What Are You Afraid Of?

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If you asked that question to one hundred people you would get a variety of answers that might range from everything to nothing. The truth is we all probably have some things that we fear. For some their fears get constant attention and for others they are running in the background. The truth is that we have been taught to fear by some brilliant teachers. They may have been parents, friends, teachers, religious leaders, newscasters, advertisers, politicians… you get the idea. There is no shortage of people who will tell you who or what to be afraid of.

Like a seed, when fear gets planted it tends to grow.

Fear can protect us, but it can also stifle us.

Fears that keep us small can make us feel comfortable and safe, but they can also keep us from reaching our potential.  

As coaches, it is interesting for us to notice how fear plays a role in the success of our clients. Some clients fear failing. In some cases this motivates them to do all they can to be successful and avoid failure.  In other cases the fear of failure seems to paralyze people or in some cases makes them so tight and tense that they are lucky to operate at a competent level. In a time when they need to thrive and show their talent, they fall short.

Some clients fear success. With success there are often higher expectations, demands on your time and less freedom. Some may want to avoid all of the hard work and sacrifice that success may require.

We have had a lot of sessions with students recently who seem to fear the change that given a choice of jobs, they might choose the wrong one.

Some people are afraid of spiders. Some people are afraid of snakes. Some people are afraid of clowns. Some people are afraid of heights. Some people are afraid of speaking to a large group of people. Some people are afraid of taking that first step. Some people are afraid to finish what they started.

It really doesn’t matter what people fear or if it makes any sense to us that they do. What matters is whether or not they are willing to put up with the cost of the fear.

People are motivated to move toward pleasure or away from pain. Of course the avoidance or possible pain can limit us from a lot of the pleasure that makes life amazing.

A wise person once said “Whenever I have made decisions in life that were motivated by fear I almost always paid a price. Whenever I made decisions based on my values I always seem to win.” 

 Life is full of decisions. Some are small and some are big. Often we get to discuss decisions with people before they make them and often we get to talk to people after the fact but we tend to see that a lot of the decisions that people regret were motivated by fear and not values.

We work with people who made the decision to take the wrong job because they were afraid if they didn’t take it they may not get another chance. Perhaps they were afraid that the money would run out. Maybe they were afraid of what people might think if they were out of work too long. Maybe they were afraid that they were too old or too young or too something. What they often find is that fear and desperation make them decide things they wouldn’t normally decide. The warnings signs might be ignored, the due diligence might be skipped because fear is driving them to get the job.

On many occasions these kinds of poor decisions don’t work out and then they find themselves doing the same thing again because their old friend fear is driving again. If it continues to happen a pattern is formed that is hard to get out of and diminishes the reputation, credibility and the value of the candidate.

A client we worked with recently was getting worried as weeks became months in the transition period. He considered taking a job that was very similar to the one that just ended poorly. It would have meant getting income again but it didn’t satisfy what he and his family needed and wanted. He made the decision to not take the job even though there was nothing solid on the horizon. Within a month he landed a job that utilized his skills, excited him and was in alignment with what he and his family wanted. We recently celebrated his decision to align with his values vs. succumb to his fear.

Whether you are in transition between jobs or just in life making daily decisions there are two things we would love to do to support you.

The first is an exercise to help you to determine your needs. When your needs are met you are attractive, dynamic, energized, productive, inspiring, fun and easy to be around. You are in a positon to make powerful decisions. When you don’t get your needs met you can be ugly, short tempered, loud, quiet, isolated, lethargic, tired and not fun to be around. As human beings we have both ends of this spectrum. When we are not getting our needs met, fear has power. Fear can take over and often does. Let us help you learn what your needs are and help you get them met almost all of the time.

The second exercise is to determine your values. Your club may have identified values for people to live by but this is your chance to do it or re-examine your values. When you are living life in alignment with your values life is easier. Decisions are easier.

If you are interested you can live life with less fear! 

Let’s do it! If not, what are you afraid of?

KevinKevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA and can be reached at 1-866-822-3481 toll free. 

Posted by Will Flourance at 05/01/2018 04:12:50 PM | 


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