martes, 25 de agosto de 2009

The Crisis and the Fear

Fear has a double function: the positive one is that it warns us about the fact that we are crossing our limits. The negative one is that we tend to see this limit/s as outer ones, and we tend to dress them with our usual thought, instead of taking the situation as an opportunity for development. So, the question would be: how to overcome fear, how to overcome our past knowledge?..

Nowadays we are living the apparent recovery from the biggest crisis we have ever had since 1929. this sounds a bit strange, because we needed almost a world war to recover from the 1929 crisis, that is, almost 15 years war included. Now it seems that we have done it in just one and a half or two years, thanks to the counter-measures of our governments. Well, as the zen master used to say: let's see!!..

But if there is something we have learned in this crisis is that, first of all, we cannot continue playing alone; now this is global world, and everything we do has consequences in the rest of us, so we have to change the way we think, feel and act, taking into account the rest of the people around us.

Second, and connected with the first, we cannot continue acting based on fear. During the last year downsizings and cost reduction had been the "fashion words" in the business environment. "Financial crisis" was the accepted title of what was happening, and because of the "naive" acceptance of it, we have been acting based of the fear of loosing our jobs, our positions, our companies or our money. And all this judgments and the correspondent actions were based just on fear. No one, almost no one, specially within the so called mainstream "business world" was able to take a different and innovative position. why?...because of fear.

But, is it not that the main quality of leaders?..being able to overcome fear, and so, being able to see, and even more, to foresee, what is coming when the things get tough?...

Even in our daily life, this is a must skill. We need to be able to overcome the fear when the crisis knocks to our door. Of course, we are not always able to do it, as it has happen, in my opinion, in the so called world crisis, but this does not mean that we have to abandon our learning process.

So, how can we do it?..learning to overcome the fear is not something that can be taught through a book; is something that must be trained. Is an experiencial learning process. And one must continue training oneself continuosly, because we are scared mainly (or I would say exclusively) of ourselves. So we need to continuosly go more and more deep within ourselves, to find and transform more and more layers of fear.

I will end this little article giving you a tip about how to start to work with your own fear: think about this problem that is disturbing you so much; then ask yourself: what could be the worst situation that I would need to face in the worst of the cases?..try to imagine it in the maximum detail, and feel the fear that it produces of you. Now, try to feel that you are observing the life of someone else, that it is not you the one who is in the imagination; If you cannot continue, take a breath, calm yourself down, and imagine the situation again. Now, that you can observe the potential situation clearly, try to list at least 5 possible quick solutions you could apply to improve this situation or to minimize the damage or impact in your life. you will probably find more than 5. After that, try to imagine what you could learn passing through this apparently awful experience, and write down at least three important issues you could learn.

How did you feel about your problem before doing this exercise and how do you feel after? you see, the human soul can be and must be trained. We are all in development. Let's try to help each other in our common way.