Ask what was stopping me and I can tell you immediately: fear. Fear of failure in fact. Relationship-issues with parents, siblings, teachers and peers can be a cause, as can other traumatic events in childhood – especially ones where we feel demeaned or humiliated. But the fear can build from tiny beginnings into an uncontrollable phobia that can mentally paralyze the sufferer in adulthood. It can also strike us at various stages in our career – even once we have built up strong confidence in a particular area.
My disastrous investment banking “career” provides a potent example in my own story. A seemingly confident financial journalist with a strong and detailed knowledge of corporate banking, I caught the eye of a leading corporate bank ...