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Mastering Your Career Fears Using Positive Self Talk

I just finished reading the book, Master Your Fears: How to Triumph Over Worries and Get On With Your Life, by psychologist Linda Sapadin. In the book, she presents an action plan specific to addressing fears that can be applied to your work life.

I know that often when we receive a new project, the first reaction is to react in fear. Those negative thoughts come up and our mind starts to tell us that we can’t do it… The project may be new to us, it could be out of our comfort level, or appears overwhelming at first glance. Try to think back to every new experience you’ve had in your life. It’s about taking the first step, taking a chance, and changing the way we think.

Using positive, rather than negative self-talk can go a long way. Tell yourself, “I can do this,” rather than “I can’t” or “I’ve never.” Develop new ways of thinking. Say to yourself, “what an exciting project,” “I’ve got this” or even “I’m ready for a brand new learning experience.” This is your chance to learn something new and develop a new skill.

We have to change the way we think. There is always a chance that we will trip or stumble, but we will always get back up. In the meantime, you may learn something quite helpful. The goal will be to take the action, not the outcome,” Sapadin says.

One other thing Sappington says, is that when you’re not sure,  fake it. “You don’t have to feel confident on the inside to look confident on the outside.” Many accomplished people feel terrified, but they go on and do what they have to do regardless. That’s what makes them successful.

Finally, Sappington explains that your body can be like a circuit breaker and we don’t want to overload it. When you get scared your body tightens up, you may feel like you can’t breathe or your stomach feels like it’s in knots. Take some time to relax. Practice deep breathing yoga or meditation. Calm your mind and body. Take that extra time for yourself and if needed, walk away for a little while and get some fresh air. Allow yourself to relax before taking that next step.

It’s important to know that we all have fear. It’s just what we do with it, that’s important.

How else do you master your career fears? Please share in the comments below!

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