“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”–Nelson Mandela
Are you old enough to remember when your local news station touted its weather forecaster because you wanted to know if your weekend plans were going to get rained out? Pay attention the next time the tagline for the meteorologist hits your screen. One of my local network affiliate touts:
Your top source for severe[emphasis mine] weather coverage and the most reliable local forecast information.
The buzzwords “severe weather” coming before “reliable” is no mistake. You’ve been hooked into watching because of the fear of life-threatening weather and your wish to avoid it. It’s not just the local weather – the news is rife with taglines that appeal to fear avoidance. In short, fear sells.
It’s no wonder that faced with media designed to induce the basest of instincts, fear is the number-one reason most people also never achieve their goals or aspirations. They’re afraid of sticking their neck out. They’re afraid of falling flat. They’re afraid of looking foolish. If that’s you, STOP IT. In the words of the great Zig Ziglar:
F–E–A–R has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything and Run’ or ‘Face Everything and Rise.’ The choice is yours.
It’s been estimated that 85% of that about which we worry never happens. Of the remaining 15%, the vast majority of people say when that fear does come to fruition, it brings with it benefits or personal lessons that were more valuable than harmful. That means only about 3% of the time that which we fear comes to pass and could be potentially harmful. A full 97% of the time, we’re fearful of something that has a low probability of causing harm.
If fear is a barrier for you, start building confidence blocks that have nothing to do with your business. Go whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, or skydiving. Anything that you’ve always wanted to do, but are afraid to do – get to it. The activity doesn’t have to be grandiose, but those confidence blocks will build upon each other to wall away other fears that are keeping you from your dreams.
Action in the Face of Fear: Accelerators
- Write down your three biggest fears either inside,or outside your business or organization.
- Identify opportunities to face those fears head-on.
- Develop a plan to take advantage of those opportunitiesand prove to yourself once and for all thatour fears are often bigger and meaner than reality.
Dr. Jeff D. Standridge is the best-selling author of “The Innovator’s Field Guide” and “The Top Performer’s Field Guide.” He serves as Managing Director for the Conductor and Innovation Junkie, and teaches in the College of Business at the University of Central Arkansas. Jeff helps organizations and their leaders generate sustained results in the areas of innovation, strategy, profit growth, organizational effectiveness and leadership. Learn more at InnovationJunkie.com.