It’s funny how fear can paralyze you. I’m talking about the fear of rejection. The fear of putting yourself out there. Either I shut down or talk about inane things, just so I don’t have to say what I really want to say. But…there are times when it propels me into a juggernaut! In other words, fear either totally immobilizes me or makes me act stupid! For example, I was asked to present on a subject very near and dear to me to some of my company’s managers during a conference call. As I had plenty of time beforehand, I prepared my speech. Piece of cake! Beautiful? Not!!! Epic fail! My hands got sweaty, my mouth dry and I could barely even read it. And I am quite sure that the speed reading monotone I used could earn me the Oscar this year! Then comes team games and sports. Even when I’m pretty sure I know the answer, I am so afraid of being wrong or letting the team down that I don’t assert myself. Big mistake! Then there are the personal things like friends, kids, family members, co-workers, etc…I will watch them walk away and I can’t move or say a word. When they are gone I will fall apart because: A) I hurt them B) They hurt me C) A miscommunication happened and it grew bigger instead of being cleared up D) I either communicated ridiculously or failed to communicate at all, thereby conveying the message that I didn’t care when in fact, the complete opposite was true. I cared too much….
So where does this leave me on the brink of my reinvention? A new commitment, to acknowledge that it is not always easy for me, to share that information with the party that my attempt at typical communication may in actuality look like sabotage. To stop, think and breathe and say what I think, despite the outcome!
Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.