DASH014 Surfing The Curl of Fear Instead of Giving In To It

Posted on : 28-06-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Business, Career Stuff, Communication

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If you’ve been living in the past couple of decades then, more than likely, just like me, you’ve experienced the over all cultural phenomena of heightened fear in many aspects of your life with a big impact hitting your job or career.

On Friday, June 29, 2012 at 12:30pm CST I’ll be interviewing a highly regarded writer, speaker and management consultant, Judith M. Bardwick, Ph.D. on BTR’ Hope42Day.  In her book and subsequent talks and info-sessions, Judy shares about the psychological recession behind the changing work force (especially in the U.S.).

Here’s an excerpt about  fear from the book, “The prolonged, sustained fear that is characteristic of a Psychological Recession assures that good news will be discounted while bad news is accepted as the stuff of reality. The tragedy is that focusing on fears only reinforces them.  In understandable but irrational ways, people who are frightened move ever forward toward panic. In this way, a Psychological Recession is self-fulfilling.”

This got me to thinking about my days in the world of recruiting technical experts for long-term contracts.  In the late 90’s as we headed toward Y2K (for those of you who live under rocks, this was when the techno world was mainly run by mainframes and the uproar was all about the dates not being programmed to be able to turn over to 20 from 19 (1999 to 2000) we were flying high.  There was so much work to be done that we could not find people fast enough. Then there was a brief respite with client-server technology (remember that?) being the latest and greatest movement since the mainframe and like a creeping tidal wave, the internet took off and the rest as we know it is history.  There was a lot of fear in those days because the work world was being turned ass over tea kettle from brick and mortar to dot.com.  The psychology of how historically held institutions turned over the usual way of doing business to the new way—because of the impact of technology — from banking to real estate undergoing changes in fascinating (and frightening) ways.

I believe what allowed so much change to happen so quickly was FEAR.  Many people feared all the new technology taking place because they did not understand it. Then all that new technology coupled with the bright young minds stepping  up to leadership posts that would have taken years for previous generations to hold, had many reacting out of sheer fear.

Here we are a handful of years down the road from the great American recession and many countries undergoing their own radical changes (because, yeah, like they say, we are all connected!) and lot’s of people are scared, scared, scared.  The good news is that if you don’t want to be one of the mass who is steeping themselves in fear, anger, and dark perspectives of what life is all about….this is a most excellent time to put on that wet suit of confidence, trust and an open mind so that you can surf this huge wave of fear (maybe even have a whole lot of fun while you’re doing it) and come out on the other side to lead us to another way of doing and looking at how we do business (and live in the world).  I think that is how great leaders are created.  I think there is a whole lot of opportunity for smart people who understand humans and the psychology of business.

How will you see the world today?


NEXT045 Learning How to Look at What You Fear, Differently

Posted on : 29-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks

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Ever since January of this year, I’ve been speaking with a really good mentor/Coach/friend of mine Mon-Thur.  Before we began this coaching process (prompted from my new “Cut-to-the Chase” Coaching program) we were part of a group of four Coaches who met once a week every month every year for the past eleven years. Suffice it to say, we know each other pretty darn well and have been there for each other through all kinds of ups and downs in life.

Fortunately for me, my friend is willing to tempt my reaction to fear (defensiveness, abruptness, aloofness) to speak of the elephant in the middle of the room so that I can make informed choices rather than skirt around the elephant avoiding potential conflict as well as success.  As it also turns out, both my friend and I share a lot of traits to the point that I know if I’m seeing something in her that I want to jump in and make suggestions about that it’s probably something in me that I don’t want to look at. In other words, “if you spot it, you’ve got it”.

In my case, I think there’s probably a whole herd of elephants in the middle of the room and any recognition of in the smallest of them even  in the most benign  manner will start a stampede!  This herd represents all kinds of FEAR (false evidence appearing real) for me.   And all of that fear is tied like a spider web to money.  One of the bugs caught in my money web is the fear of rejection.  I will go to the farthest corners of the Earth to be completely isolated by myself rather than invite the possibility of rejection. Especially if that rejection is about the work or service I offer.  Of course you realize that this kind of reaction to the fear of rejection has also tampered with some very good experiences of acceptance and possibly even celebration.  I think it’s probably another facet of a control issue as well.  All this fear can also quickly become resentment after awhile if I steep in it long enough.

Elephant Herd

The ultimate resentment is of myself for severely limiting myself from what is possible.

It occurred to me today as my mentor and I embarked on the tango up to my fear of money and rejection and then fast on those heels, resentment that I could look at the fear differently this time.  I could look at it as an indicator to respond in an entirely different way (some know this as being counter intuitive) to the way that I “usually” would respond and see what happens.  What was it Einstein said?  “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”    I don’t know about a touch of genius in my case, but I think I can garner up a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

In what way are you willing to look at your fear differently?


DINK #206 Feeling The Fear And Doing It Anyway!

