While digging deep and analysing why I don’t push myself forward for more senior roles I now recognise that I don’t JUST have a confidence problem. I’m also frightened!
My lack of confidence and fear are intertwined. I’m frightened of failing so I stay firmly within my comfort zone. I’m scared that I won’t be able to do everything that the job requires. I forget that if I could do everything that the position needs that would be same as the job I currently have. The whole point of getting a more senior role is not to be able to do everything; it’s to learn new skills and stretch myself.
Is fear holding you back?
Anyone who’s had an anxiety episode and sought professional help will know that to get well you have to: “Feel the fear and do it anyway” as Susan Jeffers tells us in her book. Anxiety can manifest itself as panic and fear. To get rid of your anxiety you have to learn what you are afraid of and take steps to face that fear head-on. Taking action and doing the thing you’re frightened of, gives you the confidence to keep doing it until you forget that you were ever frightened in the first place.
We are neurologically programmed to shy away from trying new things that will cause us fear. Physiologically we feel fear – heart racing, sweaty palms, fast breathing. With all of this going on it’s not surprising we like to stay in our comfort zone.
We need to learn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I’m going to work on facing my fears this year and not only in the work environment. I’m going to practice facing my fears to improve my confidence in work and life.
Sheryl Sandberg encourages us in her book Lean In. “So please, ask yourself: What would I do if I weren’t afraid? And then go do it.”
Tim Ferris has done amazing things by asking himself: “What’s the worst that can happen?”
To do what you think is impossible, poke at your fears and deconstruct them, use Tim’s “fear-setting method” explained here in his TED Talk.
I used Tim’s “fear-setting method” and repeatedly asked myself the above questions before my first surfing lesson. Without them, I would never have gone anywhere near the sea!
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