The Fear Paradox

It’s a vicious cycle: Fear leads to stagnation, which leads to lost business, which leads to staffing adjustments, which leads to more fear, more stagnation, more lost business . . . and on and on.

What exactly are we so afraid of? What someone will think of us? That our ideas are dumb? That we are uninformed? That we’ll have to do more work if we speak up? Of course, the answer to all of these is yes – for each of us, to some degree.

But here’s the real fear: “I could lose my job! Things are shaky enough around here . . . I don’t want to add to the jeopardy by opening my mouth.” But that approach is a self-defeating trap – truly a paradox. It’s a vicious cycle: Fear leads to stagnation, which leads to lost business, which leads to staffing adjustments, which leads to more fear, more stagnation, more lost business . . . and on and on.The thing you think keeps you the safest actually puts you at the greatest risk. Playing it safe is really playing it dangerous.

Your employer is looking for people who are willing to step up, speak up, raise their hand, make decisions, share suggestions, and add contributions. You’re being challenged to redefine the value you bring to your organization.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s adage applies in today’s work world: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Don’t fall into the fear trap – stop being afraid!

Tips to Avoid the Fear Paradox:

  • Let go of the fear.
  • Make your ideas heard.
  • Step up and speak up.
  • Volunteer, raise your hand.
  • Build a name for yourself.

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