Transitions Coaching Blog

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What’s holding you back? 5 Tips to move from fear to fulfillment

By Jennifer Tucker, Writer and Content Creator  |  April 1, 2024
5 Tips to move from fear to fulfillment

From a young age, we’re told we can be or do anything we want.

The opportunities are endless, and a path full of possibilities stretches out ahead of us. But if that’s true, why do so many of us end up feeling stuck or unfulfilled?

In most cases, the answer is fear. Something within us acts as a barrier to embracing those opportunities that await. Whether it’s the fear of failure, fear of judgment, or fear of the unknown, these internal barriers loom large, casting shadows over our purpose, passion, or aspirations.

I recently stumbled upon this article that sheds light on seven ways fear can hold us back. It was eye-opening for me because I saw a little bit of myself in each of the descriptions. As I reflected on my tendencies, I realized that my strongest traits align with two of the seven: the Rule Follower and the Self Doubter.

The Rule Follower used to rear its head all the time. Going way back, I remember feeling like there was an order I had to follow, steps I had to take to get to where I was “supposed” to be. Going to college, accepting my first job—even getting married and buying a home—I was ticking things off an imaginary to-do list. It was self-imposed, but it was largely driven by what I observed as societal (and familial) expectations.

The Self Doubter has played an equal role in my decision-making. I’ve always had a voice in my head that insisted I couldn’t chase a lofty goal because I likely wouldn’t succeed. I felt more comfortable playing it safe, so I focused on excelling at the things I knew I could do. But now I realize that mindset may have robbed me of opportunities for growth.

Luckily, I’ve (mostly) cast aside my Rule Follower identity. I no longer feel pressure to follow the path someone else has prescribed. I’ve gained the confidence to pursue work, hobbies, and relationships that are exciting to me, not expected of me.

My Self Doubter still occasionally creeps up, but I’m making strides. In the past ten years or so, I can count several times I’ve pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and done something I would have previously discounted as impossible. I failed at some things, but I succeeded at others that changed my life in big ways.

We all have tendencies, habits, or patterns that guide our decisions, both consciously and unconsciously. Acknowledging these traits is the first step towards overcoming fear.

Here are five tips to help you challenge your beliefs and break through the barriers holding you back.


Set aside dedicated time for self-reflection through journaling, meditation, or just a quiet moment with your thoughts. Ask yourself, “What do I find most fulfilling? What drains my energy? When do I feel most motivated?”

Identify external influences.

Consider the external factors shaping your choices, such as societal expectations, family pressures, or cultural norms. Assess whether your path aligns with your own aspirations or simply conforms to external expectations.

Explore your fear and comfort zones.

Spend time thinking about the fears or insecurities you may have, such as a fear of failure, judgment, or change. If you’re driven by a desire to avoid discomfort, how can you push past that fear to pursue growth?

Seek feedback.

Look for someone who has pursued the path you’re hesitating to go down. Reach out and ask them about dilemmas, challenges, or obstacles they faced and how they overcame them. This type of guidance can offer insights to help you move forward.

Experiment and explore.

Experimentation can be scary, but there are ways to safely step outside of your comfort zone. Raise your hand for a project that’s outside of your current scope, or explore a side gig. These experiments are learning opportunities that help set your intentions and your direction.

Fear is natural. In fact, it’s probably unavoidable.

But it’s also not impossible to overcome. Each step you take to uncover your tendencies and challenge your assumptions will inch you away from what may be holding you back and bring you closer to personal and professional fulfillment.

At Transitions Coaching, we help people explore the internal factors that may be impacting their external effectiveness. Meet the Transitions Coaching team here and learn how we can help you take a step towards aligning your professional path with your values and aspirations.