It’s not uncommon to blame outside factors when we feel unable to reach our goals. However, when it seems our career progress is stagnating, we might possibly have our own fears to blame.
When you really consider what making progress actually entails – like the unknown – it can get kind of scary. And that’s totally normal!
The thing is, we can’t allow ourselves to be paralyzed by fear, especially when it hampers our ability to succeed. Instead, we have to work past our fears, overcome them, and seize the opportunities available to us.
Here are three of the most common fears that often interfere with our career advancement and success.
Fear of Not Being in Control
“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.” -Steve Maraboli
We can’t always be in control of everything, but we often feel the need to be. That can seriously restrict our ability to succeed by making it difficult to leave our comfort zones.
Fear of not maintaining control over things can cause all sorts of negative things to happen. We might be less willing to compromise, for example. We may also be reluctant to sign onto projects or make commitments that could diminish our ability to remain in control. Essentially, this could mean depriving ourselves of opportunities to make progress.
An inability to delegate can also lead to exhaustion and burnout from being overworked. However, we might also fear the mistakes of others falling on our shoulders.
To overcome fears like these, it’s important to trust others and develop a strong sense of self-worth.
Fear of Failure
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
Our comfort zones can seriously hold us back when we refuse to leave them. When opportunities present themselves, that nagging fear of failure is essentially just that – we’re afraid to leave our comfort zone.
We question our worthiness, self-doubt creeps in, and then it’s all over but the crying. Failure is simply a part of life though – it’s a chance to learn from mistakes. It’s absolutely not something that affects your worth.
Heck, Thomas Edison didn’t even seem to believe in failure at all. He’s quoted as having said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
So there’s another way to look at it, if that helps.
Fear of Succeeding
“Fear comes in two packages fear of failure, and sometimes, fear of success.” – Tom Kite
Yes, you may not realize it, but fear of success is certainly a real thing that can also hold us back. This is especially true for people in creative or artistic careers. There’s often the fear that once success is obtained, it won’t be sustainable.
There’s also the fear that we may be biting off more than we can chew. We think we know what we want, but then when the weight of responsibility sets in, we simply panic. Expectations can be seriously unnerving for some, doubts can surface, and it can be quite overwhelming.
The key thing is to develop a strong, positive self-image from the get-go. Be informed, be realistic, and make sure you know what you’re getting into.
It’s really about self-assurance and telling yourself, “I can do this.”