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Overcoming Five Professional Fears

Fear is a fact and facet of humanity. It exists in every person, no matter how much we try to deny its existence. That’s a good thing! Fear reminds us that we’re not invincible - it keeps you on your toes. The professional world is no exception. Once you acknowledge what you’re afraid of, then you can grow and get even better.

Rather than viewing fear as a weakness, view it as a chance to change. To connect. To become better than what your best used to be. Take fear and turn it into an opportunity and a strength. The first step is to understand the fears. There are five common fears in the professional world (or six, depending on who you ask). By recognizing each of these fears, you can recognize their symptoms, and you then know what to look out for. You can overcome them, and emerge stronger and better for it.


Fear of Silence

Silence is more important than you might think. For one thing, it’s a great way to focus as sound is one of the greatest ways to distract you from your tasks. This is especially the case for those with ADHD, which can disrupt concentration. Plus, in a world populated by technology, silence can be hard to come by. It’s also important to recognize that we need silence to get to know ourselves and develop personal skills. With silence, we can unplug and think through ideas and emotions. Silence can be scary, and taking a step back can be hard, but I encourage you to disconnect. Allow silence to take you on a journey of self-discovery. You can learn more about the benefits of silence here.


Fear of Sharing

This is a fear that is often developed at a young age. Maybe you were excited to show off a toy at a show-and-tell, and everybody laughed at your choice. Or you showed off an art piece and got criticism you didn’t want. Now, you might have a piece of work you’re excited about, but are afraid your boss won’t like it, or your coworkers will bring critiques that are anything but constructive. But ask yourself: “Would the people around me really do that?” This fear can be built on a lack of trust, so it’s important to let go of that and have faith in those around you! Camaraderie is perfect for nurturing and perfecting ideas - others can help you in the areas you feel less confident, you just have to trust them.


Fear of Selling

This fear can come from a myriad of sources, most of which come down to a lack of self-confidence. This may be you if you’re afraid of asking things of others, but what you’re really scared of selling is yourself. This relates to another fear, that sixth one I mentioned earlier: Fear of Rejection. This can put you in a very strange position, where you’re scared of being too humble and too vain at the same time. But a streak of vanity can get you many places. For example, I’m sure you’ve heard of LEGO? The groundbreaking toy was invented in the mid-20th century by Ole Kirk Kristiansen. When he began to make toys, no stores would sell them. He was too humble - he undersold himself, and nearly went bankrupt. But he persevered, and look at LEGO today! Figure out when to boast and when to bow, and the best way to learn this is practice. Don’t be afraid to try, even if you fail. Speaking of…


Fear of Failure

Rejection is a type of failure - so maybe we’ve already been over this - but it’s important to single it out so you can understand just what failure means. This fear is extremely common, and it isn’t just limited to the professional world. It’s important to recognize that failure, no matter what shape it takes, is a part of the learning process. Failure - and rejection - are inevitable, and each time you feel it, you can take a second to look at what happened and learn from it. How else would you see your mistakes? Don’t hope for failure, but know that it’s necessary for growth.


Fear of Success

When you succeed, new doors open for you, allowing you to go to the next step. Whether that’s the next level of a competition, a new position at work, or even just the next stage of a project - you’ll always move forward. Some people are afraid to move, though, and that’s reasonable! Change and progress can be scary because you’re stepping into a dark unknown. But how can you ever better yourself if you don’t take that risk, that step, or that leap? If you’re unsure of how to get over the hump, try out this article to learn how to become willing to grow.


In the end, there is often no real way to know what the right path is. But your fears can help you understand what you need to learn, and apply it to the knowledge you already possess. Your fears are, well, scary, otherwise they wouldn’t be called such. But by tapping into them, you can make it easier on yourself, and make your days even better with every new lesson. The knowledge is inside of you, you just have to grab hold of it!




Topics: Sinikka Waugh, Business Skills & Business Acumen, Change & Transition, Communication & Collaboration

Sinikka Waugh

About the Author

Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka Waugh is a recognized leader in understanding people and in adapting tools, techniques, and processes to meet the demands of the situation at hand. Since 2006, Sinikka has provided compassionate leadership in transformation initiatives. When she isn’t in front of a class, she enjoys putting her background in English and French Literature to work, by writing blogs about the subjects she teaches every day. Are you ready? If you are, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! contactus@yourclearnextstep.com








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