By Teen Coach: Melanie Black
What teens fear may seem small to adults, but to them it can be huge, to the point that it affects their mental and physical health, which is why parents need to be sensitive to these issues. Sometimes teens are reluctant to express their fears. This is why it vital that parents and teens keep an open line of communication. Guiding teens to understanding their fears and how to learn from them can benefit them in ways they never thought possible.
Teenagers’ Top Fears
- Fear of failure
- Fear they won’t be liked
- Fear they will get in trouble
- Fear of bullies
- Fear of talking to parents
- Fear of the future and life after graduation
- Fear of bad grades
- Fear of talking to teachers
- Fear of not being good enough
- Fear of not having enough money
These fears turn into assumptions. The assumptions lead to a negative perspective and this kind of perspective leads to teens taking actions that inhibit their success and happiness.
Example: I fear I will fail my math test. Math is hard. I am terrible at math. Student gets below average on the math test.
As an Academic Life Coach, I would show this to a student and ask them to write the positive form of this example or the opposite of each phrase. Doing this with students shows them how to bust limiting beliefs about themselves and change their mindset to one that contributes to their success and happiness rather than failure.
Teens can combat fear by adopting a growth mindset. In the coaching process we work on embracing a teen’s strengths and using those to develop new systems to reach goals. Sometimes the new system works and sometimes it has to be tweaked. Giving up on goals due to fear is not an option! Anything is possible! In the coaching process this the attitude we want to instill in teens so they can accomplish their goals and be happy.
Benefits of Fear
Fear is an emotion and emotions, whether negative or positive, remind us that we are human. Most fears are not real, but made-up. They are usually not true threats to your life and success. Being mindful of our fears and recognizing where they come from can help us work through challenges. Analyze why the fear is taunting you before it worsens. Facing our fears helps develop confidence. Confidence derives from achieving what we never thought possible. Listen to your fears and show it who’s boss!