Photo of Ruth SoukupFear shows up in our lives in countless ways.

Sometimes, fear takes the form of procrastination. We’re afraid of botching something, or we don’t like the feeling of anxiety that a project gives us, so we avoid it, dodge it, and indefinitely put it off.

Other times, fear takes the form of perfectionism through endless iterating and tweaking. We want to keep tinkering with a project, to get it “just right.” We applaud ourselves for our attention to detail.

Fear takes the form of making excuses and rationalizations for why we can’t pursue a goal or dream. We tell ourselves that some outside factor is to blame.

Fear takes the form of throwing ourselves pity parties and locking ourselves into a negative self-talk spiral. We get easily discouraged.

Fear takes the form of thinking others can’t be trusted, and pushing people away.

Fear has many faces.

Today’s podcast guest, Ruth Soukup, surveyed 4,000 people to find out how fear manifests in their lives. She joins us on this episode to discuss the seven fear archetypes that she discovered.

Those archetypes are:

The People Pleaser: This is the fear of disapproval and fear of not being liked, expressed in the form of weak boundaries and putting others needs first to a self-harming extent.

The Procrastinator: This is the fear of making a mistakes. This shows up as over-planning to the point of “analysis paralysis,” of spending all your time researching and none of your time taking action. Perfectionism is an overlapping quality, as well.

The Rule Follower: This is a fear of authority. This person is afraid of breaking the rules or doing something in a way in which it’s not ‘supposed’ to be done.

The Outcast: This is the fear of rejection, which often — ironically — causes this person to reject others first so that they cannot get rejected. They’re highly self-motivated and driven to succeed and feel the need to prove themselves, but they have trouble collaborating and working in groups.

The Self-Doubter: This is the fear of inadequacy, of not being good enough, which causes the self-doubter to forgo opportunities, play it safe, and not take risks. They can also be highly critical of others.

The Excuse Maker: This is the fear of taking responsibility or being blamed, which shows up in the form of always having a justification as to why this person can’t pursue a goal, or why an outcome isn’t their fault.

The Pessimist: This is the fear of pain or adversity, often held by people who have been through an immense amount of pain or trauma. The pessimist gets locked into patterns of negative self-talk and self-pity, and believes that they have it worst than most. They can be sensitive to criticism, feel emotion intensely, and has trouble moving beyond the challenges from their past.

In today’s episode, Ruth and I discuss these seven fear archetypes and cover specific action plans that people can take if they recognize these tendencies within themselves.

Resources Mentioned:

  1. Book: Do It Scared
  2. Podcast: Do It Scared
  3. The Do It Scared Fear Assessment

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