Posted on : 12-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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One of the slogans we learned when we first took lessons on how to scuba dive was to “Plan Your Dive and Dive Your Plan”.  For someone like me who can get completely distracted and pretty much leave my body in times of excitement, fear and stress, planning my dive and diving my plan is a great metaphor for what I need to do so that I can live my life well. I’ve blogged before about how I have a love/hate/love relationship with scuba diving. I love it because I love to swim, I love the water, I love seeing all of the fish and plants and animals but I hate feeling claustrophobic and I hate it when I have an anxiety attack about 70 feet down when I have to ascend very slowly to get to safe ground.  For me, planning my dive from how much air I have in my tank to paying attention to my remaining air in the tank that will tell me when my diving time has come to an end, to noting what we’re probably going to see on a particular dive and finally what depths that we will descend to is essential.  I also have to know how my equipment works, that it is working well and have an understanding with my dive buddy about what our signals mean to each other.

The same thing to planning my scuba diving applies to my life above the water.  My friend who I am co-creating a talk show with and I were talking today about this experience of creating this talk show and how we can feel excitement and fear at the same time.  For weeks now we have been putting together the scripts for three pilots, figuring out who the guests will, what topics we want to explore and how we will do this in the time period we’ve allotted for the show.  We’ve also been creating a dynamic web site for the show and exploring how we can give to our audience in this capacity as well.  There is absolutely no guarantee that this bird will lift off the ground and fly so we are just putting one foot in front of the other and doing the next thing on our agenda to accomplish the eventual launch of the show.  Right now I am feeling less fear about whether the show will happen or not than mine friend but I know as we get closer to “D” day for the show to go live and most especially if a producer takes the pilot episodes and runs with it and it actually does happen that I will then feel my fear full throttle.  At that time I might recommend y’all to purchase plenty of stock in pampers!  But by then I will have immersed myself in the show so fully that I won’t be able to back out — which is what I’ve done quite a few times in my life when I have felt overwhelmed with fear.

Today though I have tools to help me create a plan for when I want to accomplish something and then to do the steps laid out in the plan which give me hooks that I can hang on to as I climb the potential mountain of fear that could prevent me from accomplishing my plan.

What instances in your life can you point to that let you know that you know how to feel your fear and do (the action) it anyway?

DINK #179 False Evidence Appearing Real

Posted on : 15-09-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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But it’s so convincing! That FEAR thing, false evidence appearing real. One of the definitions (noun) for fear found at dictionary.com is: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. I know how fear feels because man have I harbored it, entertained it, seduced it, named it, left it, loved it, and hated it for many years. I’ve heard it said that faith and fear couldn’t exist in the same instance. But I think it is very possible to have faith and still be very afraid. It doesn’t mean you don’t have enough faith or have the “right” kind of faith, it just means that you are feeling fear.

On September 11, 2001, my husband and me, along with 9 of our best friends, were on a plane bound for Mexico for a scuba diving vacation. We were worried about making our connecting flight from Austin to Houston to Cozumel when our plane began its taxi towards the gate. For some reason our flight attendants got very, very calm and were talking to us in a very calming voice to assure us that we would make our connecting flights. Then cell phones began ringing and word began to spread throughout the plane. We all walked down the corridor in shock as we made it into the airport to see the first footage of the planes hitting the towers in New York. Clusters of people were gathered around all the television monitors throughout the airport in silence. I called my father immediately, since he used to be in the kind of business that would have been in the know about what was going on and it was my father who told me about the plane in Philadelphia.

My friends and I worked together like a fine oiled machine renting one of the last vans available in Houston to come pick us up at the airport, gathering our suitcases in the melee at the baggage claim area and heading off to a hotel in the Houston area. Because we were all in a state of shock, I think we still thought we’d be able to take a plane the next morning to Mexico. We pretty much stayed up all night long in two connecting rooms walking back and forth processing, processing, processing all night long while watching the news reports over and over and over. All of us had called every member of our families to make sure everyone was okay—and they were. I did have a cousin who lived in a town in New Jersey where several families had members who became victims that day. He doesn’t talk about it much.

And there is a preacher who knows how to utilize the media who had been threatening to burn the Quran today as a statement about what happened on 9/11. And there are Muslims who are trying to build a center near Ground Zero. And the United States is still entrenched in a war that has been going on since 2002. I have several friends who truly believe that 9/11 was an “inside job” which means that the U.S. Government was behind the towers collapsing and they believe that no one died that day…at least the way that it has been portrayed. I have friends and family members who believe that Islam is the most dangerous and prolific religion out there and that it is a very big threat to U.S. security.

FEAR can appear very big and very real in all kinds of shapes and sizes. It can cause men (and women) to unite together in a cause to hurt, maim, kill, and disempower the enemy such as the hijackers of the planes on that fateful day and then the echo of our troops for many years afterwards. FEAR can cause otherwise intelligent people to believe all kinds of scenarios about what things have happened and how they have happened and why they have happened to appease us with an answer to our questions. FEAR can turn countryman against countryman and world citizen against world citizen.

At some point, I hope there will be a gathering of minds, hearts and intentions to perhaps pay heed to some of the great Masters through the years who have taught us the antidote for FEAR such as to seek to understand rather than to be understood and to treat others as you would have them treat yourself and to love thy neighbor. The truth is that there just isn’t a gun big enough or a bomb powerful enough or prisons strong enough to overcome that which makes us fear for our very lives. At some point we have to use our brains in partnership with our hearts to find new solutions to very old problems.

I’ve heard it said that Courage is Fear that has said its prayers. I hope that we (humanity) will find the courage to move forth in different directions from that which FEAR would have us go.