Getting Ahead

5 Tips for Tackling Your Fears While You're Getting Ahead

It’s no secret that work can be stressful, but it doesn’t make it easier to face the fact that burnout is the cause for half of workplace turnover each year. In such a working environment, it’s imperative for companies to understand how to keep their employees happy, satisfied and productive to fight this type of mass exodus.

Sometimes there are inevitable workplace obstacles that deter employees even when they find themselves in a job they love and are passionate about. We need to overcome these obstacles even if it seems like a daunting task. It can start simply. Between overbearing bosses, office conflict and even outdated workplace technology, there are a number of factors that employers can and must keep track of to gauge the overall happiness and, in turn, boost retention in their offices.

Related: Why Personal Branding Is a Secret Weapon

1. Attack your fears.

You’ll never get better at anything if you avoid it. Whatever it is you fear, tackle it directly. Don’t let it tackle you.

2. Learn from your mistakes.

Each new public speaking opportunity gave me the opportunity to make new mistakes. And I made them -- everyone does. It’s what you do after making a mistake that matters. Learn from every forgotten line, every misspoken name, every long pause. Turn what seems like a negative experience into a positive one and make sure you don’t repeat it.

Related: 5 Tips to Ace a Job Interview

3. Believe in yourself.

With nearly every initiative you undertake, you’re going to hear from naysayers who don’t believe in you or what you’re doing. Be confident in yourself and make sure the loudest naysayer you have isn’t in your own head.

4. Build a support group.

Having a support system is incredibly important. It’s easy to call on your support system when things are going well, but it’s when things aren’t on track that a support system is so important. It may be a few colleagues you’re close with, a mentor or even your spouse. They are the ones who will remind you that things will be okay.

5. Get back on the horse.

Freezing on stage, as I once did, or fumbling a few words, as I often do, is not the end of the world. Often, in both our professional and personal lives, we put so much pressure on ourselves to succeed flawlessly. That’s not realistic. If you make a mistake, learn from it and try again. Trust me, you will get better

Today, each day on campus, I speak with students who are facing their own uncertainties, their own doubts. Sometimes those doubts focus on something I’ve battled myself -- like my fear of public speaking. Other times, it’s one of those age-old student questions like, how will I find a good internship or a great job?

I’ve found that for our students, and for people in most challenging situations, tackling the fear head-on is the key to overcoming it -- instead of letting it overcome you.

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