Have you heard of ergophobia?
Ergophobia is the name that psychologists use to diagnose unreasonable or excessive work-related fear.
Ergophobia is popularly known as “fear of working”. This expression, however, gives the wrong impression that phobia would be a vagabond thing, people who don’t like to work and want to live life without getting their hands dirty.
To demystify this issue and explain in detail the real causes and consequences of ergophobia, we will look in detail:
- What is ergophobia
- Why ergophobia is not a bum thing
- How to beat ergophobia in just 2 steps
- The career changes of those who can overcome the work phobia
The first point is to understand in detail what this phobia is about.
What is ergophobia
Ergophobia is a psychological disorder characterized by an irrational and excessive work-related fear.
An ergophobic person experiences panic, anxiety attacks, and other mental afflictions when they imagine themselves going to work or performing some specific activity in the professional setting.
For example, imagine a business clerk who can’t sign contracts because it crashes when it comes to contacting a customer, prospecting for new business, or making a sale.
This person wants to do his job, but as he imagines himself doing the necessary activities he begins to panic, experiences a lot of anxiety and has an irrational fear of what might happen.
Like many diseases of the mind, ergophobia is poorly understood by those who do not experience it. This causes the carriers of this phobia to be treated with contempt or prejudice, which contributes to increase the problem.
In the most severe cases, phobia prevents the person from developing in the career and can even lead to dismissal.
Why ergophobia is not a bum thing
When ergophobia is labeled “fear of working,” people may have the wrong impression that the patient simply does not want to work.
It must be clear that there are people who do not want to work, who are not interested in developing a professional career and try to lead life in another way.
The case we are dealing with here, however, does not concern these people. We are talking about people with a disorder already registered by psychology that has a specific diagnosis and treatment.
Therefore, the ideal is to avoid labeling ergophobia as “fear of working”. And knowing how to differentiate an ergophobic person from someone who is simply not interested in the work.
The diagnosis of ergophobia is characterized, among other points, by the presence of:
- Irrational fear or excessive anxiety related to the work as a whole or to a specific work situation
- Disproportionate relationship between fear or anxiety and the actual situation
- Persistence of fear or anxiety for longer periods than one semester
- Harmful Effects on Mental Health and Patient’s Personal and Professional Development
The main difference is quite simple to note. While the disinterested person does not want to work, those with ergophobia want to work but cannot.
How to beat ergophobia in just 2 steps
The first step in overcoming ergophobia is to seek expert help, which almost always means consulting with a psychologist.
As we have said, ergophobia is a mental disorder, a specific phobia that has no direct cause and effect relationship.
Thus, it is not possible to generically point out what causes ergophobia. Much less pass a generic treatment that applies in any case.
A good psychologist will be able to identify the event, trauma, or other event that may have led to aversion to a work situation. And once identified, you will be able to guide the best way to overcome ergophobia.
It is well known that many people resist seeking expert help when facing a mental disorder.
When we break our legs, we do not hesitate one day to look for a doctor to heal our body.
When the problem is in our mind, however, we avoid seeking expert help. We keep procrastinating, we search the internet, we try to beat the problem on our own.
This is because we are afraid of being labeled weak, weird, or even insane. Pure prejudice from those who think that disturbances of the mind are not health problems as serious as physical ones.
Therefore, you only need two steps to overcome ergophobia: seek a psychologist and follow the prescribed treatment.
The career changes of those who can overcome the work phobia
Let’s go back to the example we gave of a business attendant who suffers from ergophobia and therefore cannot close contracts.
This attendant really wants to keep his job and make career progress. But whenever he has to prospect new business, call a customer, or make an offer to sell, he simply hangs.
An irrational fear arises about what people will think, what the customer will respond to, what the boss will think of the service.
This fear creates anxiety. Sometimes this even prevents our attendant from picking up the phone and calling the prospect. Other times, when you can call, performance is greatly hampered by fear and anxiety.
Over time, the results are becoming increasingly negative. No promotions are offered and sooner or later our attendant friend will be fired.
Unless he followed the two-step recommendation to beat ergophobia.
He overcomes prejudice and admits he has a problem. To solve this problem, he takes the first step and seeks expert help by scheduling an appointment with a psychologist.
Then he takes the second step and follows the treatment prescribed by the psychologist. This may include periodic consultations, specific exercises, exposure to one’s own fears or even medication use.
The solution does not come overnight. But as treatment progresses, the attendant begins to feel more confident about calling prospective clients. No more locking time to make an offer. And finally it can start closing contracts at the pace expected by the company.
Now, instead of stagnating in his career and risking resignation, our friend is already beginning to hit his set goals . The boss already recognizes the effort and realizes the progress his leader is making.
By following this rate, he will soon be able to receive a promotion, raise his salary or even feel confident looking for a better job.
By this stage, he will be ready to meet Double Your Salary , our course for those who want to know how to negotiate a pay rise that can double their own earnings.