Nab Wellfest UK

What would you achieve if you had no fear?

By Soraya Shaw |

November 11, 2014 | 4 min read

Continuing our series of articles around personal wellbeing in marketing and advertising, Nabs' Soraya Shaw looks at how fear holds us back from success.

Nabs' Soraya Shaw tackles fear

On a day to day basis we’ll urge clients to take risks, to act without fear and create a campaign that really gets noticed. But when it comes to our own decisions, how often do we ask ourselves to take risks, to stop fearing fear?

Fear regularly gets in the way of our decision-making process. We hold ourselves back through our fear of failure, of speaking up, of being judged and of being made to look like a fool, and yes, even a fear of success. Throughout our life we self-sabotage. We obey that little gremlin in our heads that tells us why we can’t do something. It limits us, and as a result it can affect our creativity and our work.

The part of our brain that governs this fear is known to people who study behaviours as the ‘reptilian brain’ – it’s the oldest part of our brain and has its roots in our evolutionary process. Its key focus is in protecting us – it’s typically why when we’re in a stressful situation we choose to either fight, flight or freeze.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. We can train our brains to think and act differently. Often it comes down to self-analysis. Deep down we know if we’re making the wrong decision it’s because we’re guided by our own fear. At these times, we need to take a step back and rationalise our actions. It’s very human to be scared. But to succeed and progress we have to challenge those beliefs and that mindset.

You have to ask yourself, what are you scared of? If it’s a fear of failure, remember to look back at what you’ve achieved. We’ve proven ourselves through school, university and now we’re (most probably) in a career that we find fulfilling and enjoyable.

One of the most important things to remember is that you’re not alone. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has at some point during their working life regretted or doubted themselves, fearing failure above all else.

So just as we urge our clients to take risks to build their brand profile, we should be asking ourselves to stop fearing fear – because once we do, the world can become an even easier place to succeed in.

Soraya Shaw is industry charity Nabs' head of careers and is speaking at WellFest, a travelling roadshow of workshops, entertainment and activities touring agencies today.

More in this series: Jon Kwan on how ad agencies can help their staff overcome pressure

Nab Wellfest UK

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