‘Tis the season of goblins, ghosts and ghouls, but for many what’s way scarier is a bit of self-promotion. Whether it’s trying to drum up new business, giving a speech or simply asking for a raise, most people would rather face a horde of blood-sucking vampires than put themselves out there. We’ve got some suggestions on how to be more confident when facing some of your worst workplace fears. When it comes to anything creepy, kooky and all together ooky, however, you’re on your own.
who's afraid of the big, bad wolf
When it comes right down to it, it doesn’t matter what your particular fear is, one of the keys to dealing with it is simply to acknowledge it. Think about all the scary movies you have ever seen. What makes them such spine-tinglers is the anticipation of the bad guy popping out, not the actual bad guy. Your upcoming speech or your need to promote your business to gain new clients won’t seem quite so overwhelming once you admit your feelings.
don't be a scaredy cat
Another way to help you face a fear is to remember that everyone is scared of something. Sure, your boss may give speeches daily and seem cool as the center seed of a cucumber at that podium, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t sweat having to give one-on-one feedback to her staff. Try to remember that you aren’t alone in your fear.
cultivate mob mentality
In old B-movies, you never see a lone villager striking out to take down the zombies. Nope, those folks traveled in packs. When trying to overcome a workplace fear, do the same by reaching out to your colleagues for their advice and support. It takes a village, ya’ll.
Except in the case of Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, the odds are that whatever you have imagined as the worst-case scenario regarding your fear won’t happen. And even if it does, would it really be the end of the world? Say, you stick your neck out and ask the higher ups if you can lead that innovative new project. It might be awkward or uncomfortable, but you will survive it.
cast a spell on you
Another way to manage your workplace fears is by compartmentalizing them so they don’t take up every hour of your day. Heading out on a pitch for a client or trying to reel in a new customer? Set aside a specific time to focus on how you will handle the situation. By giving yourself space to face that fear, you can concentrate on the all of your other responsibilities for the rest of the day. Or to keep the spooky theme going, make like a witch, cast a spell and don’t think about the fear again until you say the magic word.
carve out some confidence
Finally, make a real effort to practice. Perform your speech in front of the mirror and then a friendly group. Use a friend as a sounding board to listen to your business pitch. Rehearse your request for a raise or promotion. You may still be nervous or have doubts, but the more you have practiced, the more confident you will be when you finally face your fear for real.