Where Leaders Come to Think


How to Kick Fear in the Mouth


The trick to achieving your goals is to learn how to challenge fears and kick them in the mouth.

Your brain is an amazing tool. It senses and responds to danger without hesitation. This protective nature of your mind is a good thing. (Except when it’s not.) Sometimes your imagination takes over, and your average problem becomes a hungry lion on the prowl. It’s why many fear to speak up, and others refuse to ride on escalators.

There are times when your brain plus your emotions make a horrible team. Fear will undermine life’s progress if you don’t keep it in check.

Kicking Fear in the Mouth:

  • Chicken Little Thinking: This is when you mentally exaggerate the importance and meaning of a single event, thought, or feeling. Your mind tells you if this area of life is bad; your whole life is a wreck. Chicken Little ran around shouting the “Sky is Falling,” “the Sky is Falling.” No matter his intention he was unable to move his life forward. Why? Because to Chicken Little, everything was crashing down.
    • Overcome Chicken Little Thinking by spending a few minutes a day writing a gratitude list. What are the things that you are thankful for in both the good and bad times?
  • All-or-nothing thinking: This happens when you see things as entirely good or bad. Rarely is something all bad or all good. Finding ways forward that take advantage of strengths while limiting weaknesses is smart. While you shouldn’t strive to be a people pleaser it does help to understand the genius of the “and.” In business, innovation happens when you do not limit your thinking.
    • Instead of saying it’s either this or that. Try asking what would life be like if I included space for this and that? It will open you up to new possibilities.
  • Emotion-Driven Thinking: You like to assume that something must be fact because it’s what you feel. Emotions can be handy mental tools.   They can be the key to unlocking passions. However, relying on your feelings alone will cause you to overlook the facts.(Facts that might matter to your next decision.) When controlled by emotions you are tempted to make quick decisions. Decisions have significant consequences.
    • If you’re too emotional no sweat. Spend time quantifying your decisions. Surround yourself with people who are analytical and deliberative. By balancing your emotional self with your intellectual self, you will make significant progress.

Let’s pretend that, for whatever reason; you’re stuck in a rut thanks to your fears. To fight back means reframing your thinking. The goal next time is to retrain your brain to think differently about a negative situation. You can reduce the negative vibes you feel by shifting your thinking. If your potential client says “no” think of it as “next opportunity” or “new option.” Don’t think of it as a permanent rejection. The fact is when you receive a no it just means your next opportunity is around the corner.

Challenging your fears may not feel practical. However, when you fight back, you will find yourself growing beyond fear. This will help you to live the life of your dreams.

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