Ask The Experts

Managing fear positively

Question: I have this nagging fear of doing many things, including communicating with people. Some of them include talking with my boss on work matters, getting customers to buy, talking to strangers and even swimming in deep water despite being a swimmer for so many years.

As a result of this, I become very self-conscious, tense and uncomfortable, which either stops me from indulging in these pursuits, or takes the joy away when I am participating in any of these activities.

I am not sure whether I am suffering from some disorder. Can you help to explain my situation and what I can do to get out of it?

Looking for a more comfortable workplace? Register and browse for job opportunities here

Answer: The first thing to note is that having fear is a normal thing and is not necessarily a bad thing. When you look at it positively, it is actually good to have fear.

Fear teaches us to be careful and not take things and people for granted. Because of this, we learn to become smarter and mindful of the people in our lives.

First, you need to be grateful that you have feelings and emotions, as compared to some others who may seem stone cold they do not think why or how their behaviour could hurt people, or they do things without thinking of the consequences.

However, I always believe too much of anything is not healthy, and this applies to fear as well. Im guessing that is why you are not comfortable with yourself in the things that you do.

The first thing is to discuss or embrace your fear and ask why you have this fear in a particular area that you are working on. Secondly, trace its source and ask whether it is natural, or even fair for you to have it clinging on to you all these years.

Finally, to face it, do more of the things that you fear and you will soon notice it evaporating away.

Powerful questions:

What exactly are your fears and in which areas?

What does each of these fears reveal about you?

How can you make it your ally rather than your enemy?

How can you get even closer to it until you are one with it?

Article by Dr Michael Heah, an ICF Master Certified Coach with


Related articles:

Work is not work: You are more than just an employee

Three tips to mentally battle your work stress

Like this article? Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with our latest insightful articles and career advice.