Yesterday we discussed the role of motivation in successful career development. Today I want to focus on the second question: “What do you fear most in your life?” Many of my unemployed clients cite economic poverty. They don’t want to find themselves and their families homeless and in survival mode. This is a perfectly logical and understandable response. In our materialistic society, we strive for abundance and abhor poverty. Yet a significant number of my unemployed clients either do not have this fear or are able to acknowledge the fear without being overwhelmed by it. They have developed holistic strategies to address their fears.
I think our fears go beyond considerations of materialism. Fears create resistance to actions that might free us from fear and improve our situations in the process. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines fear as “anxiety and agitation caused by the presence of danger, evil, pain, etc.” We classify the term in different ways: fear of failure, fear of success. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s reference to fear has stayed in the national consciousness for more than 70 years. Roosevelt said. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Wisdom is infused in this statement. In my opinion, fear is intwined with our profound anxiety concerning the unkown.
The unknown is terrifying precisely because we don’t have any guidelines to follow. We are used to our usual comforting routines and we experience discomfort when circumstances force us out of our routines.
Tomorrow we will discuss how we can encounter our fears and the unknown without becoming overwhelmed and losing our way.