Scared to act

Fear is the single greatest reason people act.  What you are afraid of is more motivating than your dreams and desires.  We all like to dream, but it’s our fears that usually create a faster reality.  You are more likely to act to sidestep pain then you are to satisfy your desires.  Every action, every decision is rooted in your fears.  What keeps you up at night is more likely to get your attention; it’s not the things that please you.

It’s not saying we are always reactive, but we do react quickly to pains and problems.  I get my car fixed when it’s broken.  I go to the doctor when I’m sick.  I create a budget when sales are down.  I answer my wife when she raises her voice.  So what is your biggest pain?  It’s usually a fear, a fear of failure.

Failure is defined differently for everyone.  It might be failure to live up to your parent’s expectations, or your boss’s, or your spouse’s, or it might be failure to provide for your family in a manner you see fit.  Failure is subjective, based on your individual perspective.  However, avoiding it – personally and professionally – is your biggest call-to-action.  Your brain is at work 24/7 making you do things to avoid the big failure, your big failure.  It wants to protect you from what you fear the most.

Finding a common failure that people have anxiety about is a rallying point for actions.  You gently remind someone of things they fear and they feel closer to you.  Lines like, “You are probably thinking (insert anxiety) and I would be to…” allow you to let him know you have a window into their problems.  When you get someone to reveal their anxiety and fear, you have earned trust, you have listened, you care and you have a better shot at having them take action.  You have made a legitimate connection with them and with that true connection actions will follow.  Actions follow because you now can solve their problems because you understand them.  You can be a real partner.  Your customer’s pain can lead to your mutual gain.