6 Fears You Need To Master To Be Happy

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist By John Kim, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
John Kim, LMFT, is an author, speaker, and a licensed marriage and family therapist who goes by the moniker The Angry Therapist.

Our fears keep us locked in our head, and ultimately limit our potential. We can not be happy when our potential is limited. These are our six basic fears: 

  1. Fear of poverty.
  2. Fear of criticism.
  3. Fear of ill health.
  4. Fear of loss of love or not finding love.
  5. Fear of old age.
  6. Fear of death.

Here are some symptoms of having these fears:


These are just a few of the symptoms. As you can see, they're all negative traits that can prevent us from our potential and being happy.

Now, everyone has these fears to a certain extent. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. But these fears become a problem when they consume us, take over our thoughts, drive our behavior, and eventually hinder our quality of life.

Let's take a closer look.

Fear of poverty.

If we measure our worth by our income, we'll always have a fear of poverty. Since we have tied them together in our head, poor means worth less. In order to overcome this fear, we must believe that our worth and our ability are separate. We will always have the ability to make money. And that has nothing to do with who we are. Unfortunately, because of the world we live in that may be difficult to believe. Also, sometimes how much we make is beyond our control—The economy, circumstances, etc. can prevent us from making what we normally make or would like to make. At the end of the day, money will come and go. I don’t care how rich you are: You will make money and you will lose money. The focus should not be fear of poverty. The focus should be fear of not reaching potential.

Of course there are people who grew up in poverty and their childhood is the fire that gets them working 70 hours a week. Correction—it’s their fear of poverty that turn them into machines. One can argue this is a good thing because it drives them. But it also forces their life to be unbalanced.

Fear of criticism.

Remember this: it's not always about you. Criticism is mostly about the other person. I think this is what many people don’t realize. When we get criticized, we instantly question our value. Usually, we believe other peoples’ opinions of us and concave without realizing that their opinions are only their version of our story. And since their story is not perfect, they are only seeing things through their own lens. When we fear what others think of us, we seek their validation. We bury our truth and again, limit our potential.

Fear of ill health.

Nothing puts things into perspective faster than when someone you love becomes ill. We realize that our problems are not as big as we thought. Many have anxiety because we are afraid we will get hurt or physically ill. We think twice before doing anything that involves physical risk. This is another fear that keeps us in a shell, away from the world, trapped in our own mind and in this case, house.

A reputable physician estimated that 75% of all people who visit physicians for professional service are suffering with hypochondria (imaginary illness). It has been shown most convincingly that the fear of disease, even where there is not the slightest cause for fear, often produces the physical symptoms of the disease feared.

Powerful and mighty is the human mind, it builds or it destroys.

Fear of loss of love of someone.

When we're afraid we are going to lose someone, we either end or sabotage the relationship or we lose ourselves in it. This fear is harmful. Fear of loss of love is very similar to jealousy in that it suffocates the other person, so to speak. It makes him or her feel that tremendous pressure of being the most important thing in your life and being the “gauge” of your happiness. Ironically, then, the more afraid you are to lose your lover, the more your actions will push him or her away from you.

Fear of old age & fear of death.

Simply put, our fear of dying keeps us from living. We will all die. That's fact. We must not focus on the ticking clock, but rather the moments. The more control we have over these fears, the closer we will be to happiness.

Fear is created in your head. They stem from thoughts. These thoughts were formed from experience and imagination. To over come a fear, we must face it.

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

- Franklin Roosevelt

John Kim, LMFT
John Kim, LMFT
John Kim, LMFT, is an author, speaker, and a licensed marriage and family therapist who goes by the...
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