Or, more accurately, what are you not scared of?
I’m a member of a group of business people looking to move their businesses forward. It’s called MAD incidentally. One of the items that comes up for discussion is about making calls and asking for things, such as appointments, reviews, reduced costs or even more business. The reply is usually, ‘well I don’t like to’ or ‘they might say no!’
The actual answer is ‘I’m afraid of rejection!’
A little harsh? Truth often is…
I know a little about fear, I’ve had to battle a massive dose of ‘a lack of self-confidence’ all my life. I always felt I struggled with small talk, still do, a bit. However, the real difficulty as I grew up, and as a young adult, was closed doors. Even knocking on them was really difficult. If the person opened the door and didn’t invite me in straight away, that was also incredibly hard, especially if you believe you are rubbish at small talk.
Often, I just didn’t bother. I became very good at entertaining myself, I learnt to enjoy my own company, still do, but the choice I make is different.
So, what actually is fear? Grammatically, it’s an abstract noun. That means you can’t hold it, or touch it, or hear it or use any physical sense feel it, like you can a book, or your smart phone. Its very similar to faith, that’s an abstract noun too, but unlike faith, everybody acknowledges fear. Funny that.
Fear is an emotion. It’s very primal, it alerts us to danger or threat. There was a time when we needed it to keep us alive, it triggered chemical responses that allowed us to freeze, fight or flee as appropriate. Even now those reactions can be lifesaving, but mostly our lives are pretty safe and secure so those emotions are utilised in other ways, after all the chemicals needed are still produced by our bodies and we have to do something with them.
As ever, when I am looking for inspiration and short of time I will think through my music collection and I remembered the trilogy of Fear that Rush wrote around Neil Pearts lyrics. Neil Peart was a lyrical genius, as well as writing most of the lyrics for Rush‘s music he wrote several books.
Part one was, ‘the enemy within’, the fear we create for ourselves using no more than our own imagination. We are not actually afraid of the dark, we are afraid of what we imagine might be in the dark.
Part two was ‘the weapon’, how our own fears can be used against us. What will you do if your house burns down and you don’t have insurance?
Part three was ‘witch hunt’, our fear that others are out to get us, or at least, won’t like us if… and this is the one that is used to control people.
We all know of examples of these situations. The ones mentioned above, reviews, appointments etc are our own fears used against us. Think about it’s true. If you ask anyone for anything and they say ‘no’, what have you actually lost, apart from a little time. ‘Can you give me a review please?’ ‘Can I have a price reduction?’ Have you thought about reviewing your financial arrangements? You never had it in the first place, so if they say no, you’ve lost nothing.
And quite often people will actually say ‘YES’.
Within my business ‘simple life’ garden design I’ve got a lot of google reviews and as Simon Pollard UK’, the number is increasing. Everyone of them is because I asked.
Why did Andy McConnel come on one of our walk experiences? Because I asked him.
Asking still scares the living daylights out of me sometimes, but I will ask. Personally, I refuse to submit to fear.
I choose to respond to that emotion rather than react to it.
The rewards from facing the ‘things’ we are afraid of are massive.
When Andy said, ‘YES’, I was buzzing, in just the same way as last year when I managed to get the Motorcycle News newspaper to run an article about ‘the View Over the Wall’. They might have said ‘no’ as well, but I asked and they didn’t. Well, they ignored me for quite a while, but I decided not to be downhearted and persisted and eventually they said ‘yes’. And they ran an article about me and my book.
What could you ask for, and of whom, today?
Do it now!
You know you can…
Simon Pollard Countryman and Modern Day Pagan.