Advance Updates

Disengage From Fear

The recession is tough. There is no doubt about it. Like many of you I’ve been through several. I’ve learned some very important things about what works and what doesn’t work when our companies, and we as individuals, are faced with challenging economic times. I want to share some of these insights, and am devoting this article to helping you and your business survive the recession, and even prosper through it. The key is to disengage from fear.

Understanding Fear

I have noticed that many of you are afraid of what might happen to you in this recession. Believe me, I understand where the fears come from. As an individual, you worry about losing your job or being displaced. As a manager you worry disengage from fearabout your staff and budget, and perhaps your ability to achieve revenue and profit targets. You know the script. It likes to repeat over and over in your mind. The first thing I want to tell you about that is, it happens. Don’t beat yourself up for it. The second thing I want to tell you is that living out of that script does you and your business no good. As FDR put it so aptly, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”

But what did he mean by that? Was he just trying to calm the country down during a difficult time in history? No, I think his words ran deeper than that. I think he understood how living out of fear drags us down collectively and as individuals. I think he knew that if he could help people displace fear and live “somewhere else” he would help them, and when you add it all up across the entire population, it would have a dramatic positive impact on the USA and the world. In my humble opinion, he did, and it did, and the rest is history.

Not Living Out of Fear

So right about now you are probably asking the $64,000 question – how do I not live out of my fears? How can I be that “Samurai in the Recession?” Good question. Let me first tell you how not to do it. Don’t try to stop the fear. Doing that is like trying to teach a pig how to sing, lipstick or not. It never works and it annoys the pig! You need to change the game.

Here is the deal. Next time you notice that script of fear running in your mind, go CREATE. Figure out how to do something you have never done. Design a better process. Sharpen your sales messages. Hone your strategy. Write some creative code. Do what you do. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just CREATE.

disengage from fearSo now you may be wondering, “What’s the big deal about creating?” Well, here it is. I discovered this through my own experience with myself. Fear and creativity cannot coexist. While you cannot stop fearful thoughts, you can displace them. Try it. See for yourself. It works every time.

But why is it important to you and your business that you not live out of your fears? How is that going to help anything? Well, since you asked, I will share with you something else I learned through my own personal experience with myself and my business. Fear immobilizes us and closes doors. Creativity energizes us and opens doors. Through those open doors good things come. They are not always what we expect, but they are good. They can take any form – a new client, a great idea, a new direction, higher sales, more profit, or a great opportunity. Would you not welcome all of these things during a recession, or after it is over?


Now here is the really interesting thing about this. The more you do this for yourself in your particular job, the more you help your company and organization. The more people in your business who are practicing creativity, the better your business will do. So, tell a friend! And if you are a leader, tell your people. There is much to create! Money, jobs, harmony, and opportunity are a result of your collective creativity. Give your gift!

Skills Corner: Tips for Working Smart

Displacing Fear With Creativity

There you are in the middle of your work day. You get a familiar feeling in the pit of your stomach – worry and fear. You step back and realize that what you were thinking about is just one more version of the same movie you’ve watched a thousand times. It wasn’t pleasant the first time, and you don’t like it now. Here are some tips to help you “move to a different room.”

Don’t Fight It

Trying to fight your fear, or not feel it, will only make it worse. Stay out of conflict and resolve to “go somewhere else.”

Find Creativity in Everything

Don’t get stuck because you think you need to be working on the next Nobel Peace Prize to have something worthy of creating. You can bring creativity into anything you do, even the simplest things you may do all the time.

Allow Imperfection

If you get creative for a while and then find yourself watching fear-based reruns again, don’t get critical of yourself. Just get back on the horse and create again. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall off. It only matters that you get back on the horse.

Have Fun

Being creative is one of the best ways to have fun. Let yourself go there!

Watch it Work

It works in the moment. It has a positive cumulative effect. Notice these things to reinforce being creative.

For help navigating difficult waters, see our Coaching services page. Or, contact us to discuss your specific needs.

Topics:Getting UnstuckPerformance Improvement