the same list of fears and yes, the bugs were really annoying, especially the flying cockroach! For me, when those fears are ready to strike you down, there’s no way out. For bugs, yes; but in death, uh-uh! And the failures in life were simplified as motivation, and that’s why you’re afraid to do same failure because you’re already motivated by the past trials.

  2. Hey Mitch! Yeah we talked on Twitter about your fear of bugs!

    As you know, I’m a’feared of bees/hornets/wasps and bugs of that nature. I just don’t like the way they hover there like helicopters, then dive in and sting, usually for no damn reason.

    So what if I’m by your stinkin’ hive/nest whatever? Live and let live, man. Sheesh!

    If not for the fact that we need those bees for the ecology, I would wish them all away. Although I’m not sure if wasps actually do anything but mess stuff up.

    As I mentioned before I once messed up a first date because there were bees around and I was forced to use her as a shield to escape. You’d think she would appreciate my resourcefulness, but no.

    Anyway, my next fear is of commitment. Yeah I’m one of those guys and although I’m not exactly proud of it, I’m sure as heck not ashamed of it either lol.

    If I ever ended up on the altar I keep smoke bombs handy just in case I have to make a quick exit. If necessary I will gnaw off my arm to escape. I ain’t going out that way.

    Lastly, I don’t really fear death, but only the how of it. I just don’t want one of those stupid Darwin Awards deaths. It needs to be quick and clean.

    My dad died from cancer way back in 1995 and it was ugly. I vowed I would not go out that way, but even more important that that vow, is the vow I made to come back and haunt everyone I know after my death.

    My personal belief is that there’s a whole lot o’ nothing after death, but if I’m pleasantly surprised then I will be back, throwin’ crap around poltergeist style and talking real slick to people just like in American Horror Story.

    So that about sums it up, but you probably knew most of this…

    1. John, you want to come back and haunt people; that’s so evil! lol Fear of commitment; I’d have never thought about that one, since it’s not one I’ve ever really had. But obviously I can identify with the other two.

  3. I don’t fear death as much as I do the type of death. I hope I don’t have an agonizing, uncomfortable, or extremely messy death and I sometimes grow fearful when I consider these.

    A weird fear of our modern age that I have is my computers being infected by a really destructive virus or being taken over by some nefarious entity that does all sorts of nasty things in my good name.

    Maybe related to failure I fear extreme rejection. My divorce was probably the worst thing I’ve ever dealt with and I’d never want to have to go through something like that again or to vehemently rejected by the public in general. Rejection can be considered a new beginning, but I’d rather find other ways to start anew.


    1. Once again Arlee I can identify with 2 of the 3, but viruses aren’t one of those things I have a problem with. Maybe it’s because I can get rid of them because I’m not afraid to go into the computer’s nether regions and eliminate stuff; not really sure. Rejection is a tough one to overcome; I work on that one almost every day.

  4. I do have many things I fear which includes the number two and three in the list that you have mentioned and even more. But one thing I know is that MOTIVATION can help on a longer run to deal with them a little bit but not totally. We just have to keep moving to God and allowing him to have his way on our livelihood.

    Thanks Mitch for reminding me of heaven even at this my early age….I’m afraid death could just knock any moment from now.


    1. Olawale, I don’t believe in a god so that one won’t get it done for me. It pretty much means I have to count on my own efforts to get me through stuff, which is scary in its own right.

  5. I am not afraid of death at all.. We should always be ready for that. We are not immortal to stay alive forever. I most afraid of failure and house gecko.. I once seen a house gecko and it made my blood flows over my head! Lol!

    1. Now that’s interesting Junel. Every time I’ve been in Florida I’ve seen packs of these little green lizards and never even flinched except for the first time when they came scurrying out and I didn’t know what they were. Not sure why lizards don’t bother me.

  6. I don’t like bugs and reptiles, but honestly I don’t fear those species. Death, it is something inevitable and generally I am not afraid of it, but of course it depends on what kind of death. Failure, I have failed in so many things and I know that the curve can go in opposite direction. I am not fearless and definitely not having any fears isn’t very smart. The only think I am afraid of is my family, personally I know that I can do anything if I really want to. Fears doesn’t motivate me, but for sure adrenaline can be helpful, however I get my adrenaline pumping when I get exited about something good and positive.

    1. Carl, fear is a horrible motivator most of the time. And are you afraid of your family or fearful for their safety? Thought I’d best get that one cleared up. lol

      1. Anything related to my family not only safety and especially my son. I agree fear is horrible motivator and most of the time people are doing stupid things because fear.

  7. Fears can be really motivating I can identify with that completely. I guess if I had to think about my top three fears I think the most primary one is …

    1. Love. It’s one of those things where you know you have the desire to find a partner, have a healthy relationship and you are on the same page with another human being. I’m not talking about fairy tale love or someone swooping down to rescue me either. I meant that really good kind where you’re there for someone in a relationship and they’re there for you.

    I understand that life holds no guarantees in a relationship and sometimes things may not work out and it’s not a point of being “someone’s fault” really… I mean sometimes we try with someone and your simply not at the same point in life, want different things and all these types of variables.

    So I guess my top fear is to not be in love, the way I feel it could be in that nice healthy way. I’m not even in a hurry to get married or any of that stuff. I think if I really had to think about it, love seems to spring up when you least expect it. At least the times I felt I was in love it just hit me and suddenly there it was…

    Since this is a fear of mine, I have to start going out and give myself that opportunity. I’m not going to meet someone going to work and going home and taking care of my daughter and I’m not in that desperation kind of hurry either.

