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How Fear is Holding You Back

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​After 7 long years in the same business, I recently got to experience recruitment from a candidate’s point of view.

It had been a long time since I had looked for a role, but I had (finally!) made my decision and took the leap. I have never been happier, and my only wish is that I would have made the move sooner. However, this has given me a refreshed appreciation and understanding for everyone who is looking for a new role at the moment - and even more compassion and commitment to help anyone I can.

After going through the process and reflecting on my experience, I realised just how much fear has ruled my career choices over the last couple of years. It got me thinking how things could have been different - and some would say better - if I had recognized how much fear controlled my decisions, and if I had been braver.

To give you some context: in the last 4 years, I have had 3 major life events – including the birth of my daughter, the birth of my twins, and the loss of my mum. In this time, I have juggled a career, motherhood, statutory maternity leave, a pandemic and caring for a sick relative. I understand why fear played a big role in my life, but I wish I had been able to recognise it - and acted sooner.

In a world where bad news is delivered daily on the 6 o’clock news (and 24/7 on the phones in our hands), where we are coming out of a global pandemic, and there’s talk of a recession… how many people out there are letting fear control their career decisions?

My hope is that this post will help you recognise if you are one of these people who are being affected by your fears and if you are, how you can overcome these fears.

Before you can overcome any fear, you must identity, accept and own the fact that you are fearful. This isn’t a weakness or negative in anyway! Anytime that you are honest with yourself, you gain perspective which demonstrates strength – burying your head in the sand is the easy option!

The 8 most common fears that affect the decision-making process:

1.       Fear of missing out – (or FOMO, if you’re down with the kids!) refers to the feeling or perception that others are having more fun, living better lives, or experiencing better things than you are. It involves a deep sense of envy and affects your self-esteem.

2.       Fear of judgement - The fear of negative evaluation, feeling less than or being perceived in a negative way. It can contribute to mental health problems such as social anxiety disorder.

3.       Fear of conflict – You are afraid of possible conflicts and arguments in anyway, and you don’t want to rock the boat

4.       Fear of rejection – When you feel afraid of not being liked, being alone, abandoned or not fitting in

5.       Fear of failure – You are actively avoiding scenarios or activities that has the potential to be unsuccessful

6.       Fear of change – You to avoid changing your circumstances due to being extremely afraid of the unknown. You prefer to deal with what you already know, even if it makes you unhappy.

7.       Fear of the risk – You will actively avoid any scenario or activities that involve a risk or gamble

8.       Fear of acceptance - You are ambivalent about relationships, and avoid close relationships, keeping distant because you don’t trust that any incipient connection or acceptance will last.


Each of these common fears can lead to fear-based decision making.

They either stop you doing something you want to do, or they can make you do something you don’t want to do. The fear can be subtle and barely recognisable… or it can be debilitating.

FEAR has two meanings – Forget Everything And Run, or Face Everything And Rise – The choice is yours.” – Zig Ziglar

This quote has always stuck with me.

So, how do we overcome these fears?

Firstly, recognition is key. Be accountable. You cannot overcome anything until you recognise and identify the root of the fear and exactly where it has manifested itself from.

Don’t see your fear as a weakness, and use it to your advantage. Fear is usually a piece of information that your subconscious wants you to know. It could be a scenario that needs more attention and information in order to to make a decision. Fear can become your ally and help guide you towards reaching your full potential.

Set goals for yourself. Visualise your life, desires and dreams. What do they look like? Make plans and take steps to help you achieve these goals. Really dig deep and be honest with yourself. When you feel that your goal is essential to you, you will be inspired to act.

Now imagine the worst thing that could happen… fear will run away the more you chase it.

Recognise when you are making excuses and feeding your fear. An excuse exists to justify, blame or defend an action, with the intent to absolve yourself of accountability.

Surround yourself with positive influences. People who truly have your best interests at heart and want you to accomplish your goals. You'll feel better about yourself and your decision making. You'll feel energised and motivated when you spend time with these people.

Prepare to fail – nothing worth having comes easily and you may fail at some point. Accepting that failure is a natural part of life will help you overcome any along the way. Everyone fails at some point - it is the key to success, in my opinion, as it is our failures that we learn from. Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best!

Finally, be kind to yourself. We are all human. Fear is essential to any decision-making process - but so is owning and overcoming that fear.


If you need help with your next career move and want to discuss your decision making with a team that will listen and support you - give us a call, drop us an email, or register with us today.

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 Image from Cottonbro via Pexels