Over the years I have coached managers, business owners and employees about facing their fears. Here are three typical examples: Jane operated a business which "failed," and then wanted to start another, but was "fearful" of "failing again;" a group of employees said "they feared their boss”; and Joe lost his job and "feared" for his future.
Today many people are experiencing more fear than they had in the past. For the first time they are confronted with so much ambiguity that they seem frozen in time and space. Fear does that. It freezes us but the good news is that we can thaw out.
When I asked my partner about her thoughts on fear she said, "fear is the big elephant's mouse in the room." So let's take a look at this little rascal that makes the mighty elephant fearful.
First, let’s talk about some of the positive things about fear. Fear keeps us from making silly mistakes, spending money foolishly, and taking unnecessary risks. When an impending danger faces us we rightly react instinctively with a "freeze, flight or fight" response.
However, when fear stops us from moving forward when we should be moving forward, or running away from something when we shouldn't, or being overly anxious about something that keeps us from taking steps towards something better, then it's time to take a hard look at how fear is holding us hostage.
Remember “fear” is in the mind of the beholder so we need to go within ourselves and uncover what it is that is holding us back. Consider these eight key questions to explore:
Now that you understand the nature of your fear, answer these four questions to begin moving forward.
No one can predict the future with any certainty but one thing I do know is that there is "life" after leaving a place of employment. Opportunities await you.
Today is a good time to review your previous employment with an objective eye and review the results you achieved, understand your own work style and skill sets, and if you want to seek further employment build a resume that outlines those qualities and achievements. You now have the opportunity to seek the type of employment you always wanted and find a better "employment fit" for your profile and skill sets.
Today is a good time to sharpen your skills. Consider taking a course online. There are many available and there are excellent ones with really affordable rates.
Today is a good time to take advantage of another opportunity, self-employment. Think about becoming self-employed, developing an online business, becoming an affiliate marketer, opening an online store based on your skill sets, writing blogs for money, or making presentations and product reviews on YouTube. If you have never done this before I advise you seek a coach to guide you. If you are so inclined, listen to my YouTube introduction to one of the best online coaches I have had the pleasure of knowing and take his 100% free workshop.
Rather than fear the future, embrace it with a positive attitude and recognize it is filled with opportunity. Set your goals and then act.
Consider all the courageous people who overcame their fear and accomplished great things for themselves and human kind. Yes, they were afraid, but they broke through their fear barrier - often with the help of others and a Higher Power. Confront the mouse in your room and you may find it's just a tiny thing anyway.
Thank you for reading,
Note: This article is updated and revised from 2018