Guest Post By: Jay Wang
Fear is the root of many challenges we face in life. If we really dig down, at the core of things, like worry, doubt, anxiety, depression, etc. you will find fear. Even things like rage, selfishness or apathy can be traced back to fear.
Fear…Recently a few close friends and I went downhill mountain biking at a local ski resort, in the summer time you can take the ski lift up with a downhill mountain bike and hit some intense descents. It was really scary and admittedly most trails there were several levels higher than my current skill set. For those of you not familiar with mountain biking, the difference between cross-country or trail riding and downhill riding is exponential! We are talking huge jumps and turning corners that you can get horizontal in!
I had gotten advice that often in an ugly situation where you are about to crash or… say hit a tree, you actually need to let off the brakes so that you can gain control, get traction, steer around the obstacle and ride out the situation. Counter-intuitive to say the least. I experienced this first hand noticing that the more afraid I felt, the more I seemed to use my brakes. The more I used my brakes the less traction I had, especially when over breaking and the more out of control I felt! I had to really face my fear and constantly focus on using my body and going with the flow of the trail vs my default fear based reaction to slam on the brakes. It ended up being an epic adventure, a good time and a victory!
Sales, business, and life work the exact same way. Look at our fear based reactions like call reluctance, procrastination or self-sabotaging our own success. They again can all be traced back to a core element of fear.
Here are a few steps to help you face your fears!
1. Know the Enemy! What are you afraid of? Name it and write it down. Acknowledge it and you may start to see how insignificant or unlikely it is. Understanding fear helps us to better react to it in the right way. Many of us have heard the old acronym that F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real. Though I agree entirely I would also like to submit that many times there is something very real we fear. Going back to my downhill mountain biking trip, I forgot to mention, that day we saw two broken collarbones and one guy got carried off in an ambulance. Believe me, the danger and risk was very real. HOWEVER, fear is a multiplier! It takes that risk and it exponentially multiplies that which we are afraid of! It snowballs in our creative imagination and becomes a monstrosity. So awareness is key!
2. Do Battle with the Enemy! Fear is a cunning foe, you can not fight it by attacking it directly because whatever we resist persists. You can’t fight the fear of falling on a mountain bike by saying, don’t fall, don’t fall, don’t fall. Guess what your mind focuses on?!? That’s right! Falling! And what usually ends up happening? You guessed it. Often times, fear causes us to do the things that will bring about exactly that which we do not want to have happen, like over breaking on a mountain bike. This applies to cornering on a motorcycle as well, FYI. So what do you do? Like a martial artist master, you must see the attack (in this case the fear), maneuver to allow the attack to pass right by you and make your move! So what’s your move?
a. Focus on what you are doing and not on what it is you are afraid of.
b. Use Self-Talk or have a Mantra- I got this! This is a walk in the park! This is fun! I’m crushing this!
c. Have a plan to focus on the right things!- do it step by step, break it down and slowly build momentum and confidence!
Happy Halloween! Go out and Face your Fears!
Jay Wang started selling with The Southwestern Company while in college. He was in the top 1% of sales producers and was able to sell, recruit and manage teams in order to pay his own way though school. After graduating with a degree in Business Management, he transitioned to managing multi-million dollar commercial real estate properties, achieving record-breaking occupancies. Since 2011, Jay has been traveling the country as a professional sales trainer and Partner with Southwestern Consulting.