Search Results for: fear
What Do You Fear
Fear is embedded in the stories we tell ourselves. From the fear of public speaking and small spaces to spiders and snakes, most people can readily identify something they are afraid of. Left unchecked, fear can creep up on you and begin to seize control of your choices. When that happens, I encourage you to face it head-on – be willing to feel uncomfortable, anxious, embarrassed, or judged – and take back your control.
Caroline – The Wise One
I had the genuine honor of hosting the great Caroline Ferguson on this week’s episode of Collective Conversations. She is the accomplished interviewer of the Solutions by Southwest Utility podcast and is just a tremendous human overall.
As we kicked off the episode this week, Caroline reminded me that I was the first guest on her podcast back in 2018! She shared the story from her perspective – it was the first time she had ever traveled alone, and she was terrified. She arrived at our offices to sit down for the interview and she was so nervous – hands shaking, heart pounding armed with a laptop and small microphone. I remember feeling her anxious energy and before we hit record, I recall saying something along the lines of “Hey. We are just two people having a chat over a cup of coffee.” When you listen to that interview today, it’s hard to tell that she was anything other than a seasoned pro.
Caroline felt the fear and did it anyway. She knew in her gut that if she wasn’t willing to face her fears and do the work, she would struggle to create intentional connections and build genuine relationships with others in the industry. She makes a valid point that we consider growth as it relates to sales, rents, bottom line, etc., but growth should also be counted in relationships without regard to whether you ever do business together.
Free Your Mind – The Rest Will Follow
Last year, we discussed this topic. Conquering fears is not accomplished in one fell swoop. If the thought feels overwhelming, it is not necessary to become instantly fearless – but just to fear (a little) less – just enough less to allow you to take the next step. Small steps lead to bigger steps and eventually to a life less encumbered by fear.
In our conversation this week, I could feel Caroline’s command of the medium as our chat moved on to the topic of leadership – something she feels passionately about. Facing her fears paid such big dividends in her life and freed up her mind to build on her aspirations.
Caroline spoke eloquently about leadership and the importance of listening. She credits her mentor with saying, “Listening is so close to love that most people can’t tell the difference.” What a profound statement! Listening with intention (and without distraction) is the most loving thing we can offer another human. It conveys a simple message – I see you, I hear you, and you are worth my time. What you are saying is more important than whatever is trying to pull my attention away. That feels a lot like love to me.
You can live your life without ever facing your fears, but it is almost guaranteed to be a smaller life than you are destined for. Fears can slowly shrink your life but trusting yourself to fear (enough) less is like a muscle. The more times you do it – the stronger your courage becomes, and fear begins to wither. As your courage grows so does your sphere of influence, your ability to connect with others and to listen intently.
My encouragement to you is this – shut down the stories you tell yourself that constrain you from reaching for your goals be they professional, personal, relationships, or other. Don’t restrict yourself – fear (just a small bit) less.
When you feel the thrill of facing your fears and doing the thing anyway, please share it with us. We are encouraged by your stories.
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In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke to the nation in his first inaugural address including this powerful statement; “…let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance”. Those sentiments stand the test of time even today.
Fear is common to all humans and most animals (apparently apart from the honey badger).
Thousands of years ago, humans were wired with the fear response as it was critical to the survival of our species in a world filled with dangers. The fear response prepares the body to fight, flight or freeze. It also triggers the release of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin.
Fear is often more anticipatory than reactive. In Letters from a Stoic, first-century Stoic Philosopher Seneca wrote: “There are more things…likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; we suffer more in imagination than in reality.” We worry over things that could happen even when there is no immediate threat to our wellbeing – but the body doesn’t know the difference. Fear related to public speaking, dreaded conversations or confrontations, fear of failure (or success), and even fear of spiders and snakes all send a signal to the brain to release those chemicals even without the actual presence of danger. The experience of feeling fear is real even when the feared event is not.
Protection or Isolation?
In response to anxious thoughts, humans tend to create systems of rules or boundaries as a hedge of protection against experiencing the feeling of fear or anxiety. Over time, those well-intentioned boundaries can devolve into a cage that prevents personal growth and life experiences. In some cases, a person becomes held hostage by a web of fears that all derive from the stories they tell themselves about the possibility of the feared event.
The good news is that a powerful prescriptive exists – it is free and readily available.
That’s right – action is the best medicine. Use the fear impulse as a catalyst for action and choose to run directly at the thing you fear. Begin with simply making a choice.
