While we often look at external factors as the causes for our lack of career progress, sometimes the answer is much closer to home – it’s our own fears.
Once we really start thinking about what progress entails, the unknown and all that… It gets really scary!
But we can’t allow fear to paralyze us and hold us back from the success we can have. We have to get past our fears, overcome them and embrace opportunity.
Here are 3 common fears that can sabotage the advancement of your career path.
1. The fear of Failure
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
– Winston Churchill
It’s easy to fall into a comfort zone. We’ve got our routine, were good at what we do. But then opportunity knocks…
The chance to advance is before us, we are excited about it – but then fear creeps in.
That’s when we start to question ourselves. We wonder if we really good enough to handle this opportunity. We start to doubt ourselves. We are afraid that we might make a mistake and look stupid or feel completely.
Understand this right now: Everyone fails. Some of the most successful people also failed the most. Failure is not an indicator of worth. Failure is simply a teacher. Failure brings experience.
“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”
– Oscar Wilde
2. The fear of loss of control
Sometimes our need to be in control of everything can really limit us. We can cause us to want to remain in our cocoon where we are in control of everything.
However, we can block out good ideas from others over our fear of losing our leadership position. It can cause us to be reluctant to compromise. We can be reluctant to make commitments or enter into agreements that might diminish our abilities to have full control of the situation. In short, we can deprive ourselves of the opportunity for further progress.
It can cause us to overwork ourselves because we just can’t seem to delegate responsibilities. This also is part of a combined fear of not wanting mistakes or failures to fall on our shoulders.
As a result of all of the above, we can halt our progress or never truly experience the richness of a given situation because we would rather hold ourselves back and maintain our sense of or perception of control.
This fear is a subset of a core human fear of being restricted, confined, trapped or suffocated.
The way to overcome this is to develop a stronger sense of self-worth and trust for others.
3. The fear of Success
One example of where the fear of success is most evident is in artistic careers such as film and music. There have been countless bands that have struggled for years, only to finally get their big break and have members fall away.
The problem is, once we get what we think we want, we come to the realization of its reality. We come to grips with the responsibility of it. Sometimes it’s more than we bargained for. Expectations are laid upon us. It’s scary. Many people doubt their ability to handle it.
This is also why we see a lot of suicide and overdoses with people who achieve newly found success.
The way to overcome this is to have a positive self-image beforehand. It’s taking the time to truly understand what you may be getting into before you go after it. It’s about being informed and realistic. It’s also about not looking to the opinion of others for reassurance or validation. It’s telling yourself “you can handle it.” It’s about believing it, doing it and persevering.