"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom, in the pursuit of truth as in the endeavor after a worthy manner of life."
--- Bertrand Russell
In studying the reasons why some businesses are so successful while other fail, Peter Drucker discovered that one of the main factors was fear. The CEO, the managers, the supervisors and the line staff all feared the future. This fear factor starts at the top and trickles down to every level of the organization.
The fears vary in different businesses and different industries, but some of the basic fears are fear of the future of the economy, fear of losing the job, fear of maintaining and increasing profits, and fear of mergers.
"Fear has nothing to do with cowardice. A fellow is only yellow when he lets his fear make him quit."
--- Jerome Cady
While these fears could cause one to lose sleep, the fears are actually worries that something "might" happen, with no evidence to validate the worry. As an old wise man once said, "Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair. It is fun to do, but gets you no where."
If you are having real fears today that you know are paralyzing you and interfering with your performance, take charge of them right now. List those fears on a pad of paper and share them with someone you trust. Talk them out and get input on them to validate that they are fears you should concern yourself with or just boogie men under the bed.
"Fear of trying causes paralysis. Trying causes only trembling and sweating."
--- Mason Cooley
If you find that they are fears that you should concern yourself with, learn how you can tackle those fears. Rise above them and take control of them and don't let them take control of you. They are outside of you and they can be resolved, eliminated, or turned into an ally.
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward, it is not a compliment to say he is brave; it is merely a loose misapplication of the word."
--- Mark Twain
By taking a courageous stand against your fears, you will be able to stop the spreading of fear throughout your company. Like a dog smelling fear, your team can sense it from their leaders. If you don't feel courageous, practice acting courageous until you begin to feel it. "Fake it until you make it" might be a good rule to work by until the fear demons are conquered.
"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point."
--- C S Lewis
Fear can be a healthy attribute at certain times. Fearing stepping in front of a bus will keep you in one piece a lot longer than if you didn't have that particular fear. Harnessing the right fears is a healthy way to run your business and to live, but make sure that you take stock of all of your fears and analyze which are healthy for you.
Then, honestly approach your staff with any real fears affecting the company. Explain the fears, but also explain your game plan for overcoming those obstacles through planning, hard work, and courage.
"Courage is a mean with regard to fear and confidence."
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A sign seen outside a barber shop:
As seen in front of a dentist office:
"Pain Free! (Any other services, we charge)"
Also, seen on a Dentist license plate:
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