Monday, June 15, 2015
“Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby.” - Ruth E. Renkel
As we go through life, trying to succeed and move ahead to better things, each of us will encounter fear in one form or another. It is a part of our human nature and instinct to have fear over things such as money, job, relationships and health. Fear can also make us uncomfortable to the point of failing to push through to the other side.
An article in Executive Travel by Karlin Sloan, founder and president of Karlin Sloan & Co. wrote about fear and provided steps to help overcome fear when you encounter it. She described fear as making us defensive and reactive instead of allowing us to be "strategic, smart and focused on the right things."
Think about what has happened to you in the past.
You were sailing along in life, performing great. You seemed to have a prophet's eye on what the next steps in life should be and how to achieve your next goal. All of a sudden life throws an obstacle into your perfect plan. Your reaction or fear of the unexpected nearly paralyzes your ability to move forward.
What is it you can do in those situations?
Ms. Sloan offers the following five steps as a starting point to overcoming those fears. Each of them have a practical application in your personal or business life.
1. Stop reacting, start breathing. Take a deep breath before you react. Deep breathing activates your automatic nervous system and shifts you from "fight or flight" responses to your executive functioning brain.
2. Take control. Make a list of your fears. How realistic are they? What can be done to negate any possibility of their happening? What plans are in place to avert crisis? What do you need to do in order to know you can focus through fear? Fear is clarifying -- it can help you understand your risk and how to get through tough times.
3. Build alliances. Leaders who are surrounded by an aligned team have less reason to fear, as well as more backup during hard times. Positive relationships are a grounding force that can nullify fear.
4. Tell the truth. Often during fearful times -- a terrorist attack, a downturn in the economy, after workplace violence -- people want to be reassured. Don't tell people everything is fine when it's not: Be honest. More than hollow reassurance, people want to hear the authenticity in your voice and feel trust that you will tell them what's really happening.
5. Shift into a positive gear. Use fear as a positive. Challenges, heartaches, losses, failures and crisis are opportunities for learning, growth and change. If you can remember this and communicate it, you will be thanked.
Move beyond your fears and get life back on course.
Take fear and use it to spring yourself into a greater place, a better life. You can get beyond that fear and back to smooth sailing. Overcome the adversity placed before you and continue living a great life.
Stay inspired my friends!