Overcoming Fear on the Professional Front
Fear and anxiety can be crippling. We often focus on overcoming fears in our personal lives: social interactions, heights, insects … the list can (and does) go on and on. But there also are real and serious fears in our professional lives, and avoiding those can lead to job stagnation, or never getting the position you want and are highly qualified for.
And this isn’t just about asking for a raise, or a promotion. It can have to do with feeling as though everyone else on the team “gets it” and you’re afraid to ask questions for fear of being thought slow on the uptake, for instance. Chances are there’ll be at least one other person who is glad for the opportunity to clarify a point, but if you’re caught up in fear-based thinking, you won’t realize that.
Simply put, fear interferes with productivity and innovation in the workplace. It can create tension, a lack of concentration and conflicting thoughts that interfere with performance. So what are the steps to overcoming fear? Try positive thinking, attitudes and emotional states to lean towards a more hopeful and encouraging direction. Positive thinking helps to heal and restore a sense of internal wholeness. And here are some tools to kick-start the process:
Draw Inspiration from Past Successes
Look back over your work history. Find some wins, large or small, to spur motivation and positivity. When you are unmotivated and filled with fear, reflecting on past success can help spin your line of thought in a more hopeful and positive direction. Use the building block of past success to realize that future success is possible.
Start with the Right Attitude
When you start the day with a positive attitude, it is easier to maintain that outlook. Launching into the morning in an enthusiastic mood enables you to sustain the right tone and empathy and bolsters your sense of fulfillment. The advantage with a positive attitude is that it’s catching: If you smile, people smile back.
Draw Inspiration from Your Coworkers
Try to spend at least a few minutes during the day interacting with coworkers on non-work-related tasks. The old “water cooler conversation” is a great mental image — just a quick “How are things with you?” goes a long way and isn’t overly intrusive or personal.
Building a relationship with others in the workplace also builds your confidence.
In the midst of fear, it may seem difficult to remember past successes, find a positive attitude, and create relationships. However, the importance of positive energy cannot be overemphasized. The degree of your confidence rises drastically when everyone around you is positive and optimistic, and doing your part helps create that ambiance and environment..
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