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Don't let fear limit your career

Glenford Smith
Career writer

Fear can limit your career, if you let it. From being too scared to give your suggestion at work, to being terrified of making a presentation at your department meeting, fear can keep you stuck.

It will be hard to excel at your career or business if you’re afraid of failure, or of being criticized. Fear of rejection will hinder your professional and personal relationships. Your good ideas will die stillborn if you are scared of the unknown.

“Tony”, now a successful professional, knows this as well as anyone. “I used to be scared to speak up in a group, to even apply for a job because I didn’t want to have to take an interview. I was fearful of taking exams, of learning to drive, not to mention talking with females.” The stark truth is that he’s not alone.

While a healthy fear does help to protect us against potentially hurtful and fatal actions, too many people are everyday succumbing to their fear of failure, rejection, or intimacy. The inevitable result is the unfulfilled and stymied lives of anxiety, frustration, lack, loneliness, and depression.

The fear of failure and of the unknown afflict many persons, including some seemingly confident persons who are terrified of being seen as failures. They will not try new things or embrace good opportunities. They don’t want to risk others thinking that they are not perfect, brilliant, or capable.

Fear of rejection causes some people not to share their ideas or opinions. Others will stay in toxic and often dangerous relationships because they want to fulfill what psychologist, Murray Banks describes as one of the four greatest needs people have – to be loved and accepted. They just don’t want to risk rejection.

What can you do if your progress is being stunted because of fear? “Tony’s” approach is helpful to anyone in this position. “I decided to take back control of my life. I read about fear and realized that most of the things I feared were just in my mind.”

“Also, that even if the worst thing that I feared happened, I could deal with it. I just decided to risk it, to confront the things I used to fear. It has worked.”

Take the following proven steps today to begin to feel the fear and succeed anyway:

1. Accept that you are fearful. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.
2. Delineate the benefits of doing what you fear.
3. Read about overcoming fear
4. Get help
5. Act courageously and in faith despite your fear.
6. Celebrate and reward yourself.

As long as you are growing, you will always experience fear. Your personal and professional success should depend upon your never feeling fearful. The key is to act despite the fear. Author Susan Jeffers says it perfectly with the title of her bestselling book: Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.

Remember: “Only those who dare, truly live.”

*Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and personal achievement strategist.

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