Making Progress Even When You’re Scared

As I say in my book, The 10 Laws of Career Reinvention, there are few guarantees in reinvention, but one of them is this: You will come face-to-face regularly with fear.

But don’t despair! Fear is a healthy sign that you are venturing beyond your comfort zone, which you must repeatedly do if you want to move closer to your goals.

In order to make progress, you might think you have to “get over” your fears. This is not possible. Fear is hardwired into our biology as a necessary reaction to ensure our survival as a species.

Despite its biological usefulness, fear can feel so intense that it becomes a roadblock. That’s why you have to learn how to manage your fears, not master them.

The challenge is that fear, in addition to responding to real threats, is prone to setting off false alarms. The biochemical response starts to play out, and all of a sudden you find yourself freezing up in the face of an exciting opportunity (or for no reason at all).

So you can continue to make progress even when you’re scared, you must be able to:

  • Tolerate ambiguity
  • Give up excuses
  • Identify which of the five types of fear you’re feeling and whether it’s functional or false
  • Draw on a toolkit of tactics to keep you moving

Coaching Action Steps

Click on this link to download the Fears Action Guide for some tips and exercises to help you identify and move past your fears.