Like a marriage, being good at your job takes work. We all experience cycles of happiness and worries about our future at work. But if your worries become fear then you’re held hostage by those fears and before you know it, you’re doing nothing!
I believe the biggest fear we have today is the fear of change. Change used to be an evolution. Today it’s revolutionary. A year ago, I never would have thought I’d be writing blog posts, or checking LinkedIn to see what my contemporaries and my employees are talking about. But now I just do it.
We all want to succeed, but in order to do so, we have to change; we have to keep up with the ever faster spinning world around us. People younger than I may have fewer fears about new technology. But there are age-old fears, like making a new business presentation, speaking in front of an audience, or making a mistake on a big project, that will always be present. We should use these fears to make ourselves and our business smarter, faster, and more competitive.
The best ways to overcome fear?
Practice Your Fear. The more you do something that scares you, the easier it becomes. Take, for example, the most common fear for people who are selling: fear of closing. Treating a sales cycle as a series of small closes makes closing the deal easier when it’s finally time to ask for the business.
Rehearse Your Fear. Superstars in sports and entertainment call this visualization. If you repeatedly rehearse something in your mind, while at the same time visualizing yourself as being calm, confident and collected, you naturally will give a better performance.
Reframe Your Fear. When the economy tanked we had to make tough business decisions to remain competitive. Was it better to fire some folks or ask the team to take some unpaid leave? We chose the latter and lessened the fear of unemployment among the troops.
Reassociate Your Fear. Taking risks in business is like getting on a roller coaster — except that you get to do some steering, so you’re actually a bit more in control. It turns out that fear you’re feeling isn’t really fear after all. It’s excitement!
Use Your Fear. Sometimes fear is a signal that you need to do something. If you’re afraid to ask for the business, it may just be your subconscious telling you it’s getting close to the point where you need to ask for the business. To use the well-worn Nike slogan one more time: “Feel the fear, then just do it.”
ONE LAST THING…
The biggest lesson I’ve learned in business (and life) is what’s most scary is that one thing we think we have no control over. The best way to eliminate the fear is to take control of it as best you can. ###