When irrational fears drive your actions

Recognizing irrational fears is hard. This morning I recognized the source of one of mine.

Yesterday, I went to the eye doctor for the first time in 7 years. Seven years ago, it was because of an eye infection so not a regular eye exam. My last eye exam was in 2003. I go to an amazing eye doctor in a fantastic client-centered eye clinic with exceptional eye care.

Why do eye exams and specifically glasses, drive my irrational fears?

You might guess there is a story here. In 2003, my amazing eye doctor convinced me I needed bifocals. I am sure I did. But within four days of getting those bifocals, I fell down steps I walked down every Monday afternoon for 12 years. I was familiar with the marble steps but there were other factors that day.

It had snowed, the marble steps were slushy, my hands were full, and my depth perception was off since I had the glasses still on when I went down the stairs. Did the glasses cause the fall? Not necessarily, there were multiple factors but glasses became a symbol and a reminder.

I broke my ankle in three places and had to have immediate surgery. So what? People fall all the time. Some people fall and break bones. You mend.

Fear of being unable to work drives my irrational fears

I recognized yesterday at the eye clinic as I told people about the fall, especially when I started getting freaked out when my eye doctor suggested I need computer glasses. He doesn’t think I need bifocals anymore. My distance vision is fine.

They took me to check out frames after they dilated my eyes. I waited for someone to help me find the right frames. At that moment, I was alone in a big area filled with glasses. I was freaking out and ready to cry.

Why? The glasses remind me of the fall and fuels my irrational fears of falling. However, the fear of falling is greater than falling, the real fear that I will hurt myself to the extent that I can’t run my business, Design Resumes.

As the breadwinner in the family, loss of work, loss of income is a huge fear.

I transitioned my work at the end of 2009 to focus solely on expanding and building my resume writing and career marketing business.

At the time, I was 53 and felt time running out. If I wanted to create real income and a future for my family, I had to focus, escalate my learning in the career field, expand my marketing, learn social media marketing, and grow my client base beyond my home town.

Finally, I had clear vision and focus.

Goals set. No more distractions from the goal.

I am on the way. My market is now nationwide even global. I honed my craft, leveraged technology, and built an amazing referral network of satisfied clients who share how I helped them find their new role.

I realized all this talking to my husband this morning. As I explained to him how I felt when I looked at the rows of glasses, I realized that my fears are irrational.

My real fear is not fear of falling. The fear of falling is really the fear of not being able to provide. Not being able to keep drilling down on our debt. The inability to reach other financial goals. The fear of not being able to provide for my family.

Job seekers have irrational fears too

Like me, job seekers often can’t see solutions and become paralyzed into inaction when they think time is running out. They don’t think they are able to find another job that will take care of their financial and family needs.

These irrational fears overwhelm them and they can’t understand why they feel so hopeless.

Like me, they often don’t dig deep enough to figure out the source. Once you figure out the source, you can face the problem and it often is worse in your mind than reality.

I help job seekers face their fears, even irrational ones. We devise a plan, find their value, and move them forward toward their goals. Can I help you today?

P.S. I ordered the new computer glasses and they will be here in two weeks. I recognize I need help to see so I can be better at my work. What fear can I help you face?

Resume Design and Job Seeking Tips

Here are Design Resumes' latest articles on job search, resume design, resume writing, and Linkedin optimization articles I've written.

FREE Resume and Job Search Tips by email

Get free tips and strategy direct to your inbox. just add your name and email below. I respect your privacy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

Here are ways I can help you land your dream job.

You may be halfway across the country or the world. When you work with me, we share coffee, laughs, and concerns. This turns the scary job search into creative, consultative writing and learning sessions.