Living in fear can keep you in the same place for a life time if not addressed and not dealt with. It can effectively freeze you in time. The signs that you are fearful of something e.g management, of other colleagues, of what might happen, of losing your job, of what others may think, being made to look the fool, can be ever so subtle to other people BUT can be easily masked by you i.e to just plough on with stuff, but the effect (if you have experienced this) can be crippling.
I know of a few people, one ex work colleague in particular comes to my mind. This person has a very large personality and gets a lot of compliments of being “happy go lucky” and “very confident” but internally, this person is (in my view) quite fragile, crippled by fear (of being judged mainly) that they can’t even get their words out in a conversation, without saying the wrong thing. They have a fear of saying the wrong words and they start most conversations off in this state and end up saying the wrong words. This person avoids talking in large groups, especially when there are new people in the group, or with people they don’t see very often.
This person doesn’t go out much, or only goes to places where they deem it safe and where they won’t be called out, or highlighted for this fear. This person masks their fear with by being loud and seemingly “bubbly” but under the surface, there’s so much going on.
This individual is quite an angry person.
This is one example and there are many more.
It’s so important to identify a feeling that stops you from doing stuff (especially if it’s a fear), to deal with it and tackle it head on. It may not be the easiest thing to do but you will definitely experience a sense of accomplishment and peace and even power.
One thing I found useful for dealing with fears, was a little exercise where I invite my fears in (from the outside) for a chat (It’s a metaphor). I get super f****** curious about my fear/s and in a state of wonder and fascination, I ask questions of them. I give them a name, assign them a physical appearance and then relate to them (this is a very personal exercise).
In an extreme state of curiosity, I question them.
I really feel that unwarranted fear pops up (in many forms) for individuals who suffer with high levels of anxiety more times than is necessary. It’s a huge cause for not doing stuff, more so, not savouring every moment of your life.