Why Does Fear Matter To Your Success?

The world of work has changed, and we are facing unprecedented shortages of talent in many organizations. Gallup’s latest research on employee retention indicates that fewer than one in four employees feel strongly that their organizations care about their wellbeing – which is the lowest in a decade.

It is especially noticeable among mid-level managers who have experienced high levels of burnout and declining employee engagement. Underlying much of the thinking and behavior that undermines people’s good intention to change is the emotion of fear, and in this volatile time, we need to find a way to help people address many of the fears they consider real and help them change the focus from limitation to expansion and opportunity.

My approach to the wellness problem is to raise the stakes on helping people develop their self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and communication skills. These three primary areas are essential if we are to build strong leadership that really puts people at the forefront of any innovation, not to mention, day to day running of an organization.

The focus must be on understanding how limited beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors undermine all our best efforts to create transformational change, and any attempts to improve employee engagement and bring out the best in people must consider this essential to employee growth.

Fear matter to your success!

It may not be the first thing you think about when you pair the word ‘fear’ and ‘success’ together.  But it does have a correlation between the drive for change, and your ability to move beyond the limiting effect of fear because it is essential to growth. Fear will either move you forward or it will hold you back. You have a choice on how you wish to engage with this primitive emotion.

Fear is everywhere.

From Covid, to the future of work, the war in Ukraine, and rising inflation, we are confronted with it every day. In the workplace there has been massive shifts in how people are choosing to work. Remote work has upended our traditional views of what the workplace is supposed to look like, and there is great confusion on what the future of work will be.

We know that companies that embrace change and are committed to developing their people will flourish in the 21st century. Others who resist making change will probably wither and fade away.

Part of what’s driving the great resignation is the desire to leave jobs that are unfulfilling, restrictive, and uncaring. Only 18% of employees feel satisfied with their work, which leaves a whopping 82% who feel they are treading water, waiting for the opportunity to leave or do something different.

When organizations create a culture of caring, or helping people feel like they belong, and are invested in their well-being, fear becomes fearlessness – people having the courage to make the right decisions for themselves. Who are invested in their own growth, and who believe they can deliver better results because they can bring their authentic selves to work, and connect with purpose and meaning to their roles.

Bottom line, fear matters to your success because it’s our driver for growth. The engine that changes your thinking and behavior to achieve the things you say you want.

How do you identify your fears?

It’s simple. When do you find yourself in self-doubt? Where do you second-guess yourself? Where do you hesitate because you are afraid of judgment, or rejection, or failure? Do you ask yourself if your fears are true? Do you have empirical evidence to support the stories you are telling yourself?

Most of our fears are imagination based.

I call it up-town thinking? Our problems are never as big or as bad as we think they are, and even if there is something that is life-threatening, different choices can be made. The only time we are not in choice is when the pine box is going out the door! We are always in choice, and we always have a choice to push beyond the limits of our beliefs and take different actions to achieve different results.

If you are a high-achieving individual, fear matters to your success. It’s your inner alarm. A call to arms that encourages you to grow beyond the limitations. To embrace the possibilities that lie before you. To take more chances and aspire more to whatever it is you desire in life.

So go ahead…Be Fearless: See Where It Gets You!

Jacqueline Wales is dedicated to helping individuals and organizations develop the insights and skills necessary to go beyond fear and uncertainty, build communities that care, and bring about transformational change across all dimensions of life. To learn more about how to do that visit our website.

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