If you’re tired of living in fear, here are 10 fears you can turn into courageous decisions.
1. Scarcity to Abundance
Scarcity is the belief or view that there isn’t enough, that if one person has something, you are deprived of possessing it yourself. It is fear that you will not have enough. It can also manifest as jealousy, envy, and anger. In difficult times, scarcity increases this fear.
The antidote to the fear of scarcity is the courageous decision to recognize abundance. My grandmother raised five children by herself on a secretary’s salary, always providing food for her family—as well as anyone in the neighborhood who needed help. Abundance is a mindset, a belief system, and it is an essential and empowering decision available to you now.
2. Loss to Gain
The fear of failure drives behavior more than the potential for gain. You will do more to prevent a loss than the effort you put forth to gain something more. The fear of failure is not irrational, especially when you are threatened with the loss of your job, your income, or your business. But the focus on avoiding loss often leads to behaviors that cause people to lose by not taking massive action and only taking protective measures.
It isn’t popular, nor is it easy to decide to look for a way to gain, especially in tough economic times. It is an act of courage and defiance to get off your back foot (your defensive posture) and onto your front foot (an offensive and safer position), especially when you are being fed a steady diet of fear.
3. Inadequacy to Confidence
Many share a fear of being inadequate for the challenges ahead. When you are facing a great threat or an incredible challenge, it is easy to feel too small and inadequate to conquer the task in front of you. No one knows what they are truly capable of until they are compelled to discover what’s inside them.
The decision to be confident isn’t the belief that you will succeed. It is the belief that you will eventually succeed. Confidence gives you the willingness to try, to exert yourself, putting forth the effort to make a difference and produce the result you need. You will surprise yourself, but only if you act.
4. Change to Growth
There is nothing more natural than the fear of change. It’s easy to operate in a world you understand, with rules you are familiar with, and where things are known. It is scary to find yourself compelled to change by events outside your control, and when the rules are unknown—and, perhaps, unknowable.
The courage to change is the surest path to growth. It is an act of bravery to let go of who you are now to become the person that comes after the person you are now. Growth means stepping into the wild unknown and finding something inside yourself while you are there.
5. Rejection to Feedback
Of all the questions that show up through the contact form here, the second most common is, “How do I deal with rejection?” The question is about sales and prospecting, but it speaks to something more profound; it speaks to how the person asking the question feels about themselves. To them, it feels personal.
The better, healthier view of rejection is that it is feedback. Being brave enough to accept the input that your request wasn’t valuable enough for the person you asked to agree to it allows you to change your approach, improving over time.
6. Failure to Experience
Failure is natural and so crucial to the process of success that there shouldn’t command so much negative emotion. Yet, we fear it as if it defines us, making it an identity when it is anything but an identity.
Trading the idea of failure for a better definition, say, the acquisition of the necessary experience to succeed in the future with a better mindset. One who tries, but fails, learns, and tries again, eventually finding success.
7. Making Someone Unhappy to Candor
When people are fearful, they often try to avoid conversations and decisions that would be easier to make were they in a different position. Attempting to engage in those conversations can cause people to be unhappy with the idea that they need to address the danger they are facing.
As much as you might want to avoid dealing with anxious, irritable people, if you can help them, stepping through your fear requires candor. It also requires patience and empathy and compassion, and compassion is providing them with a better outcome, and one that addresses the real and present danger.
8. Losing to Winning
Like failure is part of success, losing is part of winning. Or in the immortal words of the great American lyrical-philosopher, Steve Tyler, “You’ve got to lose to know how to win.” It doesn’t feel good to lose, and it is especially painful when winning is critical.
You need the courage to believe that you can win, that your losses of the past have taught you what you need to win now. That said, it’s always good to retain enough paranoia to believe that you are missing something and upping your game to make sure you leave nothing to chance.
9. Being Wrong to Making Adjustments
If you have read this blog for any significant time, you will know that I believe you need a theory and a willingness to share insights with your clients as a way to create value for them and create new opportunities. Many fear sharing their ideas because they fear being wrong, something they believe will lower their stature.
When you are wrong, or when something doesn’t work, you make adjustments. It is important that while you are sharing your ideas that you are open to having those ideas improved upon and increasing your understanding of the context that makes you more valuable by the courageous act of being wrong and doing something about it.
10. Conflict to Resolving Problems
Being conflict-averse is a liability. The fear of having to push back, arguing for what is right means allowing outcomes that are something less than they should be. An unwillingness to have difficult conversations is a liability when it comes to being consultative and aspiring to be a trusted advisor. Your fear cannot prevent you from doing what is right.
Trade any concern about conflict for a sense of duty and responsibility to resolve whatever conflict or challenge would prevent you from producing the best and most meaningful outcome. Use all of your diplomacy and your consultative approach to deal with conflict courageously.
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Filed under: Mindset