When it comes to healthy communication and engagement in business fear is your worst enemy. Fear paralyzes people's ability to do their best work. It has the power to put us in a cage surrounded by a professional life (and personal life) we don't want. And it forces companies to make poor decisions; spending money that doesn't need to be spent.
Reducing fear is the greatest cost reduction a business will ever experience. Reducing fear is what unleashes full human potential. When employees are fearless, regardless of position, they communicate courageously, are innovative, perform at their highest level and positively contribute to the success of their team. When employees are at their best, the business automatically saves more, makes more and experiences greater success in return.
Fear is the reason dysfunctional cultures exist. Oftentimes, rather than people making the right or ethical decision, they succumb to their fear of possible loss. Fear that sounds like: If I make an unpopular decision I'll lose my golden handcuffs. If I put people before profits I'll be seen as weak or lose respect. I'm too old or too young to "rock the boat". Many people would rather work in misery than face their fear. The result is an American workforce that's 70% disengaged (Gallup).
If a business wants to win in today's market it has to help its leaders and employees alike get their head out of the sand and face fear head-on. To conquer fear you have to get personal. When everyone in the business takes the time to conquer their fear the business will become unstoppable, and there will be nothing it can't accomplish.
Here are 5 ways you can begin conquering your fear in business.
Name your fear:
Write down all your fears. It's amazing how many of them will go away once you physically write them down. Once you write your fears down, rate their potential in becoming a reality on a scale from 1 - 10. If there's a high potential, brainstorm options and actions that will allow you to overcome the possible outcomes. You've now turned fear into a project that you can manage and work toward overcoming.
Stop calling yourself a victim:
The only person you're a victim to is you. Here's the reality: you're smart, talented, worthy of the position you hold and you deserve to be free from fear. You have complete choice and freedom over your thoughts, attitude and behavior. Other people's choices are not yours to own, so don't allow outsider's perceptions to hold you back from conquering your fear and moving forward in healthy productive ways.
Own your core beliefs:
Fear is usually a direct refection of negative core beliefs--what we believe to be true and the story we tell ourselves. Negative core beliefs stem from our past experiences and create self-sabotaging thoughts in our present life. Examples include: I'm not good enough because... I'll never have enough money because... I have to take care of everyone because... The list goes on and on. Take a moment to write down what you believe to be your negative core beliefs, and then ask yourself how your beliefs are fueling your fears. Then for each negative core belief write a positive affirmation and say it daily. An example: I'm talented, valuable and worthy of all good things.
Write down your desires:
What do you want? Fears block us from getting what we want by creating mental roadblocks that self-sabotage our goals and dreams. To get what you want you need to remove the fear standing in your way. Go back to the list of fears you wrote in the first exercise, and write down the desire each fear is blocking. Next, cross out each fear on the list so all that's remaining is your desire. Then for each desire write a statement of gratitude, as though you've already received exactly what you want. I guarantee, reading your statements of gratitude daily will fuel a change in you that will kick fear to the curb! An example may be: Thank you that I have the career I've always wanted because I did the right thing and stood up for myself and my team.
Conquering fear is all about practice, and applying these techniques consistently is the secret. Fear will always try to sneak itself back into your life, and that's okay because you're human. That said, the more you practice the easier overcoming fear becomes, and you'll begin to give less power (if any) to the fear that once held you back from the professional and personal life you want.
Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profits. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil at ginasoleil.com and follow her on Twitter.