- Confess your fear to someone you trust and ask them to hold you accountable as you commit to trying the things you fear. Just the act of sharing relieves some of the fear-filled weight.
- Afraid of failure? Fail. A lot. Fail again and again until the sting of failure is lessened, and the successes begin to outweigh the failures.
- Fear of public speaking? Sign up for an open mic, volunteer to speak at a company meeting or an industry function. Do it even with knees shaking, voice quivering, and a sheen of sweat on your brow. Stand up to the fear by taking action to do the thing that scares you.
- Put in the reps. By doing the thing you fear over and over, you gain confidence, experience, and skill.
- Let go of perfection as the benchmark. If you only define success as having performed perfectly, then failure is assured. Assign engagement and progress as success markers and build on those foundations instead.
Conquering fears is not accomplished in one fell swoop. If the thought feels overwhelming, know that it is not necessary to become instantly fearless – but just to fear (a little) less – just enough less to allow you to take the next step. Small steps lead to bigger steps and eventually to a life less encumbered by fear. Taking concrete action such as setting an appointment, replying yes to an rsvp, or signing up for a class all signal courage to your psyche. Following through on those commitments builds success on top of success. There may be plenty of fits and starts along the way, each of which teaches you that failure is not the end but simply a building block for your next success.
This quote attributed to Robert Tew hits the mark. “Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.”
The daily videos of my blog (fka Apartment Hacker) started with this gem in 2016. One take. No edits. Authentic.
There are countless opportunities to actively engage in the things you fear. Just get started.
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The #Trust30 prompt today deals with the subject of fear.
These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
My thoughts on fear took me back to the words we used when writing on the subject of fear just a few days ago. That said, I am going to use this prompt in the way providing a tip.
Multifamily customer service
I have a new manager in my portfolio; started just about ten days ago. Last week we were talking through some site specifics, concerns and areas of opportunity. In the course of the conversation we came across the subject of decision making and communication. Any good property management organization makes the allowance for people to make decisions in the moment of truth.
For many new managers, fear is front and center in those moments of truth. “What if I make a bad one?” is a common question they ask themselves. When faced with those moments; they fall on the sword of, “Let me call corporate” [a word I abhor] or “Let me ask my manager.” [An act I abhor]
Now some sales people would contend that these two statements are useful in selling. The old, “I talked to my manager and we are going to do this for you.” Knowing full well they would do it for everyone; it gives the appearance of going to bat for your new found friend. But, to speak to the point of this post, let’s agree that we don’t like that approach to making a decision.
Make a decision and let’s talk about it later
My mantra has always been; make a decision under the premise of serving the customer first. In my head, I have entrusted you with the keys to a multi-million asset and part of the expectation is that you can make good sound decisions. So exercise that muscle; I say. And, in the truly big stake moments of truth if you resort to calling me for guidance and I don’t answer, just make the decision.
I tell every new leader to face the fear of making a bad decision by just making it. The thing you fear most is the thing you do next so in the moment; act. I follow by guiding them to set a premise for their decisions by asking the following question; “If that sign outside read [Insert Your Name Here] Apartments, what decision would you make? Or lead by giving themselves a little self-talk pep-talk; “I have been called to do what is the best interest of this person that is standing in front of me right now and with that in mind, I will act and make a decision.
I end by saying that if I think we should have done something different, we will talk about it and move on. Boom done. It’s that simple.
Your enjoying the #trust30 challenge immensely contributor,
Fear will no doubt govern the landscape in 2010 as it relates to moving forward with your social media initiatives or lack thereof. Take comfort in the idea that – you are not on an island by yourself. Take comfort in the idea that fear has a place in the conversation. But, so does courage. The cool thing about taking action in 2010 is that many have blazed a trail – it may not be the exact trail that you or I would blaze and in the same respect it’s a good starting point.
New ideas on how to market apartments
Before you lick your chops – ready to digest the latest and greatest ideas – stop and ponder this:
“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of old ones.” – John Cage
New ideas are really endless and ever evolving – take a gander Brent Williams masterful creation Multifamily Insiders if you need to get the creative juices flowing. He has amassed a countless number of amazing multifamily professionals sharing openly on every subject you can imagine. And, as it relates to fear and courage, they have no doubt shared your concerns and provided a lighthouse to guide you by. If noting else take the time this year to join in the discussion and share your concerns – you owe it to yourself and your organizations.