    2. Being old and ending up in a nursing home. HUGE fear of mine, they mistreat patients and if you don’t have the money I highly wonder about the quality of care those places offer the elderly.

    3. I can’t think of a three right now. 🙂 I think the first two are fine! 🙂

    1. Sue, I think the first two are enough for now. I’m betting I could think of a 3rd one for you, but we’ll keep that to ourselves for now. lol I understand love though because it means you have to be vulnerable. The other means a total loss of control of your own life. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Death I am not so scared of, but a debilitating long term illness, that is certainly up there; but, I guess we all puts those types of fears to the back of our minds. Social embarrassment has to be another fear of mine: example, doing a speech infront of a large crowd and it going horrible wrong.

    1. Ah Richard, you’re one of those folks scared of public speaking. I don’t have that fear; never have, thank goodness. Long term illness; nope, I can’t put that one on a list, but I can add being disabled via some kind of accident and not being able to walk or type anymore. Definitely in the top 10.

  9. “We always fear the unknown, right?” That is very true Mitch. However, the solution to that is simple. Release your brain from thinking about the unknown and think this fear is in everyone’s mind too. So, your are not alone 🙂 That’s life

    1. You know, i agree with Martin. Not knowing isn’t a reason to not live life and do things.

      It’s funny too because I never used to think about things like I do now and I was a lot more free in my mind. After I had my daughter, that’s when big things started going on in my mind. Which is interesting while I’m thinking about it… Nice topic !

      1. Sue, you never stop trying to live because of your fears. You either address the fears or find a way around them but you do what you need to push forward. Goodness, this sounds like something we’ve talked about before. 😉

    2. Actually Martin, if it was that simple I think we’d have all done it. I sometimes think what we fear is what we feed on because it does involve a lot of the unknown, and it’s hard to forget. Kind of like realizing just how small the earth is and that an asteroid as big as a bus could hit it at any time & kill civilization; now isn’t that comforting? lol

  10. A really inspiring text, it has made me really thinking about my own fears. It is really interesting that you’ve mentioned the fear of death. I think I wouldn’t have done it. I only can fear from the unexpected. I really like your point on the importance of the motivating power and tribe of our fears, we really can turn them into benefits if we can face them and after an analysis, use them in our forthcoming decisions. I’ve really enjoyed your text and I have also checked Adrienne Smith’s article on her blog, it was also interesting and inspirational.

    1. Thanks Andrea. Actually, the fear of death is kind of strong; it’s a fear of my own mortality, which is almost the same thing but with a slight difference. I want to stick around; I want to see what’s coming next. I want to see what happens with humanity. I want to see how the world changes, if people start behaving better, if we go into space, if the next Ice Age is really coming, is there a comet or asteroid on a collision course and what we’re going to do about it… yeah, even stuff like that. Knowing that there will be so many unanswered questions bothers me a great deal.

  11. Bugs don’t bother me but I hate spiders with a passion. I can kill those little guys but not the big hairy ones.

    When I die I hope it sneaks up on me without any warning. It’s not something I dwell on.

    My only other fear is failing my family. Everything I do is for them and I hate to do anything that would let them down.

    1. Thanks for sharing Sire. I didn’t add this because it’s not really a fear, but I never want to bring shame to my family either. I think that’s the only way I could ever let anyone down.

  12. Hey Mitch,

    I’m SO sorry I’m late getting by here. Am always thrilled to inspire a post in you.

    I had to laugh at how many guys are afraid of bugs. Over on my post I had a few share with me they’re afraid of wasps, bugs and snakes. I thought you guys were suppose to be tough. I’m more afraid of snakes then bugs but only the kind that can hurt you. Like green snakes don’t bother me at all. Weird right!

    I use to be afraid of death. I mean if I end up leaving this earth in some horrible way I’m sure I’ll be darn scared at that time. But knowing it’s coming and knowing that my soul will live on brings me some type of peace I guess. Let’s face it, we have absolutely no control over that now do we.

    Failure, I’m SO with you on this one Mitch. I hate to fail, I hate to let myself down and I hate to let others down. But what I’ve learned from this is that either there were other things in store for me at that time or maybe that wasn’t the right time which is why I failed. I don’t know, there can be so many reasons for it. Either way, it’s never enjoyable I admit.

    Thank you for sharing these with us. Big old strong Mitch, I would have never thought you would be afraid of anything. Glad to know we’re all not alone in this. Yey!

    Hope you’re having a great weekend Mitch. Here’s to a fabulous week ahead.


    1. Thanks for finally stopping by, inspirational Adrienne! lol You know, people think that when you get to a certain age and size that there are things that shouldn’t bother you anymore, but it just doesn’t work that way. For instance, horses would be on my top 10 and my friend Scott’s daughter, an equestrian, laughs at that. Many times fear is definitely a protective measure, and I think that works well for me and bugs.

      Failure is another issue, and I just keep telling myself “you’re not allowed to fail because too many people believe in you”, which is a lot of pressure but goodness, if I couldn’t take some pressure I should have never started, right?

      As to the other… well, I’m going to continue trying to figure it out until it decides it’s tired of me fighting. I’ll be on the front line of people volunteering to test the “live forever” drug when some scientist finally creates it; I only hope it doesn’t wait until I’m 70 because I’m not sure I’d want to be 70 for the rest of my life. lol

  13. Thanks for sharing. As for me I fear frogs and rats. I can’t stand these two creatures. I’d rather leave the room where I’ve seen them and wait till someone comes to my rescue and remove them from there.

    1. John, I could see your fear of rats; those suckers can be monstrous. And I’m not crazy about frogs (except Kermit of course) so I could see that one as well.

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