FEAR is your Enemy (and how to deal with it)

What are you fearful of?  What fears are those around you dealing with?

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As I wrote in today’s Jackson Sun article, titled What’s Feat Got to do with It?, which you can read here, our son was trying to see how fast he could run into the ocean… until fear entered the equation.  This was during our vacation last week to Watercolor Resort at Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

Fear is something which paralyzes each and everyone of us in one way or another.  Maybe we are afraid of the dark, heights, failure, death, or thousands of other things which debilitate us.  Have you ever seen a squirrel that ran out into the road right in front of your car?  What typically happens?  Exactly right; they freeze and seem to often make a decision about which way to go a little too late.

What I learned by watching my son was quite surprising and a great learning experience for me.  Our children are looking at us… all the time.  They typically like what we like and vice-versa.  When it comes to fear, they do not know what to be afraid of unless they since what you are afraid of or from personal experience.

As a leader, whether a parent in the home or within your company, people are looking to you.  The following three tips will reduce the fear for those watching you, and remove the paralysis associated with it.

Three Tips for Reducing Fear

1.  Lead from the front (previously written about here) When my son became scared from his first experience in the ocean waves, he didn’t want anything to do with the water again.  He spent most of his time playing in the sand (see above photo).  The last day, I made sure to put myself between him and the deep blue sea, which made him feel safe.  I was in the water first, signifying it was safe and I was there if needed.

2.  Speak in a positive mannerOnce he was noticeably afraid of the ocean, we knew we had some work to do.  The conversation began to shift to how much fun it is to go to the beach.  I told stories of playing in the ocean as a child.  During difficult financial times within the home or with the corporate balance sheet, leaders must communicate the facts without allowing the worst case scenario from seeming reality.

3.  Be honest and upfrontOur little boy’s fear was real, and it would have been very easy to make light of it or even poke fun at his fear.  This would have been very damaging to him and could have caused his fear to become something which would have been with him for quite some time.  In our lives, fears should be address openly and honestly.  Facts and information help to suppress fear and must be done.  If employees sense something may be going on, it is better to talk with them about, while giving them the facts.

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Please comment – How have you overcome personal fears?  What have you done when others are afraid?


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