The Impact of Fear on Your Career
Fear can have a significant impact on your career in various ways from how you are showing up in your career to whether or not you take advantage of opportunities that are available. In this post, we will examine some common ways that fear could be holding you back in your career and what you can do to begin combating fear’s ugly consequences.
Can I share a little story with you?
When I finished my masters degree, I accepted a job that I wasn’t really thrilled on taking. In fact, it required me to work in a setting that was completely out of my comfort zone and with a population that I had no passion to work with. At the time of the job offer, I was working in my ideal position and was already having conversations with the director about being promoted to an Assistant Director position at their new facility upon its construction completion.
So what made me decline this opportunity and go into the less favorable position?
You see, though I’d overcome some of feelings of fear, I’d yet to deal with my need for external validation (which is just another manifestation of fear and self doubt).
Because of that, I went with a position that “made sense” on paper but was a distraction to God’s purpose for my life and career! Up until that point, I’d completely put my trust in God to finish graduate school but sat Him on the shelf when it came to choosing employment. That was a hard season and lesson that has taken me years to unpack and overcome.
Did you know that over 70% of people don’t like their job! That’s a lot of unhappy people on Monday mornings. Even worse is the fact that we will hop on social media and post our cute graphics and funny posts about how much we’re NOT looking forward to our work days.
I’m guilty of this too but something has got to change. I want to invite you to take a deeper look at what could be going on underneath the surface of your job unhappiness.
10 Signs that Fear is Hurting Your Career
Decision-Making: Fear can lead to indecisiveness and overthinking, making it difficult to make important career decisions. Fear of failure or making the wrong choice can hold you back from taking risks that could potentially lead to growth and advancement.
Risk Aversion: Fear often leads to a preference for staying in your comfort zone. This can prevent you from pursuing new opportunities, taking on challenging projects, or seeking promotions that require stepping into the unknown.
Limiting Potential: When fear governs your actions, you may avoid pursuing your true potential. You might not apply for a job you’re qualified for, speak up in meetings, or share your innovative ideas due to the fear of rejection or criticism.
Networking and Relationships: Fear can hinder your ability to network and build relationships with colleagues, mentors, and higher-ups. Networking is crucial for career growth, and if you’re afraid of reaching out or participating in social events, you might miss out on valuable connections.
Public Speaking and Presentations: Many people fear public speaking, but it’s often a necessary skill in the professional world. Fear of speaking in front of others can limit your ability to present your ideas effectively, share your knowledge, and engage with your audience.
Perfectionism: Fear of making mistakes can lead to perfectionism, where you spend excessive time and effort on tasks to ensure they’re flawless. While attention to detail is important, perfectionism can slow down your productivity and prevent you from meeting deadlines.
Stagnation: Fear can keep you stuck in your current role or industry, preventing you from exploring new opportunities or pivoting to a different career path. This can lead to stagnation and a lack of personal and professional growth.
Imposter Syndrome: Many people experience imposter syndrome, which is a fear of being exposed as a fraud despite having the necessary skills and qualifications. This can lead to self-doubt, decreased confidence, and reluctance to take on challenges.
Burnout: Constant fear and stress can contribute to burnout. The fear of not meeting expectations or failing can push you to work long hours, neglect self-care, and eventually lead to physical and emotional exhaustion.
Missed Opportunities: Fear can cause you to miss out on opportunities that could advance your career, such as not negotiating for a higher salary, declining a promotion due to self-doubt, or not pursuing a project because you’re afraid of the potential challenges.
In order for you to begin combatting fear in your life, you have to be aware of the ways that fear have been holding you back. One way to do this is by identifying the signs that you are struggling with in your life and/or career. This phase is a really good time to journal about how fear is showing up in your career. If you’ve arrived to this part of the this blog post, this message has probably resonated with you on some level. Pay attention to that. It is God’s way of saying, “now is the time to deal with how fear is controlling you.” Awareness is the first step to making changes.