Fear is actually a good thing. It keeps us alive. A healthy fear of consequences helps us to stay safe even as we explore and find ways to become more creative. There are two basic motivating drives in all human beings: Fear of Loss, and Desire for Gain. These two complement each other. It is when we lose a healthy sense of fear that doubt and dread take over. When that happens, we go into a destructive tailspin. It is often very difficult to get out of that place of fear, as I call it here.
Are you in a place of fear? Think about it for a while. Do you fear losing your job? Why? Do you fear losing your star sales persons? Why? Are those fears helpful, or are they driving you nuts? Would you like to operate on a plane that speaks of better things than that kind of debilitating fear, where you are not free to make the decisions and take the actions you know you ought to take?
Replace fear with a sense of well-founded security! What is “a well-founded security”? What is it based upon? Here are a few:
Work hard. Be diligent!
Yes, you heard me. Work HARD. Yes, work smart, too, and you will find that you can often only be genuinely smart when you work hard at what you’re supposed to be working at. Become as good as you can at what you do. Take less and less time to finish your tasks, which will leave you with more time for other more creative stuff! My mother can still whip up a good nyonya-style (Peranakan. Straits-born Chinese) meal of a few dishes, starting from zero to full meal in less than 45 minutes! Impossible, you say? Well, she’s been doing it all her life, she doesn’t need to think while she’s at it! Just imagine if you can finish your tasks for the day before lunch. Hmmm…
Engage with co-workers. It’s refreshing!
One simple way is to get to know how other people in your organization get their work done. When I was still in active Service as a unit Quartermaster, while on an exercise, my guys were getting really bored because there was really nothing to do in the camp while the Rifle Companies were out training. So, I decided to give them a taste of what a typical Rifleman might be doing on a typical day out. I brought them to the top of a high hill, going by the usual way a Rifleman would go – the toughest, most unexpected way instead of taking the path available. It was hard going for them, but they had a great time once they reached the top. I think it helped them see their Rifleman buddies in a different light, too! What about you? Do you try to experience what your co-workers are experiencing in order to be able to better engage with them? Do that, form great relationships, and working life will be that much more meaningful!
Be resourceful. It’s fulfilling!
Being resourceful is actually about being creative about the way we use current resources. A friend of mine was faced with the situation of having to provide ice for guests whenever she held a function at her place. She didn’t want to buy the ice, and she didn’t want to have extra sets of ice-cube moulds, so she simply used disposable soft plastic cups to make the extra ice in! When the ice was made, all you had to do was squeeze the cups and the ice popped out! Are you making full use of the resources at your disposal?
Be creative. It’s fun!
Yes, go and try new things. You never know what might be a great breakthrough until you try! If you work in a place where failure comes at a particularly high cost, then you might want to try a pilot run before fully launching your idea. Above all, do not be afraid that others will “steal” your idea. How do you know that you were the first one to think about it, anyway? Maybe you’ll be the first to offer rent-a-bicycle-shower-and-change facilities in the Central Business District for people who want to combine exercise with travelling to the office! Combine that with providing hearty and healthy breakfasts also. Who knows where it might lead? The thing about creativity is that you’ve got some legwork to do in order for your creative ideas to see fruition. Creativity is not about splashing a can of paint on the wall and seeing what inspires you, although it can work that way also. Creativity is about working hard at an idea, making it better as you go, and, who knows, you might actually find a jumping-off point leading to something that is truly a quantum leap in its field!
Keep doing these things and you will surely break free from your fears, and be able to face your working life with great confidence. Go well!