How do you grow?
You don’t let fear get in the way of your doing what you need to do.
I have just worked through one of the hardest projects I have ever tackled in my life. I learned so much and the stakes were VERY high. Yes, there were times that the tasks were daunting. Yes, there were times when it was scary, but it is what I needed to do, to succeed and to get through to the other side. There were times when I shut the door, whipped out the iPhone and played a few games of Sudoku just to pull my heart rate down. I was determined to do the very best I could and to make all the right decisions.
I think too often people let the fear of their own unknown capabilities stop them from doing what is needed, or it prevents them from doing quality work on a project or a task. They don’t know if they can accomplish something and they let the fear sit on that negative perspective of the challenge. Another way to look at something that you have never done before, is that now you get to learn something new. Now you get to grow.
It had been awhile since I had done something in business that really had a fear element in it for me. I remember my first trip to Europe was on a business trip that I did all by myself. It scared me. All the firsts I had on that trip drove my adrenalin. I have never been afraid of travel to anywhere or into any situation since then. I gained confidence. I remember the first international and the first $100,000+ deals I negotiated. They both made me nervous but they have lead me to relish, not fear, every customer conversation, the big deals and meeting anyone with any title from any walk of life.
I don’t really like the expression ‘facing your fears’ because that gives your fear a shape and presence that makes it even bigger. I think we need an expression more along the lines of “climb above your fear.” This keeps the awareness that we need to respect the trepidation, while using the endorphins to lift us up higher.
So the lesson I have now firmly cemented into my heart is that it is OK to have a fear of something if you use that fear to heighten your awareness and improve your performance. When you come out the other side of a project that intimidated you, you will have increased confidence and a new perspective.
It’s called experience and it is earned.
Photo credit iStockphoto