I’ve been thinking a lot about fear lately. It started when I was watching the season finale of This Is Us. If you’ve never seem the show, Randal and his wife Beth play a “Worst Case Scenario” game where they say everything that they’re thinking. No judgment, no censorship.
I love this game. I’ve played it myself. It’s how I envision the worst-case scenario and examine whether I can withstand the outcome if the worst happens. If I think I can, I act. If I think I can’t, I make another plan. There is something freeing about speaking those unspoken fears aloud that kind of causes me to look my fear in the face for what it is. And that look seems to take some of the power away. And gets me focusing on how I can triumph.
Here are some examples.
Do you feel being inadequate or being judged? Why? Do you judge yourself too harshly? Are you inadequate in any material way? When you answer these questions, you are on the way to conquering this fear, being more confident, self-assured and productive.
Do you fear the unknown, change or losing control? We all do to some extent. Anticipate what it is about the unknown or the change that scares you. Doing that is the first step in figuring out how to stop letting fear stop you from trying new things or taking reasoned risks that can pay big dividends. When life shifts we find ourselves dealing with a change we likely didn’t want and reckoning with the unknown. But nothing stays the same – including the sense of limbo that we feel as we deal with change and the unknown. We are forced to acknowledge that things happen that are outside of our control. When this happens try to find what you can control and what has not changed. Embrace the things that remain and take action to maintain control of those things that you actually can control. And in the process consider giving up the illusion that any of us can fully control what happens in life once and for all.
Do you fear failure? Again, no one likes to fail. And I’d argue that fear of failure is what stops most of us from trying to build the life, business, family, career that we really want. Accept the fact the that many of the successful people we admire failed many times before they found their success. Embrace failure as part of being a life-long learner. You can see you are in good company by reading about these industry leaders who weren’t always successful.
Do you fear rejection? Rejection is inevitable. Sometimes you won’t make the sale, get the job, or the guy/girl. After the sting passes, remember you’re still here. Learn from the rejection. Were you not qualified – and if so how can you be better qualified? Was your product the wrong product for the prospect – and if so who is a better prospect? Was that guy/girl really the one for you – and if not, what will you look for in the next romantic prospect?
Do you fear getting hurt? If so ask yourself if you’d rather live alone without close connections to another human. Most of us don’t want this either. So…
Fear is a strong motivator. It also explains why we do many of the things that we do. It’s important to understand how fear drives our behavior. Everything DiSC examines what is important to us, what motivates us, what we are fearful of, what is stressful to us and looks at how these factors impact our behavior. This type of self-awareness is crucial is we are to reach any of our goals, build a good business, work well with co-workers, or maintain healthy personal relationships.
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