Today we’re looking at three key strategies you can use to overcome a fear of failure and make the leap into your next level of leadership – whether that’s moving from individual contributor to manager, manager to director or VP, or even into the C-Suite.

In my work as a coach, I speak with people at various stages of their careers every day. Some are looking for a promotion in their current company. Others are between jobs looking to move up for the next one. In either case, what they tell me is that they want to get ahead, but they are full of doubt and fear. Their inner dialogue sounds something like this:

  • What if I’m not good enough?
  • What if this doesn’t work out?
  • What if I take this leap and it turns out I’m not ready?
  • What if I’ll be in over my head?”

Those doubts keep them feeling stuck. They hesitate to go for that next promotion. They avoid looking for that next role.

Even if they overcome their worries enough to go ahead and apply, their doubts still hold them back. That worried inner voice impacts how they show up to their boss or hiring manager. They end up sending mixed signals, which will cause the interviewer or boss to have doubts too.

So, how can you tackle this head on?

There are three key factors:


Presence is about building your emotional capacity and resilience as you step into a new role. The reality is that you’ll never be 100% ready. Whether you’re becoming a first-time manager or rising into the C-suite, each level will bring new challenges. Even a lateral move requires getting to know a new team, division, or company. There’s no way you could ever be completely prepared. Building your executive presence is about creating a deep sense of self-acceptance. That, more than anything, will give you the confidence to take on those challenges.


Building partnerships right away in any new role is critical. You’ll need to win over your new boss, colleagues, and team members. Once they’re on your side, they’ll be cheering for you and supporting you. To get there, they need to know that you’re on the same page, working together for mutual success. Creating these partnerships also takes the self-acceptance we talked about above. Without it, the feeling that you should already know can keep you from reaching out. Your doubts will fuel a mistaken belief that you have to succeed on your own – which is the opposite of what you need to do.


Performance is about being very clear about what you need to do in your role. What is your goal? What are the most important expectations your company has of you? When you are clear about that, you can organize yourself to meet them. Clarity about your goals can also help you identify the skills and abilities you’ll need to develop. It will help you know where to invest in yourself.

What else?

These are three of the five key components that it takes to thrive in any role in any organization. The other two are: 1.) having a clear purpose and 2.) having an understanding of the group dynamics that happen any given work situation.

When you have all five of these pieces dialed in, you will be the kind of engaging leader that people want to work with. You’ll feel confident that you’re the best choice for the job. Your confidence will win over the decision-makers around you. You’ll be unstoppable.

To learn more about these five core strategies, check out my free training. In it, I’ll share exactly how my clients have used these strategies to get noticed and get ahead. Once you’ve watched, we can talk about how these same strategies can take your career to the next level.

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