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John Seckel, Philadelphia, on How to Turn your Biggest Fear into your Career

Life is filled with many challenges and fears; children are taught to adapt to their fears and overcome them with the encouragement of parents and caretakers. As adults, fears become something much more easily evaded, repressed and, for the most part, unresolved. When fears are left to linger, they tend to become obstacles in people’s […]

Life is filled with many challenges and fears; children are taught to adapt to their fears and overcome them with the encouragement of parents and caretakers. As adults, fears become something much more easily evaded, repressed and, for the most part, unresolved.

When fears are left to linger, they tend to become obstacles in people’s professional lives. Ambition is met with challenges that can either motivate someone to continually develop themselves and persevere or give up entirely and recede into a quiet, easy life that is not at all what they desired.

How Fears Impact Work Performance

Fears in this context do not refer to phobias. Instead, this article explores everyday fears such as social rejection and economic failure in how they influence a person’s everyday actions.

Every wildly successful figure in the 20th and 21st centuries had something unique about them. Men who possessed some of the world’s most brilliant minds were dyslexic. Rather than allowing their disorder to hold them back and avoid any potential trigger, these men pushed forward and embraced the way their brain forced them to work around traditional practices and innovate.

Fears stop people from reaching their full potential. Even with the knowledge one is capable of achieving something, fear can lead to playing it safe, which results in being passed up for promotions and watching others thrive instead.

Seeing Fear as an Advantage

Courage and fear are intertwined; without fear, there would be nothing to conquer, nothing to overcome. The world would be far less rewarding, and people would be limited in their opportunities to evolve and advance throughout society. If work itself was simply assigned and remained the same for the duration of a person’s entire adult life, satisfaction would be non-existent.

Fear can be a motivational tool that inspires people to try new things. Being shy or having social anxiety can be seen as a deficit or it can be viewed as a positive. Although it may be uncomfortable, it allows someone to be a better listener and think actively before they respond.

Over time, more frequent interaction and exposure will lead to reduced feelings of discomfort, but the lessons and attributes instilled by the fear will remain and flourish. Overcoming fear takes time, and it may require professional help to truly see how fears can be harnessed to their best advantage.

When one stops fearing fear itself, the entire world transforms. Success stops being an obstacle and instead becomes a pathway stretching outward, carved with the opportunity to apply oneself in new ways, overcome anxiety and learn from experience.

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