Top 3 fears Singaporeans have | Ask Dr Daniel Chang

What do Singaporeans fear most?

What do you fear most in your life? What feels like butterflies in your stomach? What sends your heart racing faster than a Korean heart-throb?

In this post covidy era, it is okay to not be okay. It is okay to feel uncomfortable. It is okay to feel the fear. Here is a list of our top fears in Singapore. Which one do you identify with? =)

Personally, I experienced all 3 of these in varying degrees over the years. Some have come, some have gone, some have persisted … *Lol boy do I sound old now!!!*

Interestingly, I feel the things we fear may not necessarily stay the same overtime. We can outgrow our fears. As we grow, our perspective changes, *hopefully we become wiser haha* and along with it, our fears.

1. The Fear of Failure

I notice alot of school going kids in Singapore have this innate fear of failure. The seeds of this may have been planted from pre primary tuition centres. They then progress to the top primary schools where kids develop this sense of competitiveness. This is something that is notoriously prevalent in our schoools today. Less than a 100 marks for spelling and they feel upset. Less than a perfect score for math and their parents tell them their not good enough. And this culture eventually spills over when the kids graduate into the working world.

As a result, many Singaporeans won’t try something new unless they’re confident they can succeed. This tends to be the obstacle in our quest for growth and lifelong learning. We tend to stick to our comfort zone, and take min to zero risk. || Me thinks… Too much certainty in life aint pleasant. We need a fair amount of uncertainty. We need surprises lol…

2. The Fear of Loneliness

I notice that the older we get, the more this fear becomes a possibility. As a student, many many moons ago, I used to volunteer at St Joseph’s Home. Speaking to the residents, I learnt that this fear of loneliness is their number 1 fear. When you have gone through life, and done everything that needs to be done, said everything that needs to be said, felt everything that needs to be felt, you realise, life boils down to a simple principle, forging strong relationships with friends and loved ones. Learning how to manage and accept yourself, and finding ways to be your own best friend can help manage this fear of loneliness.

3. The Fear of Shame

All of us have an inner critic. In some of us, this inner critic is so dominant that we worry and exaggerate how others will perceive us negatively.

One of the top fears many people share is that they’re just not good enough. At work, they may pass up opportunities for specialisation or promotion. In organisations, they may decline an opportunity to lead a group. Why is this so? I think many of us harbour this inner fear that we cannot make it. Often times, the perfectionist living inside keeps beating us down to the ground whenever we make a mistake. We cannot afford to make a mistake… And we soon accept that we are just not good enough. We feel ashamed…

No doubt in certain professions, where a mistake is a matter of life and death… its not something we can afford a lot. Firefighters saving a baby in a burning home, soldiers saving their fellow comrade in arms, doctors saving accident victims…



Are we not good enough just because we have fallen… Honestly, its soooo human to make mistakes… We all dooooo… And to blame it on someone else, NOoow thats even more human lol…

– Daniel Chang

#challengeaccepted #empoweringpeople #blackandwhite

So what can we do about this?

Lets explore this next week. Til then, have a blessed week ahead! =P


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