Career FEAR

Fear image

I want you to look very carefully at the picture above. Read the big word, feel its effect on you. The thoughts and pictures that fill your mind when the element of fear is introduced; let them flow. Then look again. Read the small words. Play it against everything that ran through your mind at the thought of fear, and try to find one instance where it isn’t true.

I charge you to find one fear in your mind that does not meet the requirement above. One fear that is logical. One fear that has a rightful place between you and your destiny. One fear that is true evidence proving your failures, inadequacies, and flaws to be real without a shadow of a doubt.

You can’t. If you say you can, you are not being fully honest with yourself.

One thing we have all got to let go of is our fear. It’s one thing to recognize danger or an uncertain situation. It’s an entirely different thing to change your course of action because you fear what is in front of you. Especially if your goal is on the other side of that fear. This is when you are charged to move ahead, regardless of what may seem to be blocking your way.

How many people stay in jobs they hate because they fear the unknown?

How many people keep their head under the radar despite excellent qualifications for a better job due to a fear of failure? Shirking the responsibility because they’re scared they don’t deserve it… Is that you?

Career Reality: You don’t have time to be scared. You don’t even actually have a reason. Behind every worst case scenario, there is another option. Another challenge, another opportunity to learn just what it is you are truly made of.

When you have a daunting decision to make, anxiety or fear is only going to cloud your mind. This will only make it harder to make a good decision. Here are some ways to beat the fear and keep your head in the right place to decide what’s really best for you:

The “5” Perspective

Ask yourself how this is going to affect your life in the next 5 minutes. Let that sink in. Now ask what it will matter in 5 weeks. How much is this, right here and now, going to affect your life in the next 5 months? And finally, ask yourself how much this is going to matter in 5 years. Be honest with yourself during this, and listen to the reactions in your mind. If tension pops up, hear it out, rationalize it, and move on. If you start to relax, relax. Don’t fight it. Changing perspective is often enough to quell uneasiness.

Write it Out

Of course this is my favorite. Write out the worst thing that could happen, write out any reaction you may have to that scenario. Then, even if it’s fiction, write a new ending. Write how you would want to react, what you would want to see happen next, what you would want to gain from it. As we’ve discovered recently, the power of visualization is not to be taken lightly. Therefore, make use of it. Use it to counter your fears and create the courage you need to move on.

Talk it Out

Never underestimate the positive influence of an outside perspective. As sure as there are people in your life that you admire, they are sure to want to help you come to a better understanding of the dilemma you face. Truth is, your fears could be entirely fabricated, and it just might take the advice of a good friend or well-respected colleague to point that out to you. Listen to them. If you go to someone that will only want the best for you, then you need to take the next step and put as much trust in them as possible. Line it all up with your values, and go from there.

Just Go For It.

It’s the career of your dreams! Maybe you’ve been comfortable long enough, just working the job that pays the bills, regardless of the strain it puts on you and/or your family. If you’ve worked out everything you can, it might be time to simply take the leap. Find what gives you the deepest peace, regardless of surface-treading fear, set yourself free, and go for it. You’ll be so glad you did.

In no way am I suggesting you give into reckless spontaneity that will damage your current standing and promise you no future. This is about finding your destiny and removing fear to listen to the inner voice that guides you. Follow that, not just superficial desires that will lead you nowhere. Don’t compromise your future, and that goes both ways.

If you’d like to discuss more, I’m always here. Write me anytime at I’d love to hear from you!

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services,
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9 thoughts on “Career FEAR”

  1. Upon reading the blog about (FEAR), it struck me right away because, there is so much power behind this small word. We all have insecurities though I believe its because just saying the word does indeed pronounce a scare in us that keeps us from taking risks and being brave to go out from our comfort zone. We all need to be brave and face our “fears” and allow for our positive interventions to take over everytime. It truly does start with our plan of action and how as individuals are we going to make that fear something not to be scared of but, something more than ourselves that will aid in us being successful in reaching our goals.

    1. Thank you for the comment. Hopefully we will gain insight and methods to enhance our career progression… I have a feeling this is happening.
      Thank you once again.

  2. This artical is just what I needed to read. I have been struggling with the decison to leave one job for another. I have been worrying about how to tell my current employer that I what to leave. The new job, if i get it, will be better for me and my family. I am going to write it all down and go from there. Yes i am afraid of the unknown and job security. Thanks for the good advice and instructions.

  3. Rikki,

    Your blog has given some good insight on analyzing my fears, realizing they are false realities, and finding ways to overcome them. I use similar fears of failure to not improvement in my current job position because at times I believe that I’m not good enough and others are better. But, after reading your blog, I’m going to re-examine my thoughts and use some of these techniques like the “5 perspectives” and “write it out” to progress in my career. If you have any further information to share with me and others please don’t hesitate. Thank You.

  4. So true. Obviously you have a different option than the worst case scenario. The worst case scenario is being afraid of the unknown. Our minds create a lie that prevents us from accomplishing a desire, also known as worrying.
    When we ask others’ opinions, we perceive their thoughts and opinions to be true. Therefore, we have a scotoma of our initial thoughts. For example, someone could have good intentions about a career opportunity, then speak with a relative or friend and develop a negative perception.
    I believe when you recognize danger or uncertain situation, you may change your course of action to avoid the possibility of danger. For example, if you notice a company is not as profitable, your first instinct is to seek other options when you believe you do not have job security. I believe this is recognizing the danger and changing your course of action to ensure you are not in danger of losing your position.

    1. Excellent points. No doubt we all must recognize dangers and consequences proactively… unfortunately few do.
      Thank you for your insight and look forward to more.

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