top of page

7 Reasons why your fear is sabotaging your career prospects.

Updated: Dec 5, 2021

It's hard to turn down that raise or promotion, but if you don't value yourself as a professional, your career will suffer. If you want to stop sabotaging your career, here are the reasons why it's essential to start taking your career seriously. Everyone has the right to earn more money and take on a greater role in their workplace. It's up to you how you define success.

Moving forward in your career will bring about both opportunities and challenges, and it will help you pay off all those credit cards. However, many of us are scared of moving forward and don’t realize that this fear can self-sabotage our career prospects.

Stop being scared to move forward in your career.

Take the steps you need to take to achieve your goals and not be afraid to take risks. Always remember that the most significant threat is a failure to risk. You better try and fail because you will learn rather than not trying.

Making mistakes is a vital part of the learning process, and there are no guarantees that what you do today will work tomorrow. Therefore, keep on trying every day.

Everyone in this way is talented in his or her ways. Let's face it: everyone has skills and talents, but it's essential to be aware of your skill sets and to be mindful of what your strengths are. Most professions are a balance between several different skill sets.

There are so many opportunities in the world and many people who are willing to give things away for free. But you must realize that if you wait for the opportunities to come to you, there’s a good chance that they'll never come. So don’t wait for an opportunity to come to you. Go out, look, and find something that your business needs. Because when it comes, you’ll be ready.

It's essential to know about the career fear and manage it so that fear doesn't interfere with your dream job. You should always begin by understanding your career fear, understanding yourself, and what that fear means in your career path.

Then, once you've done that, you can make strong career decisions using this information. It is advisable always to outweigh the career fear and fight for what you love doing. So here are seven reasons and what you should do about them.

1. Is it your fear of success?

Believe it or not, the fear of success can stop you from moving forward. Fear of success can come from a fear that you'll lose yourself in your new role or that the rest of the world won't accept you anymore.

Perhaps you feel like you don't belong somewhere if you have made it. Or maybe you're worried that your friends won't like you when you go for your next promotion because they will be jealous. Fear of success can also be a fear that you won't be able to maintain the success you've already built

If you work hard and believe in yourself, then definitely you won't fail. If you believe in your capabilities, then you can overcome any kind of challenge or setback. Staying positive is an important step, but you must continue to credit your success to your hard work and commitment to attaining this career.

2. Is it the fear of the unknown?

In life, we can't go wrong without taking a chance. You've got to take risks to innovate. Never be afraid of trying something new when it comes to your work or the things you love. You started with nothing, but you grew up into someone who knows a lot. You'll have to try new things at some point in your life, even if you have no idea what the outcome will be.

When you do something for the first time, make sure you will learn how to do it right. It is as simple as that. When you have taken one step, the next step becomes much easier. When you have completed something for the first time, then you should think about doing it again. That way, you will become more confident in yourself. So stop worrying about your career and remember the new things you will learn. It is never all that bad, and it always gets better.

3. Is it that you lack confidence in your skills and abilities?

Starting a new job does not mean that you have to learn a skill; however, the job you did in the past involved learning. Think about any skills or knowledge you learned in the past and adapt them to your new job. Everyone has transferable skills that they can take from one position to another.

It is the same with any new career you are seeking. Look at how you have adapted and incorporated these skills into a new career. Don't be afraid to venture into what you believe you don't know- try and find out.

What should you do? Think about what you've learned in the past and how that relates to your future. You need to acquire many skills throughout your lifetime — be honest about what you know and what you have gaps in. Take an assessment to assess your existing knowledge. Write down what you know. Write down what you believe you don't know.

Dedicate time to identifying skills and experience that are related to what you think you don't know. Read on blogs, attend webinars, and ask questions in public versus private forums to learn new skills. Use affirmations and tell yourself that you can learn it and tell people what you can do it.

4. Is your expectation too high?

We are born with different goals, chores, and strengths. Not everyone can be a brain surgeon or an astronaut. Not everyone can be the next Einstein, but everyone can improve their mental abilities and help others through communication and teamwork.

There's definitely a good chance you won't be able to take your current level of seniority with you. It's a good idea, then, to think through what it really means to start over. Do you actually have the skills and ability needed to do this job? You might dream of being a rescue diver, for example, but you won't be able to get a job with the right experience. You should always start with a bit of realism.

It is also useful to accept our talents and abilities, and we should accept and celebrate those strengths. When moving into a new career, it may be necessary to consider lowering your expectations? If you're interested in learning more about a new career, then consider looking at entry-level roles that will allow you to move into your career of choice in the future.

