Fear in the workplace

Are you feeling stuck? What’s standing in your way of having the life or career you really want? Perhaps it’s fear that’s holding you back?

We all have fears; fear of failure, rejection or maybe even a fear of success! These fears, if we let them can keep us from experiencing life the way we want to.

One of my biggest fears used to be public speaking. This was something I avoided at all costs which was fine when I worked in Accounts where I just kept my head down all day and speaking in front of groups was not a requirement. I didn’t need to face my fears but I was totally unfulfilled and felt ‘dead inside’.


It wasn’t until years later, after changing industries and returning to college to retrain and do a degree that an opportunity arose in the area of tutoring. I remember weighing it up, asking myself; do I want to stay stuck in fear or do I want to be brave and start creating the career that will really fulfill me? I didn’t want to go back to a job that had no meaning for me so I decided to grab this opportunity despite how terrified I felt at the time. I worked closely with my own coach who helped to remind myself of the benefits of me stepping out of my comfort zone and being brave enough to pursue my passion of helping others. She also helped me to consider what it was costing me to not move forward in my life and career.

At the time, along with attending coaching sessions, I read a book called ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers.

According to Jeffers, there are five fear truths:


Fear will never go away as long as we continue to grow

This was a game changer for me. I spent so much of my life waiting to feel ready to take the next step. This helped me to understand that feeling fear is not a sign to give up but quite the opposite; it’s a sign to keep going despite the fear. Pushing ourselves through fear helps to build our confidence which in turn means that our relationship with fear will dramatically change. It’s not easy and we will experience discomfort but the pay off of new found confidence is well worth it.


The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it

The action comes before the fear goes away. This was very true in my case. It wasn’t until I took the action and pushed myself to do the training that I began to feel confident and fear eventually went away. Before I knew it, I was buzzing delivering every class and felt totally at ease doing so; this had become my new comfort zone.

After training and mentoring groups for a number of years, I decided to become a qualified coach through Positive Success Group in Dublin. Once qualified, I set up my own business as a Career, Life Coach and Trainer. As this was a brand new challenge, of course I felt fear all over again; the fear of starting up my own business. I experienced the same fear that I’m sure most new business owners feel. I wondered how I’ll get clients and putting myself out there as a coach was a whole new world!

Though I felt the fear of this new challenge, the difference this time was that I had learned not to let my fears get in the way. I pushed through any discomfort I was feeling and just went for it.  I reminded myself of the reasons why I was doing this; my passion to help others create the best life and career possible as I have done, to help others overcome their fears, develop their confidence and watch them grow in to the best version of themselves. This has paid off and now I’m coaching and training people from all walks of life and professions and now I’m totally buzzing doing what I really love every day.


The only way to feel better about myself is to go out and do it

The doing it comes before you start to feel good about yourself. So rather than waiting until you feel ready, it’s about just taking action first, then feeling better. However, when you master this task and the fear goes away, you will feel so good about yourself that you will take on a new challenge and then the fear begins all over again.


Not only will I feel fear when trying something new but so will everyone else

Everybody feels fear, the only difference is how each individual interprets it. Those who are successful and take risks all the time do feel fear, however they handle it differently. This suggests that fear itself is not problem but rather the issue is how we perceive the fear. Some people handle fear from a position of power, however those who view it as an obstacle in life and let it get in the way handle it from a position of pain. Jeffers explains that you can move from a position of pain to power by taking responsibility for your life.

I love this piece, and this is something that I really took on board when I initially read this book. I decided to stop acting as if life was happening to me and decided to take control of my life. This is such an empowering mindset to have because when you understand that everyone feels fear and what really matters is how you handle it, then anything seems possible!


Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness

A lot of people aim to wait until they feel confident before taking action, Jeffers advises us to push through fear and says that pushing through fear is less frightening than the fear you feel when you aren’t taking risks. As scary as experiencing fear is, surely it’s more scary to live a life where you never explore what you’re capable of, never push yourself out of your comfort zone to grow and develop and achieve your own unique potential? Are you really willing to settle for a mediocre life or would you like to push yourself to become the best version of you? I believe we’re always capable of growing further and only by being comfortable with experiencing fear can we tap in to our potential in life.


Tips to Overcome Fear

1.     Positive Affirmations – retrain your mind by using powerful affirmations every day. Find positive affirmations that feel true to you. Think about why they ring true to you.

2.     Remember that no matter what life throws at you, you can handle it! Think of all you have gone through in life so far, you are still here despite the challenges you’ve faced. Every time you handle a new challenge, you come out stronger. I’ve never met a strong person with an easy past!

3.     Take action first and your confidence will grow. Remember pushing through fear is less scary than living a life you’re not satisfied with.

4.     Remember everyone feels fear, it’s how we interpret it that matters. Instead of letting fear get in our way, we can view it as a challenge to push through. This is where real change occurs.

I am so passionate about empowering others to take control of their lives. From working with many clients in a coaching and training capacity, I’ve noticed that fear is a challenge that presents time and time again. I love helping others to overcome their fears and work towards their own unique potential, just as I have.

I offer a range of face to face life and career coaching sessions throughout Wexford, Wicklow and Dublin or alternatively online sessions are available throughout Ireland and worldwide.


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