Go Where the Fear Is

I know what it’s like to feel afraid. I know it well…

I’m standing on the top of a huge bridge looking down at my feet. I look down and see bungee harnesses attached to my ankles and my waist. My breath catches for a second as I realize that these are all that are connecting me to life or death. We’re so high up it’s hard to breath. There is no bottom to this abyss as I peak over the edge and I wonder how I’m expected to throw my body into this unknown death fall.  The wind is howling in my ears and If I don’t hold on, it may just swirl me away before I decide to jump. My heart is racing so fast as I step to the edge. My stomach is turning and I feel as if I may throw up. I try to grip the railing, but my palms are so sweaty it makes it hard. I hear the attendants counting down and I know that when they get to “1” there is nowhere to go but off. I close my eyes say a prayer, pluck up my courage…and my alarm clock goes off.

I hate being scared to do something. That sinking, pit of the stomach, gut wrenching, sweaty hand monster that lurks behind the scenes. Do you know it too?

I grew up having a reoccurring nightmare that I was bungee jumping. I never figured out if it was by choice or by force, but every night, right when I was about to take the plunge I would jolt awake, heart racing and full to the brim of fear…but why do we associate fear with these death defying acts, when every day fear is so much more crippling?

So what’s this got to do with insurance?

Everything.

Fear is an emotional response induced by a perceived threat. IT IS POWERFUL. It causes changes in the brain…organ responses… to everyday behavior. 100% of humans deal with Fear, but did you know there’s two kinds of fear?

Under teachings of a Jewish Rabbi and the Hebrew language there are two kinds of fear, Pachad and Yirah. Pachad is that fear of the unknown, that fear of the future and what it may or may not hold. We project a lot when it comes to Pachad. Yirah on the other hand is a type of fear, but it’s the feeling that we now more describe as awe or wonder at something bigger than ourselves.

We’re an insurance community, so we can be 100% transparent in saying that much of our livelihood is actually derived from fear. Insurance protects against fear of the unknown to our car…to our house…to our business and employees. It’s a great business model…I already told you that every single person deals with it so it would make sense that people have found a way to capitalize on it.

Don’t get me wrong…what we do is crazy amazing. I’ve seen what our profession does when disaster strikes – but it’s so much more than just being reactive to when bad things happen. Our job is also one of the biggest components of being proactive in RELIEVING FEAR.  How powerful is that?

So what “Pachad” type of fear are you dealing with? What type of “Pachad” are our clients dealing with? As we’re working through fear, I bet it wasn’t hard to think of a time in your life when you were afraid. I have a dozen that come to mind…but what about in your job. Maybe you’ve had fear of success? Fear of failure? Fear of being not making enough to provide. Fear of where our industry is going…

I have a rule about keeping things 100% and that includes sharing the ups and downs of this journey to success. I told you I know fear and that’s because when I started in insurance more than 7 years ago, I was the sole bread winner for our family. My husband attended school full time and the only thing that I knew is that I couldn’t let us starve. I sold out of fear of the unknown. Every month in those early times, I just prayed that it would be enough to get us through. I was literally TERRIFIED I was going to fail…even better, I think I was even more TERRIFIED that I would succeed. I had suffered from major anxiety and I slept little because worrying about ALL the things at night takes up a lot of time, ya’ll.

Wanna know what I figured out? I knew that every day, no matter how much I worried, I was going to get out of bed and try again. My grandpa instilled in us that if you just get out of bed and take that first step, things will just magically happen, and I believe it to my core. Every morning I would wake up, and whether I felt like it or not, just take that step.

Momma didn’t raise no quitter.

So here’s what I realized about fear…

Fear is real. It’s just that story you’re telling yourself isn’t.  The only place that fear can exist is in thoughts of the future because the present has already come and gone.  And guess what? If the present has already come and gone then that means you’re still in this fight. Fear is a choice and we choose what we give our time, energy, and money to so what are you choosing today?

7 years later I still worry at times, but it doesn’t control my life. We survived just fine and one step at a time, I got us to where we are today—which is a pretty great life.

So how do you beat it? You step. How do you overcome failure or fear of success or your past? You step. Maybe yours is more on a personal level. It could be it’s getting back to the gym after being out for awhile and you’re afraid of being judged, just take one little step. It could be the one thing you always said you were going to do, but have never even tried. Just take a step.

The good news is, if you are reading this that means one thing—YOU ARE ALIVE and today is a new day to climb that mountain. We work through fear, because personal growth is never found within our comfort zones. We have to climb that mountain and take on whatever demon in order for us to level up as people.

We all fall down in life. We all fall down every day but the ones that get back up are who succeed in the end.

 

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