World Class Supply Chain

5 Reasons Why Fear is Your Greatest Career Challenge

Great Dane HARLEQUINWhen I took a Dale Carnegie course on public speaking we had to give 3 small speeches a night. There was a formula to follow, but there were no note cards or Power Point slides, just your memory and the formula to make it more compelling. If that was not fear inducing enough, during one class we had to re-enact old television commercials and perform like crazy cheetahs or baboons. It was embarrassing and humiliating at the same time. But it taught us to deal with some of our deepest fears of our lives and career. The fear of looking bad. The fear of looking like a fool. The class made us look deep inside ourselves and realize that we shouldn’t care what others think. Only what we think. Sure we shouldn’t act reckless on purpose, but we shouldn’t let what others think drive our lives or careers. Ultimately, we are in control of our thoughts, emotions and fears.

If you truly desire genuine transformation, look no further than your fears. I once walked into my young boss’s office and demanded a promotion after he was promoted after one year in the company. Oh, he was talented, but he was also friends with a senior VP which had to help. After I demonstrated my 19 years of dedication he gave me an opportunity to participate on a 100 million dollar IT project. My fear had been transformed into courage that day and my career took off and is still going strong. Dealing with your fear leads to a more meaningful and authentic life. Doors will open that you never dreamed of. Transform fear into courage and watch your career take the next step.

Fear makes us stupid and irrational. How many times have you worried about what your boss or client will think, only to find out it’s all in your head. People have busy careers these days and they aren’t thinking only about YOU. Yet you can drive yourself insane with these silly thoughts. Its fine to let a little fear or stress make you better prepared, but stop worrying about imaginary scenarios that won’t ever happen.  Your boss or client are not the devil. They are normal human beings like you and I. A more rational approach to your thoughts makes life much less stressful. Stop letting fear make you irrational, life is way too short. Isn’t it?

How we relate to our fear is extremely important. Fear brings out your insecurities. Fear makes dealing with assholes at work that much harder. When fear arises we can take it head on or let it squash our courage. Taking fear head on means looking at a crucial meeting as an opportunity to grow and shine instead of hiding.  When I advised the United States Naval Command on their Supply Chain I looked at it as an extraordinary challenge. I wasn’t intimidated by the Pentagon or decorated Generals with MBA`s. I turned fear into a career opportunity and was richly rewarded by it.  Now it’s easier to relate to my fear. I’ve become much more intimate with it, instead of letting it make me freeze. It’s not easy to become intimate with our fear but once you do, you learn how to dance with it.

Our fear is sometimes driven by our childhood – get over it. I was raised by strict parents who served in World War ll, so it was a disciplined childhood and brought out my insecurities later on in life. I had trouble relating to authority figures. At one point in life I had to realize my parents loved me they best way they could and grow up. You have to take responsibilities for your life at one point or you will forever hide behind your past’s shadows. Break out of your ugly childhood past and walk into a new world – where the possibilities are endless. Stop blaming the past and open your arms to the future.

Sometimes you just can’t give a f**k. Your team is down by 6. The ball is on the 20 yard line, two minutes to go.  Do you analyze the situation to death? No. You go for it.  You may be the goat or the hero. But the more relaxed you are the better your chances of winning. That’s why it’s ok to not give a f**k sometimes. Stare fear down! Sure you won’t always win. Idiot bosses and political situations will forever be around. Careers are littered with peaks and valleys. But please Go big or Go home sometimes. Sometimes just don’t give a f**k and go big. You won’t be going home.

Terry Vermeylen is hell bent on rapidly transforming your business into a World Class Operation by major transformation or by eliminating one bad habit at a time.

Terry Vermeylen brings 30+ years of experience in SAP and Supply Chain Process improvement. As an SAP professional and Supply Chain Architect he has worked and consulted for some of the world’s largest and most successful manufacturing companies focusing primarily on the Aerospace and Pharmaceutical industries.

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