Last week I was speaking before a CEO group. The leader of the group started the meeting off with a conversation about fear. It was quite interesting to hear 12 successful business leaders talk about their relationship with fear.
As I listened I found myself thinking about how fear impacts an individual’s ability to do what they know they must do. I realized that we all deal with fear in general, and a fear of commitment specifically.
What is it that holds us back from fully and totally committing? I see this challenge every day as we work with companies and their sales team to implement new approaches and develop new skills. Even when people know that what they’re doing isn’t working, or when a new idea, approach or goal promises precisely what we believe we want, it's a struggle, fraught with fear, to fully commit.
The best analogy of this commitment fear is the trapeze. To do your jump, you must first let go of the bar you have (safety) and believe that the next bar will be where it's supposed to be, when's it's supposed to be there (and that you'll arrive at the designated point as well). The moment you let go of the bar you have, there is no turning back - even if you change your mind.
I think that's what we all deal with. What if we commit fully, only to find out the new idea isn't any better? Or, what if I'm not able to deliver my end of the bargain, will I be worse off than I started?
How can we get comfortable with fear? A few years ago, I wrote a post, Play in the Fear, that gives the best approach. We need to learn to play again. Take small risks, do things a little differently. Try things quickly. Get a little uncomfortable, every day. We need to stop deal with fear as an event, and instead make dealing with fears a part of our status quo.
I'd love to know what you do to deal with, and manage, the fears you and your team face. Leave a comment or send me an email.