Photo by Rhino Neal

Fear corrodes job search as well as many other things in life. Fear undermines my confidence, and renders me useless – if I allow it.

To combat fear, I analyzed what was going on when I felt it. What was I really feeling? Other people say FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real, or F*** Everything And Run, or Face Everything and Recover.  All good, but not really what was in my body and soul.

Here’s what I came up with: FEAR is Faithless Ego Anticipates Ruin.

This means I have no faith in good things happening and doubt that I am taken care of by the universe (or higher power). My ego tells me I am all by myself and it knows that I am not in control which is very very bad. I look forward and I see only horrible things happening. I don’t know what it is about humans but so often we project bad things happening. Why not good things? They happen, too. But FEAR tells me good things are not in my future. FEAR tells me I am going to lose, be hurt, get into trouble, fail – something awful.

Here’s what FEAR ignores:  reality.  99% of the time, my anticipation is far worse than reality. And the 1% where reality was really bad – I learned how to deal with it. I am capable of much more than my fear would like me to believe.

The difficult things I experienced include being fired, twice. I survived both, and have built a new career for myself. My experiences allow me to help others who lose their jobs. I have compassion, and practical suggestions.  I also survived the death of my 6 year old nephew. Now that was really hard, and I was truly powerless. The fact is that I miss him every day, and my heart no longer feels completely broken. I survived. Honestly, nothing really scares me any more after that.

If I take FEAR to its logical conclusion, it tells me I will die or be annihilated if I do the thing fear tells me not to do. I’m still here, so clearly that hasn’t happened.

After my nephew died (midway between my two firings), I decided to put fear aside. I began to choose to anticipate good things. The other way didn’t feel good and I didn’t need it anymore. The worst had happened, and I survived. I had to find a way to happiness, and that meant choosing positive outcomes, choosing faith in a benevolent spirit, choosing to go to any lengths to feel good about myself, my life and my choices.

Now when I am afraid to do something, I know I’m on the right path. I know that I’m growing and risking. Otherwise, why would fear come up? Fear is about protecting me from danger. And in its place, it is useful. Mostly, it is a chimera, a phantom – mistakenly called forth. I now see that nothing ventured, nothing gained. If I do something and don’t get what I hope for, OK. I didn’t have it before I acted, anyway. And now I have the experience of making the networking call, being rejected, and surviving anyway.

How is fear getting in your way of going to any lengths to find the right fit job for you? And do you really need to let it get in your way anymore?