Listen to Howard talk about how fear can keep you from being successful in your business:
When we talk about business, we’re talking about people. We’re talking about the human condition. No matter what your role or position in business may be you didn’t just become a business person. There was a path to get you there. There was a life cycle to get you there.
One of the primary elements that keeps CEOs, business owners and entrepreneurs from success is fear. Is fear keeping you from being successful in your business? I mean, really successful?
Let’s go back to the beginning where it starts for everyone on this earth. When children, including yourself, are born they are not afraid. In fact, they’re fearless. The concept of fear hasn’t been developed so they have no sense of fear.
Fear has to be something that is experienced, to be understood and to be told about. For example, a two year old picks up the phone because the child likes the sounds that a phone makes. The child is fascinated by what they see the parents and other adults do with phones. But when the child picks up the phone, the parent says, “No! No! That’s not for you! Don’t pick up the phone!” Just speculating but could this be why so many business people don’t like making cold calls?
Or a child goes over to the stove and immediately is told, “No! No! Don’t touch that stove! Hot! Hot!” Yet what do many children do? They still have the curiosity and desire to touch the stove which results in little burnt hands in order to learn that it’s really not something to do.
These are just two examples of how fear begins to set in. Then as we get older and grow up, fear permeates throughout our life. It could be from the bike we fell off of, the first day of class in a new school, a first date that didn’t turn out as dreamy as we would have liked, not being asked to dance at a party or not winning the big championship game.
Fear is ingrained in our lives. As grown-ups, most of us know where we were and what we were doing the day the stock market just kept dropping and dropping and dropping in 2008. That day put fear in all of us not just on a personal level but also on a business level. And we have been, as individuals and as a nation, trying to get over the fear ever since. Remember Henny Penny from the story of Chicken Little and… “The sky is falling! The sky is falling?!” That’s how business and the economy are sometimes painted by the media these days. It continues to put more fear into us.
But life goes on, doesn’t it? And the sky hasn’t fallen. In fact, the sun will come up tomorrow.
Fear causes us to not be assertive, even aggressive, in our daily work or in our business obligations and goals. Fear often holds us back so that we can feel safe, more secure.
So what do we do? We need to separate the irrational fear from the rational fear in our daily work and business lives.
Let’s move away from the mountains of fear that are around us every day putting up roadblocks to success. Instead, figure out how to navigate around the roadblocks and be in action! When you do, you will start to see a clearer picture and have a clearer vision of what you need to do. Good, solid business actions increase your opportunities for success.
If you are in fear, then how can you expect anyone else that you work with to be successful? Be cautious but don’t be fearful. There is a difference. Don’t be caught up in your fear! Don’t be so fearful that you’re hiding under your desk! Caution is the word. But be aggressive with caution.
When you’re at work today, do something that you have been, in some way, fearful of. Push through that fear. Find out what is on the other side of that fear. Discover that success awaits you.