Give into your fear and you’ll become fearful. Afraid. Scared. Incapacitated. If you fight your fears, you might become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.
We live in a world that’s geared by fear. I’m not sure if it’s actually always been like that or things really are more terrifying these days. Through the sepia glasses I wear when I look back to my childhood, I don’t remember the media pushing fear quite like it does today. I was petrified of ‘The Fox’ in the ‘80s, and I know the IRA was marauding around the country, but I don’t remember fear and all things that feed it being the main feature of the news.
Nonetheless, fear is all around. The world probably isn’t a more scary place than it used to be. And at the end of the day, we have a choice whether to be afraid or not. We also have a choice as to what to be afraid of. You might worry about your next presentation. Your appraisal might be coming up. That flight might be playing on your mind.
Even with these few examples, you can see there are different types of fear, or at least different sources. Each source has a very valid basis. But equally, each source has an element of irrationality in our response to it.
Fear can be useful. It can help prevent you being eaten by a lion as you’re running around in a loincloth clubbing a gazelle to death for dinner. But, on the whole, in 2016 such uses are a bit obsolete. Fear, and your body’s response to it is now merely an evolutionary hangover that isn’t quite as appropriate as it once was. Your boss isn’t actually going to claw your face off and devour your flesh if you say a silly thing in a meeting, is she?
Fear is down to your perception of a situation and how you deal with it will be a mark of how successfully you’ll deal with the situation. Being scared and worrying don’t really achieve anything in themselves. They suck up your cognitive energy. They can put demands on you physically. Neither of these responses achieve much.
So, growl and face your fear
Be courageous. Show your predator what you’re made of. Just like the fear that’s peddled by the news, the ‘threat’ peddled in your professional environment generally boils down to a medium of control. People just as scared as you make you scared so they can assuage their fear somewhat. Stay in the moment. You can decide to stop worrying. And if there is something worth thinking (not worrying) about, you can channel your energy into fixing it. You can identify your goals by objectively appraising your fears. You can plan and re-plan the actions you can, and want to, take in order to remove the fearful situation and replace it with a challenging and combatable situation. Coaches, mentors, friends and colleagues can all help you with this.
If you’d like to talk about this, or anything else related to coaching, get in touch.