I don’t believe I know anybody that truly lives with no fear.
It seems that we all have at least something that gives us an uneasy feeling.
It might be something pretty unique. Maybe you’re afraid of aliens.
Or it could be something common, like speaking in public. I know that’s one of the most common fears.
There is a common belief that you should face that fear. And that does seem to work for the few that are willing to face that fear. But it also seems true that those facing their fears never really get entirely over it. They rarely turn their fear into a strength.
But that’s okay. I’ve seen more than a few people take their fears and use them positively…
Turning Fear Into Opportunity
I’ve gotten to be pretty good with talking on the phone. But it’s never been one of my strong suits. My wife has often joked that we couldn’t make a long distance relationship work because of my poor skills on the phone.
I don’t know what it is. I just don’t enjoy it. I don’t know that it’s necessarily a big fear, but it probably falls into that same vein.
Ghost Blog Writers has taken on an interesting form. We rarely do phone calls. I know that’s a little unusual in business. Especially for those that were used to doing business before the Internet. And I know there are times when a quick phone call can be better than an email.
But I’ve found that being afraid or not enjoying talking on the phone has allowed me to turn email communication into a strength. And Ghost Blog Writers has kind of been built around that strength.
It seems that without even really trying that I’ve attracted a team that shares the same fears and strengths. We do have people that are good on the phone, but we have people that get anxious on the phone. But they’re also really good at email communication.
It’s overcompensating in one area to make up for under-compensation in another. It’s like if you break your left arm and can’t use it for two months. In that two months you’re going to be using your right arm for things you normally do with your right arm while also using it for things you would normally do with your left. As a result, your right arm is going to have more than normal abilities.
The cool thing is that people that don’t share your fear won’t have the drive to overcompensate like you. Say someone is perfectly comfortable with the phone. They’re going to keep making phone calls. They’re probably also fine using email, but they’re not driven to be really good at email.
One caveat to this is that you don’t necessarily want to avoid your fears altogether. I think there is a balance to be had. You can work on facing your fears. You can work on lessening its impact on your performance. But you can also use it as motivation to get better in other areas. Not just better, but possibly the best in those areas.
This has me thinking about the Strokes Gained concept in golf. The concept breaks down golf into four areas. All professional golfers are really good in all areas, but amongst the top 200 players in the world there are differences. There is a player that is #1 in driving and a player that is #200 in driving.
What followers of Strokes Gained have found is that players like to maintain their greatness in their one or two areas. They often realizing that if they’re not good at one area that they probably won’t ever be the best, but they can still improve in that area.
Putting is an area of struggle for some top players. They’re great at driving, approaches and chipping, but putting is a struggle. Often, when a player like this has an average to slightly above average putting week they do very well or even win.
So if you have a fear, work on facing it. Know that you probably won’t be the best at it, but look to make strides. Then also use the fear to motivate you to be the best in other areas.