Believe it or not – fear is the biggest barrier most of us will face in achieving our professional and personal goals in life and something we absolutely can harness and use to drive us positively … with a little know how.
Think about the last time fear stopped you from tackling a goal, stretching yourself out of your comfort zone to join in / take on a new challenge and how that makes you feel?
‘We can’t say we failed anything if we never tried to do it … right?’
Personally – I recall my goal of running a marathon and how many people told me I was crazy and would never do it! I ignored the noise, surrounded myself with positive voices, did my research, committed to a plan and brought in expert advice where needed. I actively shared my goals with all around me, including clients and soon had a huge support and cheering squad that I felt I could not let down and re enforced my commitment to achieving this goal,
Regardless of my own fears around giving up an enormous amount of my free time to train, the sacrifices required, fear of failure and the fact that so many people were watching me.
This is one of the things I am most proud of having achieved and a personal goal that taught me a huge amount about myself and the importance of mental resilience and positive focus in all aspects of life- including business.
‘Most importantly remember that we are each in control of our learning journey and career path and only those who acknowledge and confront things that make us uncomfortable will reap the greatest rewards.’
So what are we afraid of?
- Fear of Failure
- Fear of inadequacy
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of missing out
- Fear of losing control
- Fear of change
- Fear of being judged
Additionally, there is significant research that supports the fact women are more prone to letting fear/ anxieties stop them in the work place and a great link below about why this is more challenging for women in business and how to tackle these:
How to tackle this self induced barrier?
- Identify why certain things make you fearful and why?
- Purposefully put yourself out there and ask for opportunities to face these fears and take on new challenges – that stretch you outside of your comfort zone
- Tell others what you are trying to do and engage their help
- Find a coach or mentor to challenge you and support your goals being achieved
- Seek out opportunities within your current role or business to provide challenges and learning in areas where you want to increase exposure and capability.
- Be open to making mistakes and using these as a learning discovery and get comfortable Le with vulnerability (none of us are perfect and we are all on a journey)
- Set milestones to celebrate learnings and share these with others around you
‘People love to work with leaders who they can connect with and who are ok with being human and ‘not perfect’ therefore suggest … you have nothing to fear but fear itself’.
Whether it was parents, teachers, managers or peers at some point someone has told you- you can’t do something and what was your response?
When some one gives us this feedback they are stating they do not believe in us … or so it seems. More likely in fact is that they themselves have self-belief challenges and are projecting or they want to discourage you for their own reasons (known or not).
How we respond to feedback around us (which is often noise), our own intrinsic fears of rejection, change, potential failure and being seen as less than perfect are all within our control and when harnessed and acknowledged, can in fact be powerful motivators / drivers for success.
‘It is critical to listen to feedback and get rid of noise that adds no value – this includes our own voice of self doubt/ self talk’
Michelle is an executive coach and joint business owner of Fusion Partners and you can find out more on her profile:
Check out our video on our Business Coaching page.