Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.  ~Brendan Francis

The fear of humiliation is my third post in my five part series “are any of these five fears holding you back?”

Fear of humiliation – the ego-death fear

Karl Albrecht PhD. states, in his article written for Psychology Today, that there are only five basic fears:



Loss of Autonomy



From Dr Albrecht’s article I learned that the fear of humiliation is an ego-death driven fear. An ego-death driven fear is a self-disapproving fear.  Your desire to preserve how others see you is the guiding force behind your decisions. Your desire for love and acceptance is stronger than your desire to achieve your goals.

The power of humiliation

The fear of humiliation is a very powerful emotion. Studies show that more people are afraid of public speaking – an extension of the fear of humiliation – than dying.

One of my clients married someone – who slept with her bridesmaid a few days before their wedding – because she didn’t want the embarrassment of calling off the wedding.

The opinion of  family, friends and the public mattered a great deal to her family.

After a three months of marriage she was ready to call it quits. A mutual friend referred her to me so that I could help her move forward in spite of her fear.

For an entire year, one of my coaching friends refused to put a couple of strategies in place, which would have catapulted her success, because she was paralyzed by the fear of humiliation.

The fear of being humiliated help some people stay true to their core values. This is a positive outcome but the WHY is unhealthy. It’s human nature to be angry at the thing/person that makes us fearful. Eventually, instead of feeling good about living your principle driven life, you’re going to have misdirected anger, consciously or unconsciously, towards your core value driven lifestyle.

Free yourself from toxic emotions. Live your life based on your core values because it’s the right thing to do. And it makes you feel good.

How to free yourself from this toxic emotion

You’re the boss of YOU. Don’t wait to overcome your fear. As uncomfortable as it may be – do the things that the fear of being humiliated keeps you from doing.

It’s that simple. I can hear you saying: ” NO, it’s not.” Well, even though it’s difficult, show your fear you’re the boss of YOU. Try it and you’ll be pleasantly surprised that it becomes easier each time.

Repeat! Repeat! Repeat! Your fear, like all habits, is part of your subconscious programming. And it over rides your conscious desires. It rules! However, you will change your programming with repetitive action.

Your life will become a reflection of your vision.

More tips for dealing with your fears

Fear of rejection

Fear of being judged

It’s a wrap

We can learn from observing others: how is this fear affecting the people in your inner circle?  How is it affecting your life?

If your personal and professional life isn’t a reflection of your vision, ask yourself WHY. If your reasons are about other people: what they’ll think, say, feel etc. – then the fear of humiliation could be one of the fears fueling your success train.

Your turn

Which fear has had the most impact on your life?

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