I am calling it the „Brown Barnum“

Have you ever heard of the Barnum effect? Even if you haven’t it is likely that you have fallen prey to it before. The Barnum or Forer effect is used in fortunetelling or astrology. It describes the curious fact that people will give very high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their own personality, even if these descriptions are very vague. So vague even that several magicians and skeptics can use the exact same description with a very high number of volunteers, and they will all feel like the personality analysis they were just given is tailored specifically to them and uncannily accurate. Imagine their surprise when they are asked to swap with fellow participants…
The British illusionist Derren Brown did a very impressive demonstration of this experiment in one of his TV programs. Students from different countries, very different cultures even, were given the exact same personality profiles, several pages long, and as expected the Barnum effect kicked in with baffling results.
What absolutely astonished me was how precise these description were, in a certain areas especially. Every participant was very impressed by how well Brown was able to describe their fear of mediocrity, their critical attitude towards their own actions in life. Even when I was aware of the experiment and the underlying mechanism it is supposed to demonstrate I was baffled how well I found myself represented by very specific problems, like the wish to create, the fear of failure, the fear of success.
I had to realize two things at that point. My crisis is universal. The fear that I have, the things that I consider obstacles in my life, are very common, so common that it borders on banality, a cliché exploited for comedic effect. As encouraging as that thought was, it immediately got pushed aside by the question why the vast majority of people can get over all that, can perform and achieve despite these common worries, but I am held back. The lesson here should be that as united as we are in fear we can be in success. I have no reason to believe that I am any less able to fight these impulses than my fellow human beings. I just need to reach out and join them.