One of the most underrated movies of all time (IMHO) was Man on Fire.  In the movie, Denzel Washington’s character coached Dakota Fanning’s character on how to improve her competitiveness in swimming by reacting, rather than flinching when the start gun went off.  The natural reaction to a gun shot is to freeze in fear, but through practice drills, he taught her to jump into the water as the natural reaction to the sound.

We often do the same thing when we confront fear in our lives and our business.  We freeze and paralyze ourselves, instead of naturally moving into action.  This mindset, however, is limiting and the longer it takes us to embrace the elements that might normally cause us to panic, the worse it is for us.

Think about the types of situations that bring on fear for you.  What if instead of backing away from that, you were naturally inspired to move forward, to metaphorically leap into the water?

The key to do this is to recognize, plan and practice.

  • Recognize what brings on the fear: spend time cataloguing the types of situations that cause you to freeze up or go from action to inaction.  Once you know what these triggers are, you can address them.
  • Plan for how you want to react in those situations: Once you know what triggers the fear, write out how you would like to respond.  How do you want to act when the situation arises or the trigger is present?
  • Practice, practice, practice: Put yourself in situations that trigger the fear and practice over and over again, reacting the way you want to until it becomes second nature.

Embracing your fear triggers will make you more adept at harnessing the things that hold you back and help you to turn them into a strength to propel you forward.

Have you conquered fears in your business and life?  Share your experiences below.