“What if instead of calling them fears, we call them stories?” – Karen Thompson
Karen Thomson Walker’s YouTube Video on “What Fear Can Teach Us” adds a new dimension to fear. I used to think of fear as a response to self-protection and self-preservation. The typical freeze, flee, or fight response when dealing with fear. By re-framing fear as a story of our imagination, it opens a new set of possibilities. By embracing our fears and understanding them, we begin on a journey to better understanding ourselves.
Understanding and harnessing the power of my fears helps me anticipate what could go wrong and have solutions at the ready. Especially, when I am working on a project that has national executive interest. Some of my fears as an analyst would be to make a mistake by having incorrect data, not having critical information in the reports, and not delivering the information by the tight deadline. Speaking of “deadline,” I think another word should be used to represent the due date of an action item, what are your thoughts? What about finish line, zero hour, or celebration date? Sorry, I digress. Fear is essential in our survival in life and work. Fear keeps me from doing things that may shorten my life, like jumping off a cliff without a parachute. Or even just jumping off a cliff. (Smile).
“Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” – Japanese Proverb
Karen stated that fear enhances the imagination and that we should be readers of our fears. I have vividly created stories that gave me different perspectives on an issue, to inspire myself, to remind myself of the big picture, and as an escape to re-energize. There were moments I over thought a project and went to analysis paralysis out of the fear of being wrong. I was imagining the worst possible case scenario that the project would be found useless and that I would be marked as a failure. However, by understanding the fear of being wrong and failure, I am able to push myself past the 25th hour, work smarter by finding solutions before problems arise, and to discover the different paths to be successful.
- How has fear helped you overcome a roadblock in life or work?
- Has there been a time that fear was too great that you stopped in your tracks and thought about turning around? Why did you or did you not turnaround?
- What are helpful ways to show others how to harness their fear and use it as a motivation?
Karen Thompson Walker “What fear can teach us” YouTube Video: