State of Fear

“I don’t know,” Denise continued. “If we are really going to be down another 20 percent in revenue, we are going to have to take some steps that I don’t want to take. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do with my company. I can usually take things in stride, but I can tell this is affecting me. I am not a stressed out person, but I can feel this.”

“It is easy to get hung up in this market,” I replied. “You think your business is contracting because you did something wrong. This is no different than adding headcount and buying equipment when the market is growing, except we are having to reduce headcount and idle equipment when the market is contracting.”

“I know, but it feels bad.”

“Feeling bad is not going to help. I know it is difficult to imagine, but think about the worst thing that could possibly happen.”

Denise glanced sideways at me.

“Seriously,” I insisted. “What is the worst thing that could happen? Now, accept it.”

Denise’s stare became intense.

“The stress you feel is because you cannot imagine the worst. It puts you in a state of fear. When you can accept the worst, you can take positive steps to improve your position. Not from a state of fear, but from a state of acceptance.” -TF
Working Leadership Online Schedule
January 26 – Orientation
February 2 – Goal Setting and Time
February 16 – Decision Making
March 2 – Planning
March 16 – Delegation

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One thought on “State of Fear

  1. Adam Howitt

    Hi Tom,
    Great post – this was a tough week for me and your post rings true on a very fundamental level. I faced the reality that I may need to close my consulting business this week. It has been a creeping fear up until now, a vague unknown of how things are going. It was only when I was faced with a financial decision I sat and worked out my position and discussed it with my wife. The fear had me stressed out and in denial but after careful consideration I put together a series of alternatives, including the worst case – shutting shop. I’m happy to report that by facing this reality instead of hiding it, I have a solid plan with decisions built into the timeline based on what I can and can’t live with and I feel like a weight has been lifted.

    Keep it up.


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