Many of our modern-day fears stem from our limiting beliefs about our potential as well as what we believe others (friends, family, spouse, partners, bosses, media depictions of perfection, etc.) expect us to be and how they expect us to perform. Our emotional fears are learned (we weren’t born with them) though our own reinforced experiences and by observing others (i.e., direct and indirect conditioning).
Once we’ve developed one or more of these fears they’re often difficult to overcome because they’ve become deeply embedded in our subconscious patterned way of thinking. This has real physical health consequences, emotional/mental health consequences, personal and relationship consequences, and professional consequences. Effective leaders know how to manage their own emotional fears as well as the emotional fears of their staff and clients/customers. Fear management is essential for career management and career development.
5 Ways Fear Limits Us Personally and Professionally (click to Tweet)
- We’re reluctant to take risks or embrace the changes that are needed to develop and grow as individuals, to advance our careers, and make our businesses more profitable.We often end up turning down opportunities that would potentially advance our careers such as taking on a stretch assignment, making cold calls, going to a networking event where we don’t know anyone. As such, we’re likely to lose out to our competition as we stagnate in less-advanced, less innovative ways of thinking, working, and doing business.
- We focus on what other people think and want and not on what we think and want and so are continually at the mercy of the ever-changing opinions of others. An external focus is functional to the extent that it provides us with feedback about how we’re being perceived, the efficacy of our actions, and is essential for evaluating what our competition is doing. But an internal focus is key to effective goal-setting and goal-achievement, life and job satisfaction, self-confidence and self-esteem.
- We feel stuck but are generally too fearful to take action to change our situation. So we stay put in our uncomfortable “comfort zone” which gradually erodes our mental health due to learned helplessness (increases anxiety and depression and substance use/misuse).
- We accept disrespectful treatment from others which erodes our self-confidence, self-esteem, and sense of personal empowerment. We train people how to treat us. And so, when others’ see that we’re willing to be undermined, under-valued, under-paid or under-employed, they’re less likely to feel that we’re deserving of being promoted, getting paid what we’re worth, listened to, or even respected.
- We worry excessively about the future or feel stuck in the past and aren’t able to focus adequately enough on the present to set appropriate goals and develop strategies to achieve those goals. This worry causes us to constantly second-guess ourselves which makes us appear less credible to others because it seems like we don’t know what we’re doing or don’t know what we want. When we’re in a state of anxiety we likely to be reactive rather than proactive which keeps us at the mercy of external circumstances.
You can’t advance in your career, grow your business, excel academically or build quality personal relationships if you consistently give into your fears.
3 Quick Tips for Managing Your Fear(s) (Click to Tweet)
- Become more self-aware of how your feelings are having consequences for your personal and professional life. Once you become self-aware you’ll have more clarity with respect to your own values and goals. Then you’ll be able to stop the fear-based excuse-making and make conscious choices about the way you think, feel and behave. Take note of who you’re associating with and surround yourself with positive, motivated and empowered people who will cheer on your success efforts and help you be accountable to the goals you’ve set for yourself.
- Take action. You’ll find that a significant proportion of your fear will disappear once you do something…anything. Because most of our fears are emotion-based, taking action will send signals to your brain that will reduce the stress hormones associated with being in a state of fear. Once that happens, the logical, thinking part of your brain (the pre-frontal cortex) will kick back into action to help you make reasoned, rational, fearless decisions. Success is a sum of all the actions you take.
- Change your perception about failure. Try to see failure as a stepping stone to eventual success. Lesson’s learned from any failed experience can be applied to your next attempt. If you don’t risk failure, you’ll never be able to succeed. All successful people have failed a number of times before their eventual success. As the saying goes “you’ll always miss 100% of the shots you never take”.
Want to learn more about how Fear and how to overcome it and claim your personal power. My best-selling book “Dump Your Fear!“ (reached #1 on Amazon in the Self-Help category, #1 in the Mental Health/Emotions category, and #2 in the Success category). In this book you’ll discover:
- The origins of your particular fear(s) and how it impacts your thoughts, emotions and actions.
- The impact of fear on the way we think, feel and behave.
- What steps we need to take to overcome our fears and increase our self-confidence, mastery, and personal power.
Thank you for reading my post. I appreciate it and Thank You in advance for your comments. I regularly write about leadership and management, success strategies, women in leadership, overcoming perceived limitations, and overcoming stress, fear and overwhelm on my blog. If you would like to read future posts, then please Bookmark this website and feel free to also connect with me via LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.
Want to learn more about success strategies to fast-track your career or business success? Contact me today for a FREE consultation and a tailored high performance program.
Other related posts that might interest you include:
- 5 Ways to Stop Sabotaging Your Success Goals
- Emotional At Work? Could be a Career Killer
- Are You Heading for Burnout? Warning Signs and Solutions
- Take the Stress Burnout Test: What Your Score Says about You
- How Successful People Bounce Back From Adversity
- Excuse-Making Will Sabatoge Your Success Plans
© 2016 Jacinth Tracey | Wired2Succeed Leadership and Business Consulting | wired2succeed.com
Jacinth Tracey, PhD is an award-winning leadership and high performance consultant, faculty member in addictions and mental health, international speaker and multiple best-selling author. Her mission is to empower her clients and students to break through barriers to their personal and professional success. Discover more about Jacinth’s products and services.