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The Antidote to Fear

pardon letter
by lisby1

Article by Darcy Eikenberg

I started thinking about the four-letter words being tossed about are intense…F-A-I-L… C-U-T-S… D-O-W-N…B-A-N-K… and those don’t even include the more, ahem, “colorful” ones I know you’re using.

In my opinion, the mack-daddy of four-letter words is F-E-A-R. If there ever was a time we needed an antidote to fear, it’s now. But is there one? Or several? How can we be fear-less and get more done, sleep more peacefully and have more fun?

I love coaching people on ways to build their confidence. Most of the time, this involves helping them clear gunk from their brains and build confidence that’s already within them. In this kind of work, the word FEAR always comes up, and I’ve long said that FEAR means “False Expectations Appearing Real”.

But lately I’ve been questioning that definition. Unpredictable job security is real. Unstable banks–real. Confusion in abundance–very, very real.

FEAR is now a four-letter word. In its place, I’m floating some others to use as potential antidotes to our frenzied, flying fears.

PREP: People Ready Even PriorWhat are you most afraid of–and how can you PREP now for even the slimmest of possibilities of that happening? I saw PREP pay off recently when a client was convinced she’d lose her job soon.

In the past, I might have been tempted to call that fear a “false expectation appearing real.” I might have thought, “She’s a superstar–why should she worry?” But the better question was, “If that’s what you believe, what can we do about it right now?”

That led to developing an action plan to clarify her strengths and build her resume. She also prepped to build relationships within her own company to raise her profile, communicate her contribution, and make her less layoff-able. She’s still employed, but PREP helped her feel a lot more relaxed should her job go away.

PREP trumped FEAR. And then there’s…

WORK: Will Overcome Rough KinksIf you’re working a job you like, this is no time to hide. Be visible, share more, meet more people, do more of what you’re great at. Great WORK–and a great attitude–makes a difference that matters in tense times.

If you worry that you’re not keeping up, your WORK might be to grow your skills. See my article on the Place to Invest Now. Or, if you’re working hard and have a steady income, congrats. Maybe you can put someone else to WORK. In the musical “Hello, Dolly!”, matchmaker Dolly Levi tells of her late husband’s perspective that “Money–if you’ll pardon the expression–is like manure. It won’t do any good unless you spread it around.”

If you have jobs to do and can afford to do so, hire someone. Maybe you need the basement organized, your home computer sped up, or the yard cleared before spring. For most of us, exchanging a little cash for WORK done well is a great way to dilute FEAR for someone else–and scratch those annoying, draining to-dos off your list at the same time.

WORK diffuses FEAR. Finally, there’s…

LOVE: Let Our Vision EnergizeYes, you have a vision, whether you admit it out loud or not. Maybe it’s of your business and career achievements. Maybe it’s of your own life, or that of your family. A vision by nature is a picture of something we would LOVE to have.

But for many of us, our vision feels cloudy right now, distracted with flotsam and jetsam of this fear-mongering environment. If we clean up our vision, might we start believing again that we can achieve what we want? I think so. Our vision can motivate our everyday actions with a new purpose and energy. And who wouldn’t LOVE more energy?

Not clear on your vision? My favorite vision exercise involves simply picking up some crayons and scribbling what I want the future to look like, whether in a defined business situation or my life as a whole. Something magic happens to adults when they have a stick of colored wax in their hands. Try it–you’ll love it. And LOVE cancels FEAR.

There you have it–some new ideas for old four-letter words. I hope you use them as antidotes to the fear that keeps spinning around today –and that will likely keep spinning for a while into our future. So here’s my prescription. These ideas aren’t cure-alls, but I hope you find them useful as you thaw out your own fears so they don’t get in the way of your goals.

About the Author

Darcy Eikenberg is an accomplished coach, consultant, facilitator and business leader, with 20+ years experience motivating individual/team behavior to achieve business results. Her focus is on coaching/mentoring aspiring leaders: individuals on the verge of promotion or job change; and professionals/teams needing guidance and support.

Darcy is VP/Marketing for Georgia Coach Association. She is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Colin and Niall show you how to get a 00 bounty and then use a pardon letter to make it all go away. I should note that while Niall says no cops can get up to the roof, this isn’t true. A guard manages to get up every 5 minutes or so, the rest fall while trying to climb the ladder. o_0
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