The Strategist

What and Why Do We Fear At Work?

03/22/2016 - 14:48

Fear is a very complex emotion. This is not surprising since people themselves are extremely complex creatures. Phenomenon of fear at work is particularly interesting because it has several shades. Let's take a look at them one after another and try to understand how to deal with them.

dryhead via flickr
dryhead via flickr
1. Fear of failure.

This is a prospect of not being able to achieve goals or to cope with a task set by the person himself or others.

Cameras are flashing when a tall immaculately dressed young man is getting out of the limo and is walking to the workplace. Smiling and nodding to his present colleagues, he is rhythmically delivering in a gloomy voice: "I missed more than nine times during my career, I lost almost three hundred games. Twenty-six times, I was trusted to make the decisive shot, and I sliced. I had suffered defeat after defeat many times. That is why I succeed."

In just a few seconds of the Nike’s ad, basketball legend Michael Jordan formulates a vital lesson: there is no failure, only the price of knowledge. Errors are one of the most important ways of knowing. If you are now not really succeeding, perhaps you're not wrong often enough.

2. Fear of embarrassment.

The feeling of shame and embarrassment, when you find yourself in an embarrassing situation, do not meet expectations or do not live up to social standards. Fear of embarrassment and lack of confidence may stop us from making an important decision and taking necessary risks. We must not retreat, but defend our opinions. Do not succumb to doubt, trust yourself. If others do not believe in you or they do not care, do not try to convince them that they are right.

3. Fear of losing control.

Have you ever had the feeling that time is getting out of control and you are unable to get back on track? For example, on Friday, your chief told you to quit the presentation, over which you sweated all week, and prepare a completely different another for the board of directors already by Monday.

From time to time, we all lose control over work, career, or life. The fear emerging as a result can have much to upset, confuse or paralyze you. We react instead of act. Instead of well-considered steps, we sit on the ground.

As a result, we have to be cautious and avoid situations that could get out of control. To improve the efficiency of our own, we should bear in mind that we cannot control everything. Be sure there will be days when chaos will prevail, and you cannot manage it. When that happens, you just have to take a break, take a deep breath and focus on what you can control. By acting intelligently and making informed steps, you will slowly but surely will return your ship on course.

4. Fear of being rejected.

The feeling of helplessness when you, your company or products you offer, are not accepted or being avoided. When the chief denies us the salary increase, we naturally doubt our abilities. When customers do not buy our products, we suddenly begin to revise its cost. However, the reasons behind any failure can be completely different (for example, the company's budget does not imply higher wages).

The lesson is here: 'no' does not mean 'no' in the business. The true meaning of not is just ‘not now’. Do not lose confidence because of failures and remember that we have to hear "no" much more often than "yes". So, get used to this idea firstly, and secondly, understand that since the more common answer is "no", you are getting statistically closer to the time when you hear "yes."

5. Fear of confrontation.

It means surviving an unpleasant event or hostility from others in the personal or professional life. In most cases, business is always associated with a confrontation. You can confront a colleague, boss, competitor, inoperative corporate rules or old-fashioned way of doing things. Fear of confrontation can be very strong, it even can stifle innovations and bold ideas.

If the task is to overcome the obstacles, it is necessary to deal with them. Do not avoid confrontation, do not shirk the need to resist, but also do not mindlessly leap into action - it makes more sense to take a break, take a deep breath and impartially analyze how to deal with the problem.

based on 'Make Change Work for You: 10 Ways to Future-Proof Yourself, Fearlessly Innovate, and Succeed Despite Uncertainty' by Scott Steinberg

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