I work with a broad spectrum of clients. All the way from the CEO to the college graduate, I help people overcome obstacles and better understand what's holding them back.
One recurring area I encounter is the fear of 'more work'. What do I mean by 'more work'?
It's the belief which holds accomplished executives back from pursuing a promotion or opportunity with another company because they believe that more money or new job equals more work, increased responsibilities, and more headaches/exposure. It might even be a small project offered to them.
It's also the belief where unemployed people are unwilling to interview and go after work because they are afraid of the idea of working 60-70-80 hours a week. It's less painful to stay home and surf the web.
It might be the opportunity to expand your business, take on additional employees/consultants, make a lot more money. But you shy away from these situations frequently.
Fiction is often scarier than reality in this situation.
You might have to work hard your first few weeks/months on the job. That's a fact. You have to get acclimated, develop a reputation, and deliver before you can click into 5th gear and use less gasoline (time and effort).
Here's how to face your fear:
Sit down and clearly lay out what you're actually afraid of. Is it the hours? The hard work? The exposure? Rebuilding your reputation? Fear of failure? Fear of success? Never going to see your family again?
Write it down. Get all of your emotions down on paper. Draw. Sketch. Make that paper a visceral representation of how you feel about change.
Then step back, look at it, and realize your representation is achievable and frankly, not that scary.
It's like a horror movie — we are actually more scared of the monster that we don't see (e.g., like Jaws, Alien) than the one that pops out at the start of the movie.
You need to realize this representation is not a state which will last forever. You will see the light at the end of the tunnel — it's probably going to last 3-4 months TOPS.
Now go get that new position with vim and vigor!
How do you face your fears?