I had an unwelcome guest over Christmas. In fact they were never invited.
The guest was fear. It visits me every year around this time, the ‘in-between zone’ between the festive season fading and the business world waking from its slumber.
It paralysed me for over 5 minutes; I could feel it camping in my body.
The negative self-talk started: “What if everyone ‘sits on the fence’ until after the general election – that’s over 5 MONTHS?!!” “What if lack of business confidence means no decisions are made?” “How will I deal with the fast pace of increased competition and technology?”
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! Panic set in.
I noticed myself doing a displacement activity to sooth myself.
Luckily mine is very productive and inexpensive rather than doing drugs or shopping – I started filing business cards A-Z!
That made me chuckle. And then the fear started to shift and the positive thoughts moved the negative ones to one side out of view. I picture cheerleaders carrying pom poms – not sure why!
‘Rachel – you have been self-employed for over 17 years. Most small businesses fail in the first 1-2 years.’
‘Rachel, you are in the 1% of the population who embraces risk and change, imagine how other people feel? Focus on them, you can help them.’
‘Rachel you have a portfolio career, look at trends, have many useful skills and are resilient.’
The unwelcome guest left.
There is no question we live in uncertain and disruptive times. So what is the best way to manage fear?
10 tips to manage fear
1. Observe/sit with the fear until it shifts
2. Adopt/imagine a sense of curiosity about the future
3. Believe that you will work it out and it will be a positive learning and growing experience
4. Create a focused personal career vision, mission, strategy and plan
5. Remind yourself of what you have to offer
6. Understand yourself
7. Keep taking action to move forwards, one action at a time
8. Put aside 10% of your salary for retraining, coaching and/or a financial cushion
9. Invest in your personal & professional development and marketability
10. Define a focused sustainable niche for success
What tips would you add?
Useful resources to manage fear
• Susan Jeffers books ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ & ‘Embracing uncertainty.’
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PS If you are ‘sitting on the fence’, here’s a thought. If you start coaching or our career e course now, you will be ready to move forward by the general election result. Ready? What have you got to lose, except 5 months of inaction and a sore arse? Get in touch. E mail me firstname.lastname@example.org