Fear can be overwhelming. It comes in so many forms. Fear of man. Fear of the unknown. Fear of heights. Fear of not having all the right answers. Fear of transparency. Fear of loss. Fear of public speaking (FYI: This ranks 1st among Americans). Fear of death. Why am I so afraid of everything. Should I be? As I think out this post I am currently afraid of something. It is a mixture of the list above.
In a short summation, right now I am getting over my fear of transparency by typing this all out (we will see if I post it to the blog or not). Currently I am afraid of a meeting, specifically fear of man. A man’s response to a difficult situation that I hope I can eloquently communicate while getting Logo Chair’s point across... I am fearful of the unknown. How will he react? After I start the meeting, how will I be able to keep it going for 30 minutes without digressing into my sales pitch about how great our products are and why he should always buy from us? (selling this customer isn't the purpose of this meeting) Will I have the correct words to say? Will I have enough to say? Am I willing to say all that needs to be said? Will I say it all too fast in a nervous, shaky voice?
I am so fearful of so many things in this one event. So I guess I should just tell you everything. I am afraid of loss. Losing a customer forever. Losing the possibility of a third chance to show that we are a great company. Losing the sales number toward my yearly goal next year. Losing the prideful comment, yes we sell “them” (insert large retailer here). I am afraid of my competitor gaining traction. I am fearful that this whole issue will just be chalked up to a misunderstanding.
So is that it Kris? Is this all you are afraid of? Unfortunately, no. Here is something else I am afraid of, fear of rejection. What if while I am telling our side of the partnership he doesn't care? Slam the door, you are out of here. “Not only am I through with your company I am through talking to you”, is a statement I am terrified to hear. I am afraid of letting my teammates back at Logo Chair down. Everyone there depends on me to do my job. I am afraid of failure. The truth is, we need this account. I am afraid of having to come back in the office Monday and communicate the results of this meeting and the meeting hasn't even happened yet.
This is why I hate fear. What am I suppose to do? Some will say “just don't think about it.” Others might interject and give this advice, “bare through it, soon this will pass.” But guys I am still afraid! That didn't work. The other truth about fear is I am really afraid of the fact that I cant control the outcome. I would like too, so bad. This creates the first taste of anxiety. Then the anxiety turns to true fear when the realization hits me square in the face that regardless of how many times I practice what I am going to say, the preparation will have little to nothing to do with the outcome nor the person’s response. I am not in control. Wow, that makes me scared. But do I really want to be in control? No, I don't. I have seen what I am capable of... So if I cant turn to me, where do I turn?
I turn to a garden. A perfect example. A man who experienced fear. Fearful of the worst thing imaginable, separation from His Father and taking on a punishment He didn't even deserve. At this point you may be saying huh? You might already be tracking and hoping I don't go there... Too late. Truth is, all I have is my faith in a triune God that is sovereign and in control. Right before Christ was to be lead to His death by crucifixion, He knew what was before Him and He was fearful. What did He do? He prayed. He prayed and he trusted in His Father’s will. So this is what I will do. I will pray. I will ask for strength, graceful words, truth, comfort, and above all else to bring Him glory with my meeting. I know I don't control the outcome, He does. So I will lean upon Him like Christ did when He was fully man. Now that begins to make me feel better. I don't have to white knuckle through this meeting because just as Christ’ life, death, and resurrection allows me to be free from the punishment of sin, it also allows me to be free from fear and its controlling tentacles. When I rely on Christ (power of the Gospel) and not me, it takes the sting, pain, and power of fear off my shoulders.
Now onto my meeting...