Did you feel a twinge of fear at work this past week? Perhaps you thought you would not complete a task on time, maybe you were going into a performance review, or you may have been afraid you would be embarrassed in a meeting.
Fear is defined as "an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat." It can be at seemingly little thing or something significant. It is still fear.
Most fears at work are not physical. Instead, they are often a fear of something possibly happening or feeling unable to cope with something adequately or someone. Public speaking, failure, becoming embarrassed, and losing one's job are common fears.
There are healthy fears and non-healthy ones. Knowing what is a potentially dangerous situation and taking steps to avoid it would categorize a healthy fear. For instance, perhaps you are asked to physically do something you have not been adequately trained in and are therefore fearful of doing this task. That is reasonable fear and a warning not to do something due to the likelihood of harm Perhaps you have been asked to lead a team, but you do not feel ready for this responsibility. This is also a reasonable fear, but you can do something about it if you need to take this role. You can take a course on leadership or speak with a mentor.
However, unhealthy fears, such as worries about what may or may not happen, keep us from taking the next step that God wants us to take at work. We need a strategy for these unhealthy fears. That strategy is grounded in our faith in God.
Consider these four steps next time you are experiencing a fear:
1. Identify specifically what the fear is.
If it is regarding a person, what is it exactly? Is it how they might treat you in front of others? Is it not living up to their expectations? If it is about a job requirement, what exactly is your fear? Is it that you need more training or that you are afraid to ask? We can only deal with something when we know what the exact problem is. As a Physiotherapist, if a person's leg pain is coming from their back and I treat their leg, it will not get better. It is the same with our fears. If we do not get to the core root of the problem, it will not improve.
2. Determine the difficulties around this issue.
Be honest with yourself. The problems are essentially the reasons why this is still a fear. Is it because you are concerned you might disappoint someone? Is it because you need more training in an area, and pride is getting in the way? Is it because you are afraid of being embarrassed? Determine what barriers may be keeping you from dealing with your fear.
3. Acknowledge you need God’s strength and wisdom and pray about the situation.
Take Proverbs 1:33 to work and remember that God’s plans for you are for good (Jeremiah 29:11). Thank Him that He has given you a gift of peace of mind and heart and has told you not to be troubled or afraid (John 14:27).
4. Take an action step to help you overcome the fear.
Take the core root of the problem and choose a treatment (strategy) to get rid of the symptom (your fear). Perhaps speak to someone or take a course in being more assertive or what the issue is that you are fearful about.
Take the core root of the problem and choose a treatment (strategy) to get rid of the symptom (your fear). Perhaps speak to someone or take a course in being more assertive or what the issue is that you are fearful of.Take the core root of the problem and choose a treatment (strategy) to get rid of the symptom (your fear). Perhaps speak to someone or take a course in being more assertive or what the issue is that you are fearful of Faith can be defined as “belief and trust in God.” It is by faith in God that we can overcome every fear. God has promised that we can live without fear of harm when we turn to Him and listen to Him. If you have any fears at work, it is time to turn to God.
Have a fearless and blessed week!
Bonny, Christian Women at Work