The coming year is shaping up to be a very challenging one for entrepreneurs across North America and especially in Alberta. As you think about the coming season, what are you most worried about? What's the worst thing that might happen to you and your business? Understanding in advance how a tighter economy might trigger your fear system and derail your growth next year could put you in the best position of strength to capitalize on whatever opportunities there are to create some value.
One of the amazing ladies I coach recently challenged herself to face her biggest fear. Since nearly drowning at the tender age of eight, she has been cripplingly phobic about going anywhere near the water. So naturally, she signed up for a weekend course to learn to dive into the water and swim. She came back alive, not having drowned and ready not just to handle the water in the future but whatever threading things come her way.
Facing a deep fear is not a blind act of heroic courage but a process of understanding the mechanisms of failure.
On day one of the course, the instructor taught Amy how to drown by studying the various things people do when they are panicking. After choking and sputtering on her first dive she learned how buoyancy, lung volume and certain body positions increase the chances of floating nostrils above the water.
Prospective navy seals go through several water-bound tests designed specifically to induce panic. In one of the tests, the tadpoles have their arms tied behind their backs and feet bound before jumping into an 8 foot deep pool. The exercise is to learn how to sink to the bottom, kick violently back to the surface with enough speed to create enough downward momentum upon reentry. They have to do this several times and it requires exhaling on the way down to reduce buoyancy while keeping enough air in the lungs not to choke on the way back up. Needless to say it's straightforward to understand the technique but very easy for these unusually fit and tough people to lose their shit. One man even died doing this.
Amy now swims a few times a week having taken the mystery out of her phobia. While overcoming the fear of drowning has some utility in its own right, its the more progressive way that she manages business risk that is having the greatest economic pay back.
Real practical courage is about understanding the inner working of the game and taking calculated risks.
There will be plenty of opportunities to succumb to worry, anxiety and desperation in the next few quarters of the new year. By understanding how we might drown we can all face the threats head on and develop the inspiration to design workable strategies to capitalize on whatever opportunities are genuinely there.
My latest book is about facing reality and the inspiration that flows from facing our fears. I put my soul's energy into it. Order yours here. My team and I can help you and your team set yourselves up for success in the new year. Call us and we can help.