There are few fears we face in our life that truly warrant it.
My fear at the top of a double diamond black ski run is different to my fear of writing on a new topic I never have spoken about before and wondering how people will react. I recently wrote about being a woman executive and I deleted it over and over again until my mentor, Alan Weiss, told me to just submit it to the Los Angeles Business Journal, which resulted in it being published and a new regular weekly column.
Real fear is when I was working in Rackhams department store during my corporate days in England back in 1993 when there was an attacker on the shop floor literally cutting the throats of my co-workers. Real fear was when I was put on bed rest for 16 weeks when pregnant with twins with an 18 month old running around. Real fear is being diagnosed with a rare auto immune condition that could have resulted in me losing my eyesight and being in a wheelchair. I don’t talk about those fears because they are insignificant compared to the tragedies and difficulties others have faced. But they put into perspective the fears that consume people’s decisions to quit a job, try something new, move to a new city or country, or to just simply say what you really think.
When I am advising CEOs, Board members, executives and entrepreneurs on growth strategies for their business, what is often behind their question is fear:
Fear that you will make a mistake
Fear that you will look needy
Fear of trying an alternative way than your usual approach
Fear that you will pick the wrong path
Fear that your outrageous idea may not pan out
Fear that your hiring bet may fall through
It isn’t the same kind of fear that is life-threatening but it is success-threatening because it causes you to freeze, doubt yourself, or not go as fast as you could.
What do you secretly fear and what is honestly causing it?
This was one of the topics I talked about with my incredibly talented sister-in-law who just overcame her fear and quit her successful career with a Mercedes Benz group dealership and now has launched her own photography company. You can see a selection of the photos she took at a recent talk of mine with Chartered Management Institute and University of Wolverhampton over on my Facebook page here. You can also read my interview with Sally here.
To overcoming your fears,