6 Powerfully Simple Ways to Free Yourself From Fear

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Recently, I asked a number of Introverts what was the biggest career-limiting thing they faced. I expected to hear “networking” as an answer; it’s an almost universally hated activity for Introverts.

The answer I received: Fear.

I was kind of surprised, and at the same time, I wasn’t.

Fear is a potent emotion and can cause us a world of grief if we allow it to take over and rule our lives. It can cause you to not join a gathering that sounds fun and frightening at the same time. It can cause you to not speak up when you know you have real value to contribute.

Fear is not fun.

Does fear course through you all too often? Is fear limiting your career?

I’m not going to try to cajole you or cheerlead your fear away. It doesn’t work like that for us Introverts. Instead, I’d like to give you some very practical, pragmatic things to do help drive your fear away.


1. Shine a Light on It

The best way to shrink fear is to understand it very specifically.

Put it under a magnifying glass by asking yourself exactly what is the thing holding you back? Many times we can cause fear to disappear, or at least shrink, when we get analytical with it. It really prefers to be vague and unknown. (Like this thought? Tweet it!)

All too often, our fear is one of rejection, such as approaching a person or having one of our ideas rejected.


2. Ask Yourself “What’s the Worst That Could Happen?”

If you pursue the thing you fear, what is the worst thing that could happen?

This may help you identify what “it” is. It can also help you realize the outcome is not nearly as big as you were making it out to be.


3. Treat It Like a Problem to Solve

Once you can identify and name your fear, you can then turn it into a problem to solve. You can’t solve a free-floating thing, which makes the first step vital to this step.


4. Figure Out Your Options

Fear likes it when we have a sense of helplessness. Take power over your fear by researching what options you have for improving your ability to do something about it.


5. Build a Skill

Usually, our fear stems from the dark unknown. That unknown is not knowing how to do something. It can be a circular problem: You don’t do something, which means you have no skill, which means you aren’t comfortable with doing it, which means you don’t do it.

Break the circle by building your skill.


6. Cop an Attitude

Sometimes you just have to laugh at a rejection and not take life so seriously. Hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

Unless you’re skydiving or rock climbing (which most likely isn’t your career), most of the things we do in the course of a day at work aren’t that scary. Maybe you’re going to be embarrassed, but you’ll get over it.

For all of your capabilities and skills, it’s not worth limiting what you can do in your career. You will be soooo much happier once you can largely eliminate fear from your life. Another way to think about this is the acronym of FEAR = False Expectations Appearing Real. Get it? It’s false. Don’t listen to false now that you know better.

What causes you the most fear in your career? Share your struggles in the comments — naming them helps you take control back!

Image: Flickr

Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleash your professional potential.


About Dorothy

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is the Introvert Whisperer, Career & Leadership, speaker and author.

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