top of page

How to overcome the fear of taking up the top job?

fear of taking top job

I rose in ranks in my organisation and I am now being considered for a CXO role. Everyone around me is so happy for me. However, one part of me fears the sacrifices I have to make to take up that role. I also don't like certain aspects of the work. There are also family considerations. I am wondering whether I should move laterally to a new organisation and stay in the current role or change my career altogether to achieve balance. I am confused. 
                                ~CXO designate

Many of us face daunting questions at the cusp of taking a role with power & responsibility.

Its as if, the sleeping demons in our head suddenly awaken to create cacophony in our head that drowns our reason.

It's normal to feel a little jittery while being considered for a highly visible role. It appears to be a do or die situation. It also appears to be a one-way street of no return. There is sometimes the question of 'am I good enough' popping up here and there. There are also doubts about the cost we are willing to pay to get there. However these are our mind's ways of keeping us prepared for the leap. It's a self-protecting, survival brain kicking in to give the flight response.

There are some instances of the direction in life not matching the forward movement with such a role. This would involve pause, reflection and decision. However in most of the cases, it's just a mind imposed cage from where the future looks bleak.

So how to overcome the fear of taking up the top job?

know your why
  1. Know your 'why'?

What does getting into the top job mean to you?

- Does it mean you have arrived?

- Does it mean you can create impact?

- Does it mean you can create an empowering vision and rally resources behind it?

- Does it mean power, status?

What does the top job denote for you? The 'why' of doing the job can create a drive that can overpower self doubts that arise while getting there.

meta program

2. Know your 'meta' program

Some of us are driven my 'move away' meta program which means that what we 'dont want' drives us towards action.

Some of us are driven by 'move towards' metaprogram which means we are drawn towards something that prompts action.

When one becomes scared of the next role, we know its the "move away" program in action. Keep a note of what you need to move away and consciously build on what you want to move towards.

support system

3. Build support systems

For the items you have noted in the 'move away' program, consciously create a plan to build support systems that will help you get respite from the things you do not want to do.

It could mean getting additional family/friends/institutional support, delegation, scaling, training etc. Give yourself the necessary support to set yourself for success.


4. Give yourself permission to experience the role first hand

Anything unknown appears as a devil first.

Give yourself permission to experience the CXO role first hand - this means preparing for it, acing the internal/external process, and taking up the role to experience it for what it is.

Create a milestone when you will come back and reflect on it and run with it whole heartedly until then You may surprise yourself or you will become sure that it's not the path for you.

Then whatever decision you have to make becomes effortless and clear.

What gives you confidence to take up the top job?

#coaching #executivecoaching #topjob #fear

12 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page