Did you know that “61% of us deny the power of our own ideas because we are too busy trying to work out how to fit in” – Nilofer Merchant
How often do you let fear stop you from pursuing something you really want?
Just imagine the happiness, not to mention the creativity and innovation that could be realised, if fear did not hold us back. Imagine what it would feel like to be unapologetically you, in any situation. What if we didn’t have to imagine, and as a society, we could cultivate the skills and environment to leverage our greatest fears, as a foundation for happy change and happy workplaces.
My global research into fear has uncovered that 47% of women allow fear of failure, the judgement of others, or not being good enough, to stop them from making change, that they know could make their lives and work happier. Additionally, 43% allow the fear of financial instability to stop them from pursuing work, and lives they love. These statistics make me question the impact that not addressing these fears is having, on the realisation of true diversity and attraction and retention of talent in companies. Not mention how many women settle for a life that is ok, as opposed to the life they truly want.
After traveling the world, teaching leaders and professionals how to positively shift their mindset around fear and failure, I have discovered that the greatest lever we have, for unlocking happiness and transformational change in work and life, is fear.
I believe the future is fear, embracing fear and developing the skills to effectively manage it, is not only foundational to diversity but its where the secret to happiness can be unlocked. Magic happens when we learn to get comfortable with discomfort and step into the things that scare us most. But how do we even begin to build the bravery, to help ourselves and our peers step into this space?
When I say the word fear to you, what words enter your head? 99% of the time when I ask this question in the Bravery Masterclass, I am bombarded with negative words. We are conditioned to believe fear is a negative feeling, but did you know that for every negative word you can associate with fear, there is a positive one? Download 46 reasons that you can use to help reprogram your subconscious mind, as to why fear can be a great thing. Print it out, and stick it somewhere visible to remind you every day, why you should consider stepping into fear rather than away from it.
Global thought Leader Tim Ferriss is a firm believer in the power of using fear to transform your life. After suffering from anxiety and depression, he turned his life upside down for the better, using an amazing practice called fear setting. Rather than goal setting, each quarter he takes his biggest fears and creates a simple plan to step into them. Clearly, this has worked for Tim as he is now known as the Oprah of Audio, with over 80 million downloads of his podcast, he’s also a best-selling author and angel investor.
Jia Jiang was a Chinese immigrant trying to make his way in the land of the free, America. When he first arrived, he became acutely aware of how challenging it was going to be to get what he wanted, due to the unconscious bias associated with someone who was newly English speaking. So, he came up with a brilliant idea, to build resilience and perseverance – Rejection Therapy. He set himself a list of ridiculous asks of others, in order to get rejected every day for 100 days. He figured that if he could deal with that much rejection, it would create the foundation for a fearless attitude. It worked, and now this inspiring individual travels the world teaching others how to learn to love rejection.
If you want to make fear your future and learn simple tactics to step into what you want most in work and life, join Penny Locaso in Sydney, Melbourne or Perth over the coming month, to learn the art of using fear for greater happiness. If you’re a leader who seeks to join the likes of Lululemon, Australia Post, and Powercor to shift the fear mindset of your team or your organisation, consider booking Bkindred for your next team day, conference or community group. Find out more or make a booking.
Last week I started full time for eight weeks in the first Australian Antler Cohort in Sydney. Antler is an incubator program that focuses on creating the next wave of tech companies. They had over 1000 applicants but accepted only 71 amazing humans of which I was fortunate enough to be one. Some may consider this a success but at the end of week one, I found myself questioning if this is success, why do I feel so uncomfortable?