What Are You Afraid Of…

  • Public Speaking
  • Getting Old
  • Buying a House
  • Dating
  • Changing Jobs

For me, my apprehension is typically around the notion of seeking perfection. What should I be doing to reach it? For example, in writing this blog the little voice that asked if I had enough research or chose the right examples. But, don’t take it from me. Let’s look to an American Icon for courage, Rocky Balboa:

Rocky: What are you putting me through Adrian?! You wanna know the truth? The truth is I don’t want to lose what I’ve got. In the beginning I didn’t care about what happened to me. I’d go in the ring, I’d get busted up, I didn’t care! But now there’s you, there’s the kid. I don’t want to lose what I’ve got!
Adrian: What do we have that can’t be replaced? What? A house, we got cars, we got money! We got everything but the truth. WHAT’S THE TRUTH DAMMIT?!
Rocky: I’M AFRAID!!! ALL RIGHT?! YOU WANT TO HEAR ME SAY IT? You want to break me down? All right, I’m afraid. For the first time in my life, I’m afraid.
Adrian: I’m afraid too. There’s nothing wrong with being afraid.
Rocky: There is. For me, there is.
Adrian: Why? You’re human aren’t you?
Rocky: And if I lose?
Adrian: Then you lose. But at least you lose with no excuses, no fear. And I know you can live with that.

I’m not suggesting that boxing movies are a pure metaphor for life, but the take-away is this – we can turn fear into power and action through dynamic techniques.

To start we must understand what fear is. According to Webster’s New World College Dictionary, fear is a feeling of anxiety and agitation caused by the presence or nearness of danger, evil, pain, timidity; dread; terror; fright; apprehension.

Let’s bring a different sort of expert into the discussion. Dr. Susan Jeffers, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway,” points to life’s truth – that fear will never go away as long as one continues to grow. The only way to manage fear of something is to go out and face it. Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.

Techniques she recommends:

  • Use a No-Lose model in decision making. Consider the positive thing that will happen, make the decision, accept accountability. If it is not quite what you want, don’t protect – correct and move on.
  • Use “It Doesn’t Really Matter” when facing little decisions you make every day, as you ponder what to wear or the restaurant to reserve. Remind yourself when you are being needlessly obsessive.
  • Put a note in a place you can see it that says “So what! I’ll handle it!” If things don’t work out the way you want, this reminder will help you lighten up and act to correct it if you can.
  • Look at clues in your life that you are off course and begin making your game plan to correct the situation.  Don’t procrastinate.

In today’s business landscape, fear seems to be an ongoing fixture. As a manager, it is your job to keep a level head and charge forward. Rocky Balboa pushed through his fear. Perhaps this was a metaphor for life after all.

Debra Koenig, President, B2A

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One response to “What Are You Afraid Of…

  1. Pingback: RetailWire Discussion: CPGmatters: Has In-Store Implementation Reached Its Moment of Truth? « Meyers Research Center: THE BLOG

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