6 biggest fears to overcome if you want to be successful in 2021, according to a futurist

Research shows the that the biggest barrier to ongoing success isn't time, money or resources — it's resistance to change and lack of risk tolerance.

As fast-moving and unpredictable as today's world is, we're all forced to adapt on a daily basis. In my years of research as a futurist, I've found that fear comes in six flavors. If you shift your perspectives and learn to conquer them, the possibilities will be endless in 2021.

1. Fear of change and uncertainty

Whether it's in your career or a relationship, you risk being left behind if you stay put and don't continue to grow.

Don't try to predict the future. Instead, study events as they take shape, and adapt. Design a portfolio of smart bets to take — bets in the form of changing decisions and actions. Constantly revise them as you gain new information.

2. Fear of isolation

It can sometimes feel uncomfortable to be in your own company or left to operate with little or no support from others, especially amid a pandemic.

But there are ways to push forward. Take small steps to build trust and strong relationships with your colleagues, friends and family members. Be part of the team, but reclaim your relationship with yourself, too.

3. Fear of confrontation

Having a hostile personal or professional interaction with others can often get ugly. But when we always try to avoid these situations, problems don't get fixed.

Ask yourself: What's worth your time, and what isn't? Take a step back and think about the best ways to tackle them. Begin addressing them one step at a time, updating your strategy based on the results you get.

4. Fear of rejection

You didn't get the job. A potential client is avoiding you. Your product or service got refused. We've all been there.

Maintain confidence and keep forging ahead. You're going to hear "no" more often than "yes" in life. And sometimes, no often simply means "no for now" — so don't hesitate to try later, as circumstances can change.

5. Fear of losing control

Research shows that the need to stay on top of everything and manage circumstances and people around us is often rooted the fear of losing control.

Instead of questioning your ability to command or adapt to situations that don't go your way, accept that certain variables are beyond your control. Focus on things that you have the power to manage.

6. Fear of failure

Big, meaningful goals take time to achieve. And you may experience more than a few setbacks before getting there.

Experiment frequently. Fail fast and often, but fail smartly — use failure as a way to test new strategies and solutions to course-correct as you go until you find success. Just don't make the same mistake twice.

Scott Steinberg is a futurist, keynote speaker on business trends and the bestselling author of "Fast >> Forward" and "Think Like a Futurist." An award-winning strategic consultant, Scott was named by Fortune magazine as a leading expert on innovation. Follow him on Twitter.

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