Emotional Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt

Welcome to the Emotional Path where we’re going to be discussing an issue that I’ve dealt with for many years, in fact decades. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.. These are three core drivers to indecision, poor decision, and stagnation. What are these three things and why do they have so much control?

As a young salesman, I was taught that buyers often times won’t make a decision because of fear, uncertainty & doubt. I also saw first-hand that the successful people in sales had learned to deal with their fear, uncertainty and doubt and were able to channel it into confidence, and security. As I grew and met more and more successful people, I realized that these three core influences played strongly in everyone’s life. They drive people in ways they’re not even aware of. What’s the genesis of this? Why are so afraid and uncertain of things?

Let’s talk first about FEAR. Clearly, this begins with a basic cellular level response of fight versus flight. We are hard-wired to avoid situations and conflicts that can cause us physical (or emotional) pain. Therefore, we put our guard up whenever a situation seems a little out of our comfort zone. This can be as simple as when we walk into a room of people and we don’t know anyone. Our instinct becomes uncomfortable because we don’t know who these people are or how they’ll react to us. Oftentimes, I’ve found that this “fear” of people response is stronger when small groups are encountered, rather than large crowds which could indicate a security found in anonymity. Other fear responses are interesting as well. The number one fear, for example, of Americans isn’t dying, but speaking publically. We have to learn to be honest about our fears and confront them. Through understanding (the Intellectual Path), we’ll be able to channel our fears and turn them into our ally’s and help propel us forward in our journey.

Second is the idea of uncertainty, now I believe this is closely tied to fear. Uncertainty is simply that none of us can predict the future. Some are better than others at “connecting the dots” to come up with a pretty good forecast of what will happen, generally speaking. But no one can actually predict the future. Thus, we have an innate uncertainty about what will happen, what outcomes will be. This uncertainty plays again on our instinctive fears as survival often depends on being certain of our surroundings. In an uncertain circumstance, our fight versus flight becomes flight. Think about a deer. They live in a skittish world where if anything isn’t “normal” their understanding, they bolt. So uncontrolled uncertainty can often lead us to try to “get away” even when there’s no real threat.

The final notion is doubt. It’s hard to be self-confident. The world oftentimes seems like it exists only to beat us down, to tell us we can’t do this, can’t do that. and our self confidence is set from a very early age. But our self doubts often stagnate us into non-action. What if I’m wrong? Well, we have to learn to control for this doubt and simply look at the “what if I’m wrong” and then simply build decision tree’s to determine the outcomes and plans if we turn out to be wrong. But being wrong isn’t in and of itself a reason not to try. Often, no decision is the worst decision.

Now, each of these three; fear uncertainty and doubt could easily be expanded into their own SBG cast. But for purposes of introduction, I think we’ve covered these pretty well. So for today, I’m steve Beaman and thanks for listening.

Author's Bio: 

Steve Beaman is the Author of "Happiness & Prosperity in the 21st Century: The Five Paths To a Transformed Life". He has authored over 100 articles relating to the Five Paths including articles on Financial Prosperity, Emotional Wellness, Physical Health, Intellectual fulfillment, and Spiritual Security. He enjoyed a highly successful career in Economics and Finance prior to establishing The Steve Beaman Group. The "SBG" is an orginization dedicated to helping people on their journey's of life.