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  • Writer's pictureRenata Bernarde

Fear of Success?

Episode 100 - Fear of Success: Why It Happens and How to Overcome It




Wow, The Job Hunting Podcast has reached 100 episodes! Thank you so much for listening. I am immensely grateful for your support. And I hope that the tips, ideas, and interviews have helped you navigate the corporate sector and develop an understanding of the importance of dedicating time and energy to your career plans.


In this episode, I discuss success, but with a twist! I see this all the time with my clients: when job hunters go from getting zero response to suddenly getting calls from recruiters and job interviews, they freak out.


The happiness and the excitement about finally getting opportunities can quickly turn into anxiety. This happens with all my services. From getting more views following a LinkedIn audit service to coaching clients who get a fantastic job offer, the success leads to conflicting emotions. But why?


Success and Failure


Success doesn't feel like what we think it would feel. Success comes with more work (get ready for the calls and interviews) and more responsibility (now you have to do the job you wanted!). When we dream about success, we usually don't think about the day-to-day reality of achieving our goals. You may have envisioned yourself as feeling confident once you reach your success goal. When you achieve your goals, chances are you don't feel ready!


In this episode, I discuss the most common feelings I have observed as a coach, explain the reasons behind them, and how to overcome the anxiety and enjoy the spoils of your hard work. We talk a lot about impostor syndrome, but in my view, there are many more success fears that we need to address.


How to overcome the "freaking out" period of success


1. Understand it: Sword of Damocles

Sword of Damocles is an old tale about a Kink, Dionysius, who allowed one of his men, Damocles, to experience what it feels to have great power. Damocles sat on Dionysius's throne, surrounded by countless luxuries. But above his head, Dionysius arranged that a sword is held at the pommel only by a single hair of a horse's tail.


In this episode, I discuss three different meanings for this story, which I believe should be considered by anyone willing to advance in their careers.


2. Educate yourself: Stoicism

Some things are within our control, and some are not. There are so many variables affecting your recruitment and selection and your work when you are job hunting. You can control your output - job application, answers to job interviews, but you can't control what others are thinking of you. So the key is to move forward with tranquility, knowing you won't be able to control every aspect of this experience.


In the episode, I also discuss how we suffer not from facts themselves (i.e., you got the job), but from how we imagine what that means (i.e., I don't know if I can do a good job. What if I fail?).


Be strategic: coaching


Working with a coach can be incredibly beneficial for executives. It can speed up steep learning curves and avoid career-limiting moves done at the heat of the moment.


Freaking out due to success is why I usually continue to work with clients as they onboard their new jobs until they feel they have better control of their unique situation.


If being freaked out is a problem you wish you had, I'd also be happy to help! Please go to my website, to learn more and book my services.

About the Host


Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach professionals (corporate, non-profit, and public) the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress.


If you are an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, if you are looking to find your next job or promotion, or if you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running, then this podcast is for you.


In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, on my website, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients.


Contact Renata Bernarde


I’m determined to help you! I want you to feel empowered, nail your next job, and have the career you want.


Learn more about my services, courses, and group coaching: RenataBernarde.com

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