Break The Fright Cycle, Out-Smart The Business Ghouls

by Linda Feinholz · 0 comments

© 2008 Linda Feinholz.

If I were to make a guess, it would be that you’re hearing an average of 6,294 messages a day about how bad a disaster the economy is, how everyone is going to loose their jobs, the roof over their heads, and even the ability to put clothes on their backs.

Even if I’m overestimating your exposure by a factor of 100… that’s 62 times a day when the despairing ghosts are moaning at you from behind the curtains and the goblins are haunting you from your radio and TV.

Well, all I know is I don’t need to hear whispers sixty-two times to put me off my dinner. Once, twice, three times is enough to give me the creeps. So my survival technique for surviving the ghouls is to remember the walk in the woods when I was growing up.

I remember creeping through the woods by our house after dusk. Every snap of a twig or brush of a leaf made me jump. I had that reaction even when I’d walked the same path easily in daylight a mere few hours before.

And of course it was even creepier when I was walking with other kids, as we all stirred each other with mutterings of fright – building a sense of helplessness and impending doom.

In the same way as that path was just fine during daylight, things are just fine when you shut off the radio and TV, put down the magazines and newspapers and focus on what you DO have control over.

I’ve had techniques I’ve used for years, that work for me, and work for my clients when they learn them. In the spirit of dispelling the gloom and wisps of despair swirling around you, I’m bringing them to light for you.

Choose Your Companions Well

Just as they were in childhood, some of the people around you thrive on anxiety, worry and fear. And they want companions on their path. Don’t let yourself be roped into walking that path with them.

Turn off the news media, cancel lunches and dinners with bogeymen, and those who want to feed on your fright. Wish them well, and get your attention back to what you DO have control over: your time, your attention, your energy.

Surround yourself with people who look at life for it’s possibilities, in good times and risky times alike. One of my coaching clients has started holding weekly conference calls with her entire team, with a light, up beat tone of voice. She uses the time to acknowledge the successes the team has created and cheer them on to each upcoming project.

Light a Lantern

The woods were spooky on a moon-less night. Not so during the day, or at night when the moon was lighting the way.

In your personal life and your business life, someone needs to put a light in the lantern and hold it up for others to see. I vote for you! Be the lantern bearer consistently and publicly and others will rally behind you.

I have a client who has contracts for the next five years. Can you imagine! You can bet that after our work together he is mentioning that fact weekly, reassuring his staff that their jobs are not in jeopardy.

He’s already designing the quarterly bonuses he’ll be giving out, instead of annually, to reinforce the message that every thing is OK, better than OK, for everyone.

Face The Path In Front Of You

Ghost stories work because they take us into our imagination. Brain studies have shown that anything you visualize, and I mean absolutely anything, is interpreted by your brain as completely real. So when you watch and listen to the drama being acted out on the political stage and the media pages, your brain is telling you “This is truth!” even when it’s metaphor, ghost stories, fear mongering.

Replace all the ‘what might happen’ imagery that your eyes are seeing and your ears are hearing with information that will keep you focused in present time, on the opportunities for you, your business, your life. Right here. Right now.

  • Post your business Vision and Goals where you and everyone else can see them.
  • Chunk your daily time to 45-minute blocks and focus on what you have control over right here and now. Plan your week for how you’ll use each day to keep your attention on the high payoff actions that will get you to your goals. One topic at a time.
  • Focus your language with your team on what you WILL create with your business.

And I’ll meet you in the sunlight on the other side of the woods.

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