You and I have some type of fear that holds us back from going after our goals and dreams. And the only way to deal with this challenge is to identify it and manage it.

Being fearful is not abnormal. Even highly successful leaders who you and I admire have fears that they had to overcome in order to achieve great things.

As an example, championship boxer Muhammad Ali had a fear of flying and becoming the World Heavyweight Champion was his life’s mission.

Ali knew that to achieve this dream demanded that he travelled both within the USA and abroad. He was faced with only two options- overcome his fear of flying or give up his dream of being a boxer. Ali decided to confront his fear of flying.

When the opportunity presented itself for him to go to Rome for the Olympics, Ali wanted to take a boat to Rome. However, that mode of transportation was too slow.

In his autobiography, Ali recalled:

“What I was afraid of most was the plane crashing, and nothing would satisfy me until I called the Air Force and asked them to give me a record of plane flights between Rome and America. They said they couldn’t even remember the last time one had crashed. That calmed me down enough to take the flight to Rome” (p. 86).

Mighty men of faith in the bible also had their share of fears. The book of Hebrews chapter 11 verse 7 described that Noah after he was warned of God of things not seen moved with fear and prepared an ark to save his house.

So now that you are aware that your fears are not unnatural, the first step is to overcoming your fears is to identify how fear shows up in your career and life.

A valuable test that you can take to assist you in identifying your fear is called fear assessment . Ruth Soukup is a New York Times Best Selling Author and Entrepreneur.

Soukup surveyed over 4000 persons and discovered that fear showed up in distinct patterns in their lives which she termed the fear archetypes.

From this study, 7 distinct fear types were identified. These were the procrastinator, the rule follower, the people pleaser, the outcast, the self-doubter, the excuse maker and the pessimist.

The test takes approximately 5-7 minutes to complete on her popular website Do It Scared. Feel free to click the previous link to access this free assessment.

The result gives you your top fear archetype while you have to pay to access a complete fear assessment. The cost of your full fear analysis is USD$15.

The 7 fear archetypes according to Ruth Soukup

Fear Archetype No. 1- The Procrastinator

The procrastinator tends to be afraid of making a mistake. The procrastinator usually takes long to make decisions as he/she is focused on making sure that everything is right.


Procrastinators produce high quality finished work.


Procrastinators are slow in execution.

Possible Career Solution

As a procrastinator you can be relied upon to produce high quality work in the office. However, this may result in you missing deadlines. To overcome this challenge, consider setting deadlines for yourself and embrace concepts such as the pareto principle which states that 80% of the events comes from 20% of the causes.

Therefore, try to produce good quality work but on the other side do not strive for perfection. According to Sheryl Sandberg, done is better than perfect.

Fear Archetype No. 2- The Rule Follower

This individual follows processes and standards to the letter. At times, this can be at the expense of success.


If a rule follower has the right blueprint or mentor, then this individual may achieve success faster.


The rule follower can suffer from the fear of missing out.

Possible Career Solution

Practice using your intuition and gut feelings in making more decisions. Give yourself the freedom to explore other options/paths.

Fear Archetype No. 3- The People Pleaser

This individual worries about how their decision impacts others and does not want to disappoint them.

Easy to work with in groups and team setting since this individual is likely to consider others.

Lack of boundaries may mean that this individual may be taken for granted.

Possible Career Solution
Practice saying no and set clear boundaries at the first offense with colleagues at the office. Speak up more in situations where you were previously afraid to share your views.

Fear Archetype No. 4- The Outcast

These individuals are afraid of rejection and therefore talk themselves out of opportunities.

The outcast are highly disciplined, risk takers and self-motivated. They can thrive on their own.

Fear of rejection could dissuade the outcast from taking chances.

Possible Career Solution
The outcast should put themselves in several positions to get rejected so that they get use to rejection.

Fear Archetype No. 5- The Self Doubter

This individual lack confidence in his/ her abilities.

The self-doubter is hardworking. He/she gets the job done and is willing to go the extra mile.

The self-doubter is hesitant to try new things.

Possible Career Solution
Put yourself in situations that are uncomfortable and unfamiliar. This will help you get comfort being uncomfortable.

Fear Archetype No. 6- The Excuse Maker

The excuse maker shirks taking responsibility for goals and choices. This individual tends to be a follower allowing others to take the lead.

This individual can be great in a supporting role to friends and colleagues.

This individual will be resistant to taking action and exploring new opportunities.

Possible Career Solution
Enlist the support of a mentor or accountability partner to get the push required to complete goals.

Fear Archetype No. 7- The Pessimist

This individual struggles to manage challenges, adversity and pain. He/she views these as reasons to give up as opposed to stepping stones.

This individual is compassionate and will be sensitive to the needs of colleagues in the work environment.

The pessimist dwells and fails to find the good in tough situations.

Possible Career Solution
Work through circumstances of your past and try to forget about the bad times. As an example, forget about when you may have applied and did not get the job or promotion. Enlist the support of family members, a mentor or even a counselor to resolve issues.

Final Thoughts

My fear assessment revealed that I am a procrastinator. This knowledge has been valuable to me as I grow and develop as a new blogger. I am now aware that my fear of making mistakes can slow me down from achieving my goals so I set strict deadlines to complete tasks.

I urge you to take Ruth Soukup’s short fear assessment as to identify how fear may be showing up in your career and life so that you can take steps to manage and overcome it.

How To Identify And Overcome Fear In Your Career & Life

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