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3 Ways to Use Fear to Fuel Your Career


Fear can make you want to run and hide. It can hold you back and prevent you from taking risks, because you’re too scared of something negative happening in return. Fear can be a beast that ruins your life and crushes your potential, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how you can use fear to propel you, rather than stifle you.

Fear as a motivator in your career

(Photo Credit: Kevin Thai/Flickr)

Think of the scenario in which a young child is deathly afraid of going to sleep because she believes there’s a boogieman under her bed. To adults, this fear is irrational and juvenile because we know there’s no one under the bed. However, to the child, the fear is very real and very scary, enough to evoke a full-on meltdown to avoid going to bed. Now think of all the irrational fears we, as adults, have on a daily basis, such as the fear of embarrassing ourselves in front of strangers, the fear of public speaking, or the fear of death, even. No matter how big or little it may be, fear is debilitating nonetheless, but you still can take control. Read on to see how you can flip fear on its head and use it to fuel success in the following three ways.

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1. Fear forces you to step out of your comfort zone.

You have the ability to choose what you do with your fears – you can let your fears consume you and hold you back, or you can choose to step out of your comfort zones, step into your fears, and let your survival instincts drive you forward. In doing so, you take back the power that fear has stripped from you, and you are able to turn a once-crippling thought into a driving force for success. All you have to do is take the leap.

2. Fear motivates you to “fall seven times, stand up eight.”

Sometimes it takes “falling” seven times for you to finally realize that it’s time to take charge and stop allowing fear to knock you down time and time again. It’s easy to get discouraged and let your anxiety get the best of you, but there comes a time when enough is enough, especially when it comes to your career. Instead of allowing your worries to take over, next time take back the reins and get mad at your fears. Get angry at the fact that these frightening thoughts have held you back all these years, and do something about it – use it to take a risk. Use that pent up energy you’ve been suppressing because of fear for all these years and try something scary exhilarating for once. Go! Go! Go! 

3. Fear encourages you to prove yourself (and your fears) wrong.

You know that feeling you get when someone tells you that you can’t do something? Often, a sense of determination overcomes you and you want nothing more than to prove that person wrong. That same drive should be applied to instances where your fear is convincing you that you cannot or should not do something. Take that risk and prove yourself and your fears wrong. You may be pleasantly surprised.

The reality is, we all have fears to some degree, but how we react to them is what separates the leaders from the pack. Some people allow fear to consume them and take over their lives, while others choose to overcome their fears and use them to attain the life and success they rightfully deserve. Which one are you?

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a story of when you overcame your fears and experienced success because of your choice to take that risk? If so, share your experience with our community on Twitter so that you can inspire someone else to do the same.

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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