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Career Strategies for Women in Tech

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How to Manage Career Fears


career fearsHow do you manage your career fears? Do you fear that you aren’t good enough or that you might fail in a particular endeavor?

I was at a meeting today in which the speaker talked about the impact of our own self-talk. We all know the dangers of negative self-talk, but her perspective added a new dimension to the idea of managing the things we tell ourselves.

“When you engage in self-talk, talk as if you are speaking to your best friend. You’d never say to your best friend ‘you are a failure, you aren’t good enough, you are foolish to think you can succeed.’

In my Mindful Actions to Manage Career Fears article that I wrote for Thrive Global, I address some examples of things you can do to overcome your fears.

I am keenly aware when my ego kicks in and my fears heighten my insecurity that then creates a story I tell myself. These stories can take on the narrative of:

Don’t let fear or insecurity stop you from trying new things. Believe in yourself. Do what you love. And most importantly, be kind to others, even if you don’t like them. – Stacy London

  • I am not good enough
  • I am not smart enough
  • I should not be doing this now
  • I am ill prepared
  • I feel silly and even stupid
  • I am not the right person for this
  • I wish I had their ___________
  • If only I was _______________

It’s these negative stories we tell ourselves that feed into our career fears. We need to purposefully or mindfully recalibrate our inner dialogue.

The famous book The Secret taught us to put our fears and desires into positive statements before we put them out into the universe. Rather than saying “I plan to lose weight because I’m fat,” we were to say “I welcome the benefits that will come from having a healthy lifestyle.” Our mind latches onto those negative parts of speech rather than the intent to make a change.

It’s all about intention.

Make sure your intentions are focused on the positive, the possible and the excitement of the difference you can/will make in your career rather than the negative career fears that have held you back in the past.

It’s difficult to move away from society’s norms, and our mind’s chatter, and the perceived acceptance of others. Our ego has a unique way of reassuring us that when you get to a certain level or save a specific amount of money or obtain a certain physical state, then you can consider moving more into your light.

To that mind-chatter or ego-driven negative voice, I say: “step to the side.” You have the power to overcome those career-negating thoughts and reach the goals you’ve set. Be mindful of your internal chatter, managing it fiercely, so you can reach your desired goals.

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