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Wellbeing / Business psychology

Facts about fearing risk

As soloists you’re already familiar with risk. After all, you march to the beat of your own drum. But do you know the facts behind fearing risk? Learn now.

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As a soloist, you know about risk

Risk can be scary. Things like changing direction, creating new products and services, implementing new technologies, and putting yourself out there can fill you with fear. Fear can then act as a saboteur, hindering or slowing your progress.

Why does this happen?

Well, fear is actually trying to protect you. The only thing is, you’re not living in the era of the saber-toothed tiger any longer.

Let me explain.

We have this little part of us – the amygdala – that fires off when it perceives that we’re in danger. It is active in the reptilian part of our brain.

When we humans were hunter gatherers, this amygdala would serve us during times of threat. For example, if we were faced with the saber-toothed tiger. It pushed us into the fight, flight or freeze responses, which was imperative in those early days. It’s still highly useful now for immediate threats, but not for threats such as stepping out of our comfort zones.

"Next time you’re backing down on doing something because of fear, ask yourself…What’s the worst that can happen? What’s the best that can happen?"

Fear not

How do we distinguish between the saber-toothed tiger or plain old risk? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my life actually threatened?
  • Am I fighting for survival?
  • Am I in immediate and apparent danger?
  • OR, am I simply faced with the unknown? (Irrational ‘what if’ scenarios that may never occur?)

Another little known fact – the brain cannot distinguish between what’s real or imagined. The amygdala will fire off on a fantasy or a memory. You may be in a state of ‘threat’ over thoughts of the past or future even though the events you’re thinking about are not happening right now.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business psychology section.

Fight fear

Next time you’re backing down on doing something because of fear, ask yourself this:

  • What’s the worst that can happen?
  • What’s the best that can happen?
  • What can I do to prevent any undesirable outcomes?
  • What can I do to ensure the best outcomes?
  • If I don’t do this, what will my business look like in three months, six months and a year?
  • If I do this and it goes well, what will my small business look like in three months, six months and a year?

And then, well, it’s up to you to take just one step toward more greatness.

Fearing risk is normal, but challenging your fears and pushing through them will help you to achieve more of your gutsy goals.

How do you deal with fear?

Lynda Bayada

is a coach and mentor who helps you to close the gap between your high flying corporate career and living out your passion. You've waited long enough. Visit the Lynda Bayada website.

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