Career Success Advice From Shakespeare

Today’s career advice comes from Shakespeare.  In Measure for Measure he says, “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we might win, by fearing to attempt.”  I always tell my career success coach clients that fear is a career success killer – you have to look your fears in the eye and do something.

Tweet 45 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “Everyone is afraid sometime.  Self-confident people face their fears and act.  Look your fears in the eye and do something.”

Fear is the enemy of self-confidence.  Self-confident people face their fears and act.  Procrastination is the manifestation of fear.  When I find myself procrastinating, I stop and ask myself “What are you afraid of here, Bud?”

Usually, the answer is on the 12 most common fears on the list below.  Which of these stop you from moving forward toward your career success?  What are you doing about them?

  1. Fear of failure – This type of fear has its roots in the misconception that everything you do has to be 100% successful.
  2. Fear of success – This type of fear is based on the idea that success is likely to mean more responsibility and attention, coupled with pressure to continue to perform at a high level.
  3. Fear of being judged – This type of fear comes from the need for approval that most people develop in childhood.
  4. Fear of emotional pain – This type of fear is rooted in wanting to avoid potential negative consequences of your actions.
  5. Fear of embarrassment – This type of fear is a result of empowering others to judge you when you demonstrate that you’re only human by making mistakes and having lapses of judgment.
  6. Fear of being abandoned or being alone – This type of fear is related to rejection and low self-esteem.
  7. Fear of rejection – This type of fear comes from personalizing what others do and say.
  8. Fear of expressing your true feelings – This type of fear holds you back from engaging in open, honest dialogue with the people in your life.
  9. Fear of intimacy – This type of fear manifests itself by an unwillingness to let others get too close, lest they discover the “real you.”
  10. Fear of the unknown – This type of fear manifests itself as needless worry about all of the bad things that could happen if you decide to make a change in your life.
  11. Fear of loss – This type of fear is related to the potential pain associated with no longer having something or someone of emotional significance to you.
  12. Fear of death – The ultimate fear of the unknown.  What will happen once our spirits leave our bodies?

By identifying your fear, you are more than half way to conquering it and creating the life and  career success you deserve.  Action is the antidote to fear. In most cases, you’ll choose wisely and your fears won’t be realized.  In the cases when you choose poorly, you’ll find that failure isn’t as catastrophic as you imagined.  Successful people learn from their failures.

By taking action on your fears, you win on both counts.  You win if you make a good decision and things work out.  You even win if you make a bad decision and things go poorly, because you have an opportunity to learn from your decision and the subsequent problems you faced.

As Paul Simon says, “A good day ain’t got no rain.  A bad day’s when I think of things that might have been.”  Don’t let fear rob you of the career success that might have been.

The career success coach point here is simple common sense.  Successful people are self-confident.  Self-confident people face their fears and act.  They follow the career advice in Tweet 45 in Success Tweets.  “Everyone is afraid sometime.  Self-confident people face their fears and act.  Look your fears in the eye and do something.”  Procrastination is the physical manifestation of fear.  When you find yourself procrastinating, figure out what scares you about the situation.  Is it fear of failure?  Is it fear of success? Is it fear of rejection?  Is it fear of being embarrassed?  Is it fear of the unknown?  Once you’ve figured out why you are afraid, do three things: admit your fear to yourself; embrace your fear; take action.  Action is the antidote to fear and an important career success key.

That’s my career advice on fear and career success.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.  I value you, and I appreciate you.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, you can download a free copy of my latest career success book Success Tweets Explained.  It’s a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: I opened my new membership site on September 1.  It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations.  To celebrate the grand opening, I’m giving away a new book I’ve written called I Want YOU…To Succeed in Your Corporate Climb. You can find out about the membership site and get your free copy of I Want YOU by going to


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