The Old Outlook: You can prepare, and prepare, and prepare, and then hopefully mitigate problems as they occur.
The New Outlook: You can prepare, but you have the wisdom and the life experience to respond, not react, when problems occur.
The road that takes us from the old outlook to the new is what I like to refer to as the conversion of fear to trust. What I’ve realized during my varied career, and what I learned all over again at one of my own company’s curated events Trust and The Workplace, is that fear is trust’s greatest roadblock. Such roadblocks are detrimental to our self-esteem, and are responsible for holding us back from attaining our goals….whether it be a higher job position, a better spousal relationship, or a particular lifestyle.
I would have made an excellent girl scout, as I’m a huge believer in preparedness. Back when I owned and managed a restaurant, any staff member would’ve told you that I preached “There are controllables and uncontrollables….if we’re on top of the first, we are better prepared to manage the second”. Nonetheless, that restaurant was a human business. It was such a game of human moves that I continued to dwell on the uncontrollables. When was the kitchen fan exhaust going to finally burn out? Would the temperamental chef walk off the line and resign in the middle of a busy lunch service? What happens if we get slammed with more guests than we can accommodate?
Meanwhile, my real problem was not the worrying itself; it was that I couldn’t trust myself to respond gracefully rather than react drastically when such potential disasters finally occurred. I had set up my own fear-drenched roadblock, thwarting my capacity to have a balanced relationship with anyone or anything that wasn’t entirely under my control.
For too many years, I’d lived my life worrying about what will go wrong. Upon reflection, I’ve had to acknowledge that this is extreme. The perpetual stress was unhealthy, and served only to throw my life out of balance. Whereas I still must spend time troubleshooting and being on my toes in business and in my personal life, I am now learning to have trust. Going forward, when the uncontrollables do lead to small disasters, I can dive in knowing I have the wisdom, the life experience, and the resources to respond, not react.
Guiding me along this path toward trust is the valuable advice I’ve received and utilized following the aforementioned community event exploring the EQ of trust inside the workplace. Our presenter Valia Glytsis was the first to alert me to the direct link between trust and fear. She shined a light on such concepts as Impostor Syndrome and Self-Orientation, which were as shocking as they were eye-opening in their relation to the fear/trust divide. Valia’s lesson has already had a tremendous positive impact on my life and career, and it could for yours as well. To learn more, read the informative blog article I composed about the event, and discover the revelations that other attendees came away with, in the form of personal baby steps.