5 Fears That Keep Successful Women Stuck


There are so many women I talk to that want to make a change but don’t – they stay where they are - stuck and often unhappy. When I ask them what is holding them back, they typically tell me that they are afraid. When I dig deeper, most of my clients will tell me that it is one of these fears is holding them back from creating a life that lights them up and has them ONFIRE.

1. Fear of Failure

Many of the women I work with are super successful in their career. They have worked hard to learn the skills required to reach those levels and yet when they think about making a change – they aren’t sure they will be successful so they stay when they are.

2. Fear of loss of status

Successful corporate leaders are looked up to their job titles carry with them lots of status. Many women (and likely men!) appreciate the status that the role and title gives them and don’t want to make a change that requires giving that up.

3. Fear of loss of steady income

Senior leaders have become used to a high level of ongoing income and making a change in their employment may result in a change to their income. The lack of certainty and possible loss of consistency is a big factor that keeps women from considering change.

4. Fear of what others will think

Our friends, family and social circle all will have opinions on change. They are often vocal about it as well. “What were you thinking?”, “Why would you leave a role like that?”, “Are you crazy?”. All these comments (both stated and unstated) play into our willingness to take a risk.

5. Fear of impact change will have on others

Change in a women’s life may often result in a change in the family unit. Husbands, spouses, partners and children may need to adapt to different hours and responsibilities. The fear of upsetting the apple cart may hold some women back from making a change.

The good news is that identifying the underlying fear holding you back is the first step in overcoming it.

If one or more of these fears resonate with you, you may be relieved to know that there are proven strategies to address each of them. Direct message me so we can crush that fear and see you moving fearlessly towards to your next goal. I can’t wait to see you moving forward with brazen confidence towards the life you dream on - one that has you completely energized and ONFIRE!

Laura Macdougall is a leading authority for senior women leaders who are designing their next chapter in their life, work and legacy. With more than 20 years experience leading corporate initiatives in the health and not for profit sectors and an MBA from the Smith School of Business, she is well positioned to advise fellow leaders on how to reinvent themselves to make the next phase of there career and life even more meaningful. Creator of the ONFIRE women's empowerment program she believes that women who feel worn out aren't just looking to regain their energy, they are looking to feel ONFIRE! She helps women regain, and sometimes find for the first time, that feeling of being supercharged.

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