If you are not playing it safe while doing anything that is worth doing in your career, you are definitely going to experience some sort of fear. And the good news is that experiencing this kind of fear is not altogether bad. Jobseekers, career changers and fresh career starters should be happy to know that fear can actually be their career’s best friend.
Fear can be classified into ‘productive fear’ and ‘limiting fear’. Productive fear helps you figure out how you can avoid a potential pain and achieve you goal. On the other hand, limiting fear refers to a feeling of fear which asks you to turn around and move in the other direction. Limiting fear may also stop you dead in your track.
Most of the time it is not feeling that differentiates productive fear from limiting fear. Instead, it is actually what you do or how you handle a situation when you feel it. The feeling of this fear can surround or overwhelm you at multiple points in your career. For instance, a career change situation can bring fears of getting failed or falling on your face. Now if you decide that it is best not to take the risk of making a career change and continue with your dissatisfying job, it becomes a limiting fear.
On the other hand, you can also turn this limiting fear into productive fear. Instead of not taking the risk of making a career change at all, you can also figure out how to minimize the potential of that actually happening.
To turn fear into productive fear, you can ask yourself the following questions –
How can I prevent the outcome?
What do I need to be aware of to reduce the risk of the outcome?
How do I need to prepare myself to reduce the risk of the outcome?
Fear can really be a rich source of insight, if used positively. What can fear actually do for your career benefit? Well, it can be an eye-opener to potential trouble that might arise during a particular course of action. At the same time, it can be used to energize your action to reduce the risk of the outcome. In this way, fear can really be your career’s best friend.
There is a very fine line between productive and limiting fear. On the one hand, productive fear can be used to prepare yourself to prevent some unnecessary pain. On the other, limiting fear can just stop you from taking any action at all. Therefore, the next time you experience a feeling of fear, be ready to use it as an effective tool to pave your path and move towards your career goals.