4 ways to conquer your work-related fears
Do workplace anxieties sometimes get in the way of you performing your job to the best of your ability? It happens to the best of us. It’s only natural to feel uncomfortable when undertaking new tasks or being thrust into public speaking. But if you find that your hangups about certain aspects of your job or about your fears generally are hindering your career growth or throwing off your work-life balance, then those need to be addressed and dealt with. Here are a few examples of common work-related fears and how to go about conquering them.
Learn to speak up
If chiming in during a meeting – even if you have a great idea – makes you nervous, then overcoming your fear of public speaking is a must. But how? Let’s find the root of the issue: Could it be that you’re not so much afraid of speaking up, but afraid because your thought could get rejected? Fear of rejection is a completely understandable – but if you’re with peers and colleagues, then you’ve been invited because people want your input and contribution. Everyone experiences getting their ideas rejected at work. It’s part of learning and growing. Don’t beat yourself up if your idea is shot down. Instead, focus on nurturing a sense of pride in having tried at all! Once you erase your fears of rejection, your fear of speaking up will disappear, too.
A comfortable work life sounds good – you come in, do your work, then leave. But if you have a fear of change, then this routine can become not a good kind of comfortable, but monotonous. And when you grow bored, you’ll likely grow unsatisfied with your work. If fear of change is something you identify with, keep in mind that it’s through change that people grow and learn. To practice coming to terms with change, start with something small, like going to that sushi spot your coworkers talk about, but that you’ve never tried. Embrace the process of feeling uncomfortable. At the end of the experience, you’ll be ahead of others that refused to change, because of the experiences you’ve gained. Best of all, this also eliminates the fear of being stagnant.
If it’s the norm for you to not just work hard, but spread yourself too thin in order to make sure you never fall behind, you might have a fear of underperforming. Though being a hard worker is respectable working too hard can put a huge amount of stress on you. This is a one-way ticket to Burn-Out City. You can rise above this fear, though, just by taking one step back and evaluating your workload. You aren’t a robot, and need time to switch off! If you feel like part of the problem is not your own drive, but the amount of tasks your given or too-tight deadlines, speak with your manager, (who is human too, mind you) about how you can better balance your to-do list and hours.
Does the idea of leading a team or being responsible for a project terrify you? For so long, you’ve comfortably worked under the guidance of your mentors, who have been on the receiving end of accolades for their leadership efforts. But if being the captain of the ship sounds too daunting – even when you know you’re senior enough and can take on the responsibility – then you need to overcome the fear of failure, especially if you want to advance to the next stage of your career. Though you may not always succeed, and will inevitably be criticised, when you do taste success your superiors will respect you. You might even land that promotion you’ve been eyeing, and all because you decided to take a chance on your ability to lead, set direction, and guide others to victory.
Even if your work-related fear isn’t covered here, all it truly takes to conquer whatever it is that’s holding you back is a shift in mindset. So, take a chance, believe in yourself and actively work on overcoming your anxieties.