Let’s talk about fear, you and I.
I don’t mean that dark shadow on the wall that seems to move in the middle of the night, or even your concerns about an impending zombie apocalypse. I’m not even talking about whatever agonies Stephen King may have uncovered in his latest book. I certainly am not talking about the general, less specific fears most of us have about the safety of our loved ones. And, though we live in trying times, I’m not referring to the fears initiated by what’s going on in the world.
No. The fears I’m referring to are the big, bad wolves of our own making. Our personal brain worms that remind us that we can’t do it, that we’re not good enough and that we’re wholly incapable.
We all live with these fears, to some degree. All of us. Anyone who tells you that they live their life completely devoid of fear is lying, a sociopath or paddling that big ‘ol river in Egypt known as De-Nile. Some fear in our lives is good and necessary. I think very often, what we call common sense, is fear that has been aged, finely distilled and dressed in good shoes. Hopefully, common sense is what keeps us from doing things that could actually harm us and helps us to make positive, life affirming choices.
In business, particularly as an entrepreneur, we deal with fear all the time. We’re afraid of failing, of starving, of being homeless, of not living up to the picture we had in our mind, of our ideas being laughed at, and so on and so on. In one of our workshops, a guy said that he found networking was difficult because he was afraid of not being liked. A woman at another workshop told us that she hated speaking in front of people because she didn’t like all those people looking at her. These are the fears that can hold us back OR offer access to our most dynamic growth.
Until we can identify exactly what we’re afraid of, how can we overcome it? If you give yourself a mental poke when you feel uncomfortable, chances are you’ll find the fear. The man in my workshop was afraid of not being liked, so the question becomes, why do I think I’m unlikable? We must be willing to look at ourselves and honestly examine the why’s behind the fear.
Most people are, to some extent, afraid of being judged. We want to fit in, to be liked and to be part of the tribe. It’s really scary to feel that we may not be measuring up somehow. I believe it’s more scary to not do something or not be something extraordinary because of what I think someone else might think about me. Just contemplating it is exhausting! It is our ability to look at our fears, to analyze them, confront them, beat them into submission and move forward that allows us to grow, not only in our businesses, but as humans. Fear can be very fertile soil, so ask yourself “why?”
LB Adams is the Founder of Practical Dramatics, headquartered in Charleston, SC. Her company provides fun, interactive soft skills training events that utilize theatre strategies to help humans grow more profitable conversations with other humans. Don’t be afraid to reach out to us at 843-771-0753 to find out more about us.