Fear and Getting Through the Storm

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We all have fears. Fears about how the company will do financially this year, about that crucial new hire who looks promising but is unproven, or about how your new offering will fare in a busy market. Fears can abound, especially if nurtured and given attention.

“The future you constantly worry about, Is nothing other than a projection of fear and desire from the past.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh

Fears can instead be a tool, an indicator. They can lead you to research, to ask good questions, and to explore options. As long as you don’t allow fears to take over the present, they can actually be valuable.

One way to be vigilant about fears is with mindfulness. Mindfulness, that focus on the present, is more than a business fad. It’s a practice that decreases stress and increases productivity.

The leaders of outdoor apparel maker Patagonia are committed to using their successful company as a vehicle to put mindfulness into action. Patagonia founder Yves Chouinard describes navigating what could be a terrifying Class 4 rapid as a teaching:

  • look ahead and prepare
    • be proactive
    • don’t ignore what is coming
    • think through scenarios
    • do what is necessary to get ready to the best of your ability
    • trust that you can handle whatever happens
  • go into a drop

    • take calculated risks
    • once you decide, follow through wholeheartedly
  • read the river

    • be vigilant
    • be perceptive
    • adjust as needed.

That intuitive process has helped guide his business for the last 50 years. Chouinard believes that if the process isn’t sound, if your intentions don’t come from the right place, the outcome, even if profitable, doesn’t matter.

Practicing wisdom by making decisions from a place of love rather than fear can open the door to creative solutions.

Fear can be a driver of decisions and actions, but they don’t have to be.

Elizabeth Gilbert in her book, Big Magic, tells the story of treating her fears like an inevitable passenger on a road trip. Fears can and will be there, but they can Never. Ever. Drive.

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Source by Ursula Jorch

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