For example, start as an intern. Then work your way up to becoming a junior employee. After that, study accounting or specialize in deep-dive analytics. For example, start as a payroll clerk. Then complete short-course or online training before progressing to an accountant assistant. After that, study and gain some experience in accounting before becoming an accountant.

It might take longer, but the technical experience gained along the way will be very valuable. You can adjust along the way by setting realistic goals and reminding yourself of the skills you need to develop before moving on to the next step.

5. Is the fear of going out of your career comfort zone?

What scares you? Is there a fear of changing careers? You've been doing this job for a while, but are you happy with your position?

Focus on growth. Growth begets growth. When we were children, everything was new and scary. You learned to ride that bike, but you also learned how to fall. This growth is unstoppable.

Whether you succeed or fail, you are always growing. Everyone experiences failure, but for those who have reached higher levels of career and personal success, struggle and discomfort have provided the growth required to reach new heights.

The trouble is many people after finishing school or university thinks that the learning has stopped. The fact is in today's world our capacity to learn never stops. There is always an opportunity to grow no matter who we are. According to Google Trends, there has been a steady increase in searches for such terms as: "graduate school," "post-graduate school," and "doctoral degree." The ability to learn never stops.

New opportunities will rarely fall into your lap. You have to stretch and make them happen. Some of the things you have always wanted to do, but have been afraid to do because they're new and different, might surprise you.

Stretching yourself out and moving in a new direction will help you find out more about yourself, and who knows, you might even discover things about yourself that you never realized.

It is always good to overcome any fears of trying something new. Never fear anything and still give out your best. If you feel like a career change will benefit you, it is advisable to get started as early as possible. This will save you energy and time.

6. What is the impact of not making this career change?

One of the reasons your current job affects your mental health may be that you're working too many hours. You may also be working overtime without pay. You may also feel stressed and burnt out because you're not earning enough to live a life you love. Moving to a career with fewer hours and less stress is one of the best ways to get back the time you need to unwind.

This change you make today will have a huge impact on your future. Of course, it's possible that this change could be very beneficial, but you need to look beyond yourself when considering a new career. "While switching over to a new career might make you happier at work, you need to make sure the change won't negatively impact your family life.

On a basic level, think about how this move will change your partner's lifestyles and/or your children. Think about the ways on how you could minimize these impacts, such as helping out more at home, decorating the house, having more quality time for the people in your life, saving up for holidays or special events.

It’s also worthwhile to consider your mental health. Staying in a job that you hate will only cause more problems down the line. For example, if you’re miserable at work, you’re not going to be in a good mood to go out and spend money on what you need. Spending your days in a toxic environment can be really damaging to your health and your productivity. You can become depressed, stressed, and unhappy because you feel like you have no control over your work, life, and career direction.

7. Is it merely that you do recognize yourself sabotaging behaviour

· Too much the perfection – get real, no career is perfect, how do you know until you try? No matter how much you work on yourself, you will never reach perfection. Your career is only as good as your last performance. Don't let insecurity stop you, try again and again until you master yourself.

· Procrastination – you keep saying I will get round to chasing my dream career, but you never get off your backside to do anything about it. Procrastination can smother a lot of life ambition, but it's a fact of life: Going after your dreams takes time, effort, and energy – far more than you usually think. Putting it off to another day achieves nothing.

· Negative self-talk – challenge your negative self-talk.

How are bad thoughts playing out in your life? I can’t afford to be a full-time student for two years.

Let it go and reframe your negative thought: It’s true – you need to pay rent but there are alternatives:

Can you continue at college part-time?

Can you move back home for a while?

Can you take on part-time work or look at other ways to make an income? (passive incomes, babysitting, freelancing, consultancy, craft skills)

If you are unhappy in your career and change, then you have to implement change. So stop running your chances before you get started. You are not moving forward because you are stuck in the circular feedback cycle of telling yourself why you can't succeed. Recognizing the self-sabotaging ideas and behaviours that keep you at a standstill takes tremendous courage and confidence.

So stop running your chances before you get started. Understanding why you are self-sabotaging — that's okay. It's the why behind why that's important.

However, there are always solutions; nothing is infinite. If you want to get past this destructive behaviour, you need to look for an answer and then take action. Only then can your career journey begin.

Taking all of the above points into account, it seems clear that you could potentially improve your mental health in all sorts of ways. Enhancing your career prospects can be exciting as you’re applying yourself creatively to a brand new field. You’ll be able to experience the thrill of every day’s work — and meet a host of interesting people along the way!


Regards, Paula

Career Coach and Employability Trainer

Follow me on Instagram: @Donnan.coaching

For assistance with any of the information above, please e-mail me at


bottom of page