Avoiding the small things that remind us of fear

fearEvery day, we make a thousand tiny little decisions.  Decisions that we may not remember the next day but ones that we might regret if we did.  Decisions that help us to avoid things that could be worthwhile, so that we can stay away from the emotion of fear.

The problem is, when we put all these decisions off, we dramatically reduce the chances that we will be successful.

We don’t get started on that tough project at work because starting reminds us that we may need ask for help from someone we don’t want to ask.

We don’t have a discussion with a colleague, because we know it’s possible it could remind them of the project that didn’t go well.

We don’t study for that upcoming test because studying reminds us that there’s a really hard test coming up.

We avoid answering a person’s phone call because they remind us of an awkward discussion that we want to avoid.

In every case, the longer we wait, the worse off we are.

When I was young kid, my dad used to make me confront one of my fears,  specifically regarding being shy (it’s true, as as kid, I actually used to be shy).

He would make me talk to people about things I didn’t know. He would force me to close out transactions with clerks at the grocery store and tellers at the bank.  He would have me talk to people on the street: bus drivers, volunteers, salesman, and homeless persons.  As a very shy kid this not only made me uncomfortable, but it helped me to get me out of my comfort zone.  At the time, I didn’t like how it felt.  Today, I see it’s one of the best things for me.

When we go about avoiding our fears, we spend so much time and energy avoiding things that we reduce our chances of things working out.

On the other hand, when we embrace these fears, talk about them and  dance with them, we not only improve our odds of success, but we also give ourselves the chance to make decisions that could change everything.

Really great video that I recently found online

Sunday, August 11th, 2013 Leadership

2 Comments to Avoiding the small things that remind us of fear

Jasmine Chan
August 17, 2013

I highly respect what your parents’s teaching. ^_^

Jeremy C Wilson
August 19, 2013

@Jasmine Chan Thanks for commenting. I also appreciate the nudges. It did wonders at the time.

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Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.


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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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