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The shocking reason HALF of us won’t reach our full potential

Evoke.ie logo Evoke.ie 2019-09-13 Alanna MacNamee
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New research has revealed that one in two of us think we could perform better at work if it wasn’t for one factor – and it’s one that might just surprise you.

Researchers at Nyenrode Business University and IE University asked 1,000 people about their work-related worries.

Turns out that, according to the research, half of us think we could perform better at work if we weren’t so hung up worrying about making mistakes.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, in yet another example of millennial angst, that figure skyrockets to a whopping 60-70% among younger higher educated professionals.

Of those surveyed, it emerged that fear about making mistakes was a fairly regular preoccupation: more than 40% of respondents are worried about making mistakes between 20 and 40% of the time.

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Women are bigger worriers than men, with 46% of us afraid of making mistakes 20-40% of the time.

That’s a rather higher figure than our male counterparts, as only one in three of them fear making mistakes as often.

It’s a problem employers would do well to address, as according to Professor Nick van Dam, who headed up the study, ‘Employees only perform well in new positions if they have enough self-confidence and aren’t afraid of making mistakes.’

Pointing out the value of trying and failing, Professor Nick continued, ‘We actually learn the most from our mistakes after all.’

For those who worry about making mistakes, there can be serious consequences, as expert Nick points out, ‘In a more extreme case, we might suffer from burnout because we spend so much time worrying.’

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Amid all this bad news, what can employees (in particular, young, educated women) do to combat their workplace worries about making mistakes?

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Well, the research suggests that authentic confidence isn’t just about getting rid of insecurity, but instead managing it effectively.

Perhaps easier said than done, but with the experts claiming managing our insecurities is self-empowering, it’s definitely worth giving it our best go.

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