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Don't Let Your Inner Fears Limit Your Career

Fear is natural

Unrecognized or unacknowledged core fears are almost always a root cause of professional distress and unattained potential.

The fears are not necessarily bad. A willingness to take a hard look at your fears can help you turn them into fuel for performance.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Don't Let Your Inner Fears Limit Your Career

Don't Let Your Inner Fears Limit Your Career

https://hbr.org/2017/10/dont-let-your-inner-fears-limit-your-career

hbr.org

6

Key Ideas

Fear is natural

Unrecognized or unacknowledged core fears are almost always a root cause of professional distress and unattained potential.

The fears are not necessarily bad. A willingness to take a hard look at your fears can help you turn them into fuel for performance.

Most common fears

  • Fear of being wrong. People with this fear are extremely focused on rules, ethics, standards, and “right vs wrong.”
  • Fear of not being good enough. Those with this fear tend to be insecure, intensely focused on their image, and desperate to prove their worth. 
  • Fear of missing out. This drives leaders to constantly seek new opportunities and experiences and to pursue multiple interests at once.
  • Fear of being victimized or taken advantage of. Those suffering from this fear feel the need to win every battle and can be defensive and controlling.

Admit your fear

In the first phase, take a close look at your history. Examine the choices you've made and the reasons behind those choices.

For instance, not putting effort into pursuing your own interests but instead, activities in which you can excel could point to the fear of not being good enough.

Interrogate the fear

Critically assess your current fear to understand it better.

What would it mean if you fail at something? What if you took on a project that didn't play into your strengths? Other people make mistakes and move on. Are your fears unfounded?

A different course of action

Decide what you will do next and make commitments.

  • If I objectively evaluate my actions and behavior right now, what would the evidence say that I’m committed to?
  • How does this differ from what I say I want?
  • Practically speaking, if my desires and actions are not fully aligned, what does that indicate?

Act on that choice

Deliver on your commitments.

For instance, take on projects that will challenge you from a place of uncertainty. Or find out what you really like, rather than choosing things other people admire.

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Fear Is Real

Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

Accept your fear relative to you.

Get Some Perspective
  • Are you really at risk?
  • Will this kill you?
  • If the worse was to happen what would it be?
  • Could that really happen?

  • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
  • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through its wily evil ways and move forward.

Hold a Hand

Think of someone you can always rely on, be it your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say: “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.” 

They, in turn, will feel valued, loved and respected.

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Our Most Common fears
  • Fear of failure, poverty, and loss of money
  • Fear of losing love 
  • Fear of losing our jobs and our financial security
  • Fear of embarrassment or ridicule
  • Fear ...
Fear Paralyzes Action

The most common reaction in a fear situation is the attitude of, “I can’t!”

This is the fear of failure that stops us from taking action. It often shuts down the brain and causes us to revert to the “fight-or-flight” reaction.

Visualize Yourself as Unafraid

Your self-image, the way you see yourself and think about yourself, is eventually altered by feeding your mind these positive mental pictures of yourself performing at your best.

So visualize yourself performing with confidence and competence in an area where you are fearful.

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Focus on value

The key to any productivity system is to focus on value, not effort.

Instead of focusing on completing as many tasks as possible from your to-do list, focus on the highest-impact ...

Do a mind sweep

This process walks through a list of prompts in different categories, looking for things you're trying to remember and commitments you've made and gets them out onto paper.

It will help you clear your thoughts and get the distractions out of your head.

Review the week to come

Take the time to review the coming week's schedule and organize it into large chunks of time, with tasks grouped by importance and urgency.

It will make it easier to manage your work.

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