Facing the Fears That Hold You Back at Work

Fear is what makes us human — we all feel this emotion to some extent. As Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, experts in the field of adult development, write in their book, Immunity to Change, “We have learned something that may be very hard for successful, capable people to believe: more than we understand, most people deal constantly with fear.”

The issue is when our fears (be they conscious or unconscious) keep us stuck in unproductive patterns of behavior, even when we want to move forward and operate in a new way so that we can progress in our careers and achieve our goals.

The kind of fear we’re talking about is not from the level of psychological safety set by leaders in an organization. To be sure, the lack of psychological safety on a team is an important element that affects performance and can certainly compound the fear an individual feels.

The kind of fear that we are referring to is our own sense of subjective safety, which is…

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This article was written by Rebecca Zucker and originally published on hbr.org