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Make Fear Work for You

In my August 20th blog, “Who’s in Control”, I said that when we are empowered we are able to become flexible, let go of things that aren’t working, reframe our situations and refocus on new choices. We don’t beat ourselves up and we can ask for and accept help from God and others.

One of the “What if” fears that is at the forefront of many people’s minds today is that of losing their job. It is a reasonable fear. But if we allow that fear to dominate our thinking, we won’t be able to act in ways that might prepare us for such an eventuality.

Remember fear can warn us of immediate or potential danger. Both are aimed at action. When we don’t act, then fear becomes a stumbling block not an asset. Becoming pro-active is using fear to our advantage.

Richard Machowicz, a former Navy Seal, writing about fear in his book, “Unleash the Warrior Within”, says, “Unless fear is acknowledged as the problem it is, it will always lead you back to the same place, and there you’ll be, not understanding why the targets you’ve set up remain so hard to knock down.”

So let’s ask ourselves some questions about this fear:

Is there enough evidence to show that I should be concerned about the possibility of my job being terminated or the company downsized? If you think your company may close its doors then begin immediately to evaluate, assess and define your strengths and skills. Be able to articulate these to both yourself and others.

If the company is still solvent, but may downsize in the future ask yourself, am I a viable commodity to them? A company is in business to make money, provide a service or produce a product. So they will do what is necessary to survive, just as you do.

This is not the time to think about how well they treat you or should treat you. There are many companies who have little regard for their employees. If yours is such a company, you may want to consider changing jobs at some point.

But for right now, if you need this job, you want to enhance your position by being the best asset you can. Remember whatever you do, it isn’t just for them – it is becoming the best “you”. You will be able to take any skills you develop with you when you leave.

What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What do you bring to this or any company that you can market? Are you a problem solver? Are you able to see a vision of possibility and creative ways to get there? Are you a team player? Are you able to articulate your ideas? Many companies today are looking for people who can bring skills of creativity, ingenuity and flexibility with them into their jobs.

Just as companies market their products, you are marketing “you” – you are a product worth having.

Make yourself invaluable. Anytime you improve your skills and maximize your abilities you are developing a product – YOU! Stop comparing or competing and start improving who you are – for you!

Challenge yourself. How can I make my situation better? What part of my job can I improve upon even if I don’t like it? What new frame of reference can I put around it so that I can develop more of my potential? Doing a good job is an important value that is marketable. 

My next blog will touch on more ways to be pro-active in this uncertain time.

©2012 Marlene Anderson, MA, LMHC, NCC

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