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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Fear Zone vs Growth Zone: Facing and Overcoming Challenges Fuels Development

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

The rapid changes in the world over the past several weeks have resulted in the complete upheaval of work and home life. Workers have experienced an unprecedented overhaul of methodologies, reduced stability and an abundance of unknowns. Naturally fear increases under these circumstances. Yet, as history has shown us, if we learn from facing new challenges, we can overcome fear and move forward. The aim of Career Development Alliance’sCDA Insights, as always, is to support those who support career planning – this includes fueling development, no matter what life reveals. Or as my daughter likes to quote, “When life gives you lemons, make grape juice and let the whole world wonder how you did it!” ~ Melanie Reinersman,

FOCUS ON: Facing and Conquering Your Fears

Feeling stronger and braver is the result of overcoming fear. The empowerment that follows is worth the effort to not run from a fear. While understandable at times, it is possible to not let allow fear to become devastating. Read how in Attitude is Altitude.  You may even want to train your brain by focusing on enjoying the process, practicing in a low-stakes situation, or giving yourself no way out. Read about these brain hacks for overcoming scary feelings from Fast Company.

FOR THE PRACTITIONER: Can a Silver Lining Be Found?

Written a year before COVID-19, this author does not dismiss traumatic or fearful experiences, but sees the benefit of looking for a silver lining. Read more from


FOR THE PRACTITIONER: Should a Silver Lining Be Found?

Note this tweet from Career Authentically: “I’d like to lift up a thought on the phrase “silver lining.” Not every challenge has one. Knowing someone with #COVID19 is not a cloud, it’s terrifying. A healthcare worker scared she may give it to her kids doesn’t want to hear about a silver lining. Words matter. Be gentle.”


FOR THE PRACTITIONER: Accessing the Resource Can Lead to Answers

Uncertainty, anxiety, technology! Oh My! The drastic changes in one’s daily life and work can raise an infinite number of questions. One online article cannot answer them all, but a web magazine may provide a host of examples of how to address the uncertainty, anxiety and technological challenges that arise when working (or not working) during a time of social distancing. Use resources as fuel for development. See a suggested reading list from Career Convergence.

TOP TEN: Ways to Fuel Personal Growth

Have you found your “mental happy place” or can you “share the stage”? Perhaps you can “choose more thoughtful gifts.” Start putting into practice these simple tips and you may see a difference in yourself and the world around you. Read all ten tips from Psychology Today.

JOB SEARCHING: Outstanding Job Searches During the Pandemic

While it's normal to wonder if continuing a job search at this time of upheaval is a good idea, it is more important to stand up and beat the competition. Growth as a job seeker results from shifting one’s mindset, prioritizing quality over quantity, demonstrating problem-solving abilities, and finding new ways to network. Read more from Forbes.


“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” ~ Rosa Parks
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." ~ Marie Curie
“Being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it.” ~ Bear Grylls


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