Last week I picked up the September issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. It’s a magazine that I have been reading for years mainly because it is filled with useful information for those of us who possess that entrepreneurial spirit. I don’t normally read the editor’s piece but this time, for some reason, I was drawn to it. I am glad I did because it inspired me to get busy and write this week’s blog.
Amy Cosper, Editor-in-Chief, shared a little of her personal story in what she called, “A defining moment” (Entrepreneur Magazine, September 2012). She told us of the recent fire in High Park, northern Colorado, that burnt down her home. Every single thing she owned or possessed was destroyed — gone forever. The aftermath, as she described, “has been an intensely raw and emotional experience.”
A devastating experience such as this is what allows our emotions to run amok. Suddenly, we are confronted by negative, debilitating feelings such as fear, doubt, anger, and sadness. If left unchecked fear will stop you dead in your tracks at the moment in time of your bad experience. Each time you try to move forward you are taken back to that one bad thing and all you can hear are negative voices telling you “don’t even try it.” You see unrealistic fear uses past experiences as indicators of what your future experience will be. But you and I both know this is not really the case.
Emotions are patterns of behaviors and physiological responses that produce an experience. Feelings are what accompany the behavior. When some external condition triggers our emotions, our reactions will cause corresponding intense feelings inside us. For example, I feel sad when a loved one is in pain and hurting. I felt angry at the premature death of my brother due to cancer. I feel happy when I hear my granddaughter laughing. The emotional behavior that fear produces can give rise to one of three responses: 1) avoid it at any cost, 2) stand up and fight, or 3) make a quick escape. In other words, we can choose how we react to the situation.
I turn back to Amy Cosper’s article for some good advice on how to react. She writes,
“The bottom line is this: No matter what life tosses your way, do these things and do them in this order: Fall to your knees and cry (but not more than seven minutes), stop crying, dust yourself off, go buy some new clothes and start over. Reintegrate. Whatever your ashes are, emerge from them as a better version of yourself.”
You can choose to fear or choose not to fear. You can exercise restraint or react without thought. You can choose to focus on your limitations or choose to look at your strong points and work on improving them. You can dwell on the bad or excel with the good.
Are you ready to Kick Fear Now? Then make that choice today.
Cosper, Amy C., Editor’s Note, A defining moment. Entrepreneur, p. 14, September 2012