Fear is everywhere in business. It breeds dysfunction. When it comes to healthy communication and engagement fear is your worst enemy. It’s paralyzing. Fear paralyzes people’s ability to do their best work. Fear puts us into a cage surrounded by a life we don’t want. And it forces businesses to spend money that doesn’t need to be spent.
Reducing fear is the greatest cost reduction a business will ever experience—period. Reducing fear is what unleashes full human potential. When employees are fearless, regardless of position, they communicate courageously, are innovative, perform at their highest level and positively contribute to the success of the business.
Fear is the reason leadership dysfunction exists. Most business leaders have a fear of being vulnerable; a fear of taking risk due to the fear of emotional consequence fueled by self-sabotaging thoughts such as, “I’ll lose my golden handcuffs. I won’t make as much if I go somewhere else. I’ll be seen as weak. I’ll lose respect. I’m too old to change careers now. No one else will want me.” Fear is the roadblock to high-character leadership, and it stops people from making the good decisions that fuel engagement. If a business wants to win in today’s market it has to help people get their head out of the sand and face fear head-on.
Here’s the secret to conquering fear.
- Name your fear:
Write down all your fears. It’s amazing how many of them will go away once you physically write them down. Once you write your fears down, rate their reality potential on a scale from 1 – 10. How likely is it that your fears will actually become a reality? If there’s a high potential, brainstorm options and actions that will allow you to overcome the possible outcomes. You’ve now turned fear into a project that you can manage and work toward overcoming.
- Stop calling yourself a victim:
The only person you’re a victim to is you. Here’s the reality: you’re smart, talented, worthy of the position you hold, and you deserve to be free from fear. You have complete choice and freedom over your thoughts, attitude and behavior. Other people’s choices are not yours to own, so don’t allow the possibility of outside perception hold you back from conquering your fear and moving forward in healthy productive ways.
- Own your core beliefs:
We all have our story, baggage from the past, and issues were dealing with right now. When it comes right down to it our fears are usually a direct refection of our core belief system–and it’s typically only one or two core beliefs that we battle through life. Core beliefs stem from our past, and result in self-sabotaging thoughts in the present. Examples: “I’m not good enough because…” “I’ll never have enough money because…” “I have to take care of everyone because…” The list goes on and on. This part takes work. Take a moment to write down what you believe to be your core beliefs, and then ask yourself how your core beliefs are fueling your fears. Then for each core belief write a positive affirmation and say it daily. An example may be, “I’m talented, valuable, and worthy of all good things.”
- Write down your desires:
What do you want? Fears are simply roadblocks of perception that get in the way of what you actually want. For each of the fears you wrote down, what desire is that fear blocking? Going back to your list of fears, cross out each fear and write your desire in its place. Then make a statement of gratitude as though you’ve already received what you desire. An example may be, “Thank you that I have the career I’ve always wanted because I did the right thing and stood up for myself and my team.”
Conquering fear is all about practice; applying these techniques consistently is the secret. Fear will always try to sneak itself back into your life, and that’s okay because you’re human. That said, the more you practice the easier overcoming fear becomes, and you’ll begin to give less power (if any) to the fear that once held you back from the life you want.
Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Email Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.