How to be braver in your job

Fear is natural when we deal with the unknown and uncertainty. Add into the mix self-esteem and self-worth issues (such as ‘not being good enough, and the imposter syndrome) carried through from childhood, and we have a concoction that blocks us from reaching our goals or if, only with tremendous internal efforts.

Here are a few steps we can take to become braver:

  1. Do not think or tackle the entire task at once. Split tasks into small units, and tackle them step by step by step, in bits and pieces. Get help and advice where needed. If we address things this way, the fear becomes surmountable and we can start to take small action steps into the right direction, leading to the desired outcome.
  2. Breathe – do a deep breathing exercise to release physical tension and fear. Fear is a real physical response to a perceived threat. To release the built up tension in the body we can meditate, exercise, breathe deeply, and focus on our achievements so far.
  3. Realize that no one is perfect, ever, and focus on done is better than perfect. Avoid overthinking and the inner critic, the voice sitting on your shoulder constantly whispering what could go wrong – duck tape it, give it a reassuring pat on the back, and tell the voice that things are going to be ok, because you focus on the BEST possible outcome.
  4. Over time, things get easier. When we learn new things, the brain literally has to organically build up new neural connections. This takes time! Think about how long it takes for the body to heal or recover from injury or illness. The brain is no exception. Humans learn through error and mistakes. It takes time to ‘reprogram’ an organ!
  5. Hence here is the most important one of all – be patient with and kind to yourself. Do your best and this is really all anyone can ever ask of you; beyond that, it is out of your hands.
  6. Keep learning new things and consistently work on your self-development over the years, adding more knowledge, experience, and expertise to your tool box.
  7. Be grateful to have the opportunity and a job that challenges you to grow. Growth is a key human need – and so are certainty, variety, significance, contribution, connection and love.
  8. To create more certainty which decreases fear, analyze a given situation with these 10 questions: who, what, when, where, with whom, how, how long, how much, why, what’s next. Identify the gaps and research the answers. Now you have a clear pathway ahead of you. Start going, step by step until you reach your destination, keeping your eyes on the vision, and your focus on execution of one task after the next until done.
  9. Remember to take breaks in between and have some downtimes. Non-stop action and overworking increases fear and anxiety. Make sure to balance things out, covering all your 6 basic human needs.
  10. Enjoy the journey and know, that we are all human, sitting in the same boat called life. We all feel fear, incompetent, and lonely at times, no matter what status one has achieved. Those who seem so brave and courageous choose to do things afraid. The moment we move out of our head and start taking action, the fear disappears.

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