In Business & Life: Forget Your Public Fear

July 15, 2010 – 1:54 am | by Matt Ackerson

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/atul666/2186632924/

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/atul666/2186632924/

“Do the thing you fear to do; the depth of that fear is inevitable” (My Grandfather, paraphrasing Mark Twain)

We behave differently in our heads than we do in real life. The same is true about how we run our businesses. For example, if a business partner or employee isn’t performing up to par we might look the other way or give him or her some “light” feedback rather than saying how we really feel about their performance.

On the one hand you might be censoring a completely inappropriate or emotional reaction considering the circumstances.

Other times the ideas and verbal reactions in our heads are right, BUT we ignore them and choose not to project them into reality.

We are afraid to make ourselves vulnerable and we are afraid to make mistakes. This is a natural feeling but you must overcome it.

There are two ways to remove this common fear: (1) do a lot of illicit drugs or (2) force yourself to stop caring what others think.

Choice number one is out the window, so how do you accomplish number two in a healthy manner? The answer to this isn’t so clear except to say that the more you practice (by taking explicit action) the better you will get at it.

One recommendation is the practice your public speaking. Another way is to learn how to listen better. Many of us listen with the intent of responding with an agreeable response in order to get ourselves into the good graces of other people. Forget that, that’s called being fake or disingenuous. Instead, listen closely and quietly with the intent to actually learn something, if possible.

In the end it takes courage to accomplish this feat since many of us place a higher value on the opinions and feelings of others than on our own. And that is the problem.

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