Conquer Fear of Change

Larlna Book

Today, I interview Larina Kase, who is a speaker and New York Times bestselling author. The topic is the top 5 mistakes that people make when confronting an important change and what to do differently. Change is challenging, especially when a difficult decision is involved.  Larina is going to explain how you can do it, starting today.

1.    What are the keys to making difficult decisions?

There are essentially two processes at our disposal for making decisions. The fist is rational (based on our thoughts), and the second is emotive (based on our feelings). The second includes the feelings that you’re aware of (excited, interested, skeptical, unsure, afraid, etc.) as well as your intuition or gut feeling.

We owe it to ourselves to use both of these processes when faced with a difficult decision. First, assess your gut reaction. What feels right? Then go through a logical analysis, weighing the pros and cons. Then assess your emotional reaction again. Has it changed?

Bear in mind that much of the research on decision making shows that people are happier with their decisions when they go with their gut reaction or follow their heart. This may be because we try to rationalize our decisions based on what we think we “should” do, but it’s sometimes difficult to change our feelings based on reason.

Our feelings are most helpful in making a decision when they are positive ones. Positive feelings (happiness, liking, interest) compel us toward something while negative feelings (fear, sadness, jealousy) compel us away from something. For example, if you are nervous your feelings may tell you to avoid taking action when in reality this is not the best choice.

So, when in doubt, or if you’re stuck, go with your feelings, especially if they are positive ones.

2.    The top 5 mistakes that people make when confronting an important change?

When faced with an important decision or change most people make one of the following common mistakes:

1)    They avoid the opportunity. They choose to settle for the status quo rather than going after an incredible change because they fear failure and humiliation.
2)    They go after the opportunity before they are ready. They plunge right in (knowing that if they don’t take action, they never will). The problem is that they haven’t adequately prepared. They haven’t lined up the resources and support that they need. They haven’t created a plan. They may be successful, but it is more due to luck than strategy.
3)    They dilute their responsibility. They go after the opportunity, but choose to be a follower rather than a leader. This way, if it doesn’t work, they aren’t to blame, but if it does, they can claim partial victory.
4)    They rely on old crutches. They go for it, but do so with their old crutches and habits which hold them back from truly pursuing the opportunity.
5)    They retreat at the first sign of failure. Unfortunately many people escape from uncomfortable situations too early—before they have a chance to get used to the anxiety and achieve their goals.

You see, avoidance is the number one killer of confidence and high-achievement. All five of the mistakes above entail some form of avoidance. The solution is to make a choice and stick to it 100%.

3.    As business owners, why do we need to become confident leaders?

Whether you own a business of 1 (you) or 1,000, you are the leader—of yourself, your business, your life. As a leader, your confidence will determine what you achieve as well as how others respond to you and your business.

In terms of business growth, your confidence will enable you to take on key challenges in growing your business, such as:

•    Describing the benefits of your business and educating others why they should do business with you.
•    Getting yourself to do the marketing activities that you want to avoid (things like public speaking, networking, running a blog) but you know would help you build your business.
•    Inspiring others (your employees, virtual assistants, contractors) to stay motivated and see the big picture.
•    Presenting your business from a standpoint of conviction and value (which attracts others and makes them want to do business with you) rather than insecurity or desperation.

4.    How can we tell if we (or others) lack confidence?

The number one thing to look for is avoidance. When people have confidence, they will take on all sorts of things, feeling secure that even if they “fail,” they’ll work it out. On the other hand, when we lack confidence, we tend to avoid situations when we fear we could fail, embarrass ourselves, or let ourselves or others done.

Keep in mind that avoidance can be subtle. It may not be as obvious as declining to participate in a project. More often, we’ll attempt something but do it half-heartedly or rely on crutches.

For example, let’s say that you lack confidence in your ability to introduce yourself. You may not avoid it (you know you can’t sit there and say nothing), but you use the crutches of speaking really fast, looking down, and not saying an interesting fact about yourself.

Or let’s say that someone lacked confidence about confronting people and having difficult conversations. She may attempt to confront someone but she tries so hard to be nice and not offend that person (her crutch) that she lacks assertiveness and doesn’t express her needs.

Where can we learn more?
If you like these ideas, get the proprietary systematic 6-step formula for moving outside your comfort zone and mastering key challenges (plus some great bonus offerings) with my new book The Confident Leader:  How the Most Successful People Go from Effective to Exceptional.  Have a look here:
http://www.ConfidentLeaderBook.comLarina Kase

2 Responses to Conquer Fear of Change

  1. Hi Serena,
    So true! What you are doing to help adults and children speak more confidently and clearly is so important. I wish I had someone when I was growing up to help me speak up, more clearly and with confidence – that would have been awesome – and really would have helped me in my business.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    With gratitude,

  2. Interesting to see that most of the signs of confidence involve speaking skills. I believe that all successful people have one thing in common and that is confidence in their ability ro communicate. This could be with their employees, employers, teachers, general public, clients , work mates etc. and I spend most of my time teaching children and adults how to speak slearly and confidently. Even very young children will find they are more successful and happier at school if they can talk to the teacher – just asking simple things like asking if they can go to the toilet, makes life much easier.

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