Do one thing everyday that scares you.
We’ve all heard this piece of advice, right? On the surface it’s meant to be a positive: challenge yourself, step out of your comfort zone, push your limits, don’t give in to your fears. These are all good things. In sales this can mean reaching out to that difficult prospect, standing up in front of a room full of decision makers or trying a new approach in your business.
Not being afraid can go a long way to growth and expanding the boundaries of your everyday life.
But, what if there was a way to go beyond that? Wouldn’t it be even better to simply have no fear at all?
Fear is an important emotion – it’s the thing that prevents us from doing insanely stupid things that would probably get us killed. Fear keeps us safe. But, zen teaches us that fear, just like any other thought or emotion, isn’t what’s really happening right now but rather a reaction to what is happening right now.
For example, if your knees start shaking and your begin sweating before speaking to a large crowd, the sensation you’re feeling is real – but it’s not the thing. All that is really happening is that you’re about to get up in front of a room full of people – the rest is just your reaction.
Zen practice – with an emphasis on meditation and mindfulness – helps you see past those initial feelings and emotions by being aware of them, helps you to respond to the present moment more fully and in control, rather than having your emotions – including your fears – control you.
Rather than do those things that scare you, try to be more aware of what scares you and how you react. While this won’t eliminate fear altogether (nor do we want it to!), it’ll take away the control that fear can have over your actions.