By Perminus Wainaina
It is said that courage is not the absence of fear but the judgement that something else is more important than fear.
The truth in the above statement cannot be over-emphasized.
As human beings, we are more prone to fear than we are to courage; we decide to pursue what we really care about because we assume the worst.
Do you feel the same way? Are you afraid to try because you are fearful the outcome might not be what you expected?
This is the same even in your career. Fears that you have can limit you from taking certain actions such as going into entrepreneurship, asking for a salary increment, leaving a job that is not advancing your career, taking up leadership roles etc.
It is for this reason I want you and I to examine the top 5 fears you have in your career and how they are holding you back…
- Fear of failure
If you have never failed, then you have never tried anything new.
You only grow by trying and failing because what matters is not the failure but the lessons that you pick when you have tried and failed.
You career will never take off as long as your fear holds you back. If you are not happy where you work and you want to change careers, just go for it.
For instance, if you are apprehensive about taking up that leadership position in your company because you are afraid of failing yourself, your team and your boss, remember that you will feel worse for not trying. Regrets are worse than failure.
The more you fail, the more you learn.
Over and above everything else, know this; you will fail a few times before you succeed. What matters is how well you pick yourself up and keep going.
- Fear of the unknown
“I don’t know what lies out there for me so I’d rather not try.” At least that’s what you tell yourself.
The fear that you do not know what the future holds will always hold your career back.
During a career coaching session, I one time asked my client why she had stayed 8 years in a job she didn’t love.
She told me that her passion was always entrepreneurship. She wanted to run her own consultancy in HR but was too afraid to start because she knew she had to quit her job, have an unsteady income and business might not always be good.
But I’m going to tell you what I told her, you’ll never know unless you try.
- Fear of being judged
Have you ever opted not to do something simply because you didn’t want others judging you?
When you look back at your career, do you want to do certain things but you are afraid of what others will say?
The fear of being judged is one of the major culprits of lack of career progression; the fear that others will not approve of your decisions, look down on you or assume you made the wrong decision.
But the truth is, your life and your career is yours not others. So as opposed to losing sleep over what others might say or think, go ahead and do what you need to.
An example is; assuming you have some good ideas or contributions to make which you feel would not only benefit you as a professional but the organization as well, speak up. Don’t be fixated with what others will say or think.
Besides, everyone will always have an opinion whether good or bad. So let it be just that – an opinion.
- Fear of loss
This fear comes from the belief that once you do decide to do something, you will lose out on certain areas of your career and life such as friends, job security, and emotional wellness and so on.
However, life as we know it is full of surprises. More often than not, the more you advance in your career, the more loses you experience; the shorter your circle becomes. This is because your attention and focus is truly dedicated to what really matters.
A good example of this if you are applying for a senior position or one that is very consuming in terms of time, location and responsibilities. Don’t hesitate to jump at the opportunity because you are fearful of losing out on certain privileges. There comes a time in your career when you have to make sacrifices to move forward.
Losing is also part of growing and gaining experience.
- The fear of change
Change is the one thing that remains constant yet as human beings we are wired to resist change.
You can be so used to a status quo and get stuck being comfortable that you don’t realize how much your career has stagnated.
Quick Read >>> How to finally get unstuck in your career.
If you want your career to start progressing, you can’t be close-minded to change. Instead, you must embrace it!
Change will not always be comfortable nor appealing. But it will be necessary if you want to take your career to the next level.
The best way to embrace change is to be a change agent yourself. Suggest new and better ways things can be done in the company, embrace change and new duties as opposed to fighting them.
Fear exist only in your mind…
Because fear dwells only in your mind, practice the art of suppressing this negative emotion.
Considering that you spend at least 80% of your time in your career and job, it only makes sense that you are satisfied while at it.
What other fears do you believe are holding you back in your career?
Let’s engage below…