People like you and I often face setbacks and roadblocks in business and in life, we have to face success as well as fear and failure and therefore, one of the most important things we have to learn is how to handle and how to live with the different types of fear.
Business people are said to be smart, strong and focused on their goals. So no one likes to admit that they do fear of something nor that they don’t know how to handle that issue. They prefer not to talk about that, especially because fears are often perceived as a personal weakness. And in today’s business world there is no place for weaknesses, right?
Wrong! Of course, we have to develop a certain courage to admit that we are only humans who have strengths and weaknesses. But, the more we do it, the easier we can accept that sometimes we are strong and sometimes weak.
I remember quite well the early eighties when big companies started to send their leaders to management courses. They came back like “brainwashed”, transformed into decision making machines, firing employees from one day to the next, having in mind only how to increase revenue and get the highest possible ROI and,
not caring about the consequences, about how their decisions impacted on the lives of the people depending on them. Anxiety, procrastination, weakness? No way. Back then, if you had asked them about the types of fear they would have laughed at you. The vision was globalization and make money, money and even more money.
There is nothing wrong with making money. Each one of us needs money to pay the bills and to make a living. And, if some people feel the need to make a lot of money, well, that’s okay too – as long as the methods they use to make money are ethical. Unfortunately, often they’re not.
Now, whether we earn little or much money, it’s somehow surprising to see that we experience very similar fears although the reasons why we fear of something are very different. So let’s talk about some of the most common types of fear:
1. Fear of Loss
In today’s society success mostly equals to money and popularity. But, successful people are often afraid of losing what they’ve been working for so hard and, also afraid of losing the lifestyle they enjoy with the money they made. Success, money and material things mean a lot to them. On the other hand and just like anyone else, they fear to lose their loved ones, or fear that they cannot take care of the family the way they used to, they’re afraid of losing their friends and business partners or losing their reputation when they fail.
2. Fear of Rejection
Sometimes people simply cannot make a difference between true and perceived rejection. Many of them fear rejection and feel rejected easily although in most cases, it’s not rejection what they’ve experienced. For them, rejection starts with little things like not getting support or understanding for a certain issue from family members, a not answered business call or a cancelled meeting considered important, a friend who does not want to see or talk to them when they need that, etc. Mostly, they simply misunderstand the signals their environment sends out to make them aware of some changes and they perceive them as a rejection.
3. Fear of Success
Many people work extremely hard to become successful. But finally, when they experience what it means to be successful, it makes them fear. They feel uncertain, insecure and overwhelmed because they were not prepared to experience success, not prepared to face success. And, they start thinking about what happens when… success stops, they lose popularity, they lose money, etc.
4. Fear of Failure
Failure equals to weakness and incapability. That’s how it is perceived. When people fail in business or in life, they are often seen as weak and incapable to fulfil specific tasks or expectations. The fear of failure might come up for example when they set their own expectations too high and demand too much of themselves or, when they are not able to fulfil their own or other people’s requirements or expectations the way they were supposed to. Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, but you can read an article about the fear of failure here and find recommended resources here.
Before you go, let me remind you of this:
… and learn how to handle and how to live with your fears!