There are books we read because someone gives them to us and suggests we should read them. There are also the books we go back and read again and again because we found advice that helped us in the past and confidently go back to read them to help us in the present. Then there are those books and authors we truly enjoy because they are simple to understand, and the message is so sincere and straightforward as you read or listen to them, that you feel you're talking with a friend. The two books I've enjoyed by Dr. Robert Maurer have been that way.
I read Dr. Maurer's book One Small Step Can Change Your Life between taking off at the airport in Cleveland, Ohio, and landing in Los Angeles, several years ago, and it has been part of my reading discipline ever since, using it in many of our leadership programs through the years. When we discovered he had a new book out, the JP Horizons team couldn't wait to get their hands on it to read and discern if it fits in the same category as the first. We were not disappointed! In Mastering Fear, Dr. Mauer once again presents some wonderful things to think about in a way that makes us want to apply them to our own success journey and personal lives and, in our case, share them with others. That's why I am very excited about the next couple weeks.
Today, I want to introduce you to some gems that the JP Horizons team has gleaned and appreciated from the first several chapters. Next week we will continue and explore how Dr. Maurer makes it clear how important it is to remove fear in order to build great relationships, communicate more freely, and continually improve the culture of our organizations. We will share a very powerful and applicable mindset on how we can use stories and relate with people in various situations and roles.
In these crazy times of uncertainty where most of us may be feeling some form of fear, it seems timely to gain the most from Dr. Maurer's wisdom and to know the best ways to not only manage but master the fears that we may be feeling or facing. That's why I'm very excited about the opportunity that we are going to open up for all of our clients and People Solutions readers. Dr. Maurer has agreed to meet with us on a webinar to discuss Mastering Fear. Put August 18 at 3:00 p.m. EST on your calendar, and we'll tell you more about this free webinar at the end of this newsletter.
Now, let me share some of the gems that we've found during our first couple readings of Mastering Fear.
Gems from Mastering Fear
You know you're taking a journey into a good book when the introduction captures you with a feeling of "Ah, that would be good to know," and the introduction to Mastering Fear does that. Why are some people successful and others are not as it pertains to the skills necessary for success in these key areas of life: work, health, and relationships? Dr. Maurer shares that "there is indeed a critical turning point that promotes or prevents success based on how individuals perceive stress and how they choose to respond to fear; and we will reveal the one skill essential for achieving and sustaining success in our work, health, and relationships."
GEM #1: Let's jump into the biology of fear here for a moment. The good doctor says stress as we know it does not exist, and that children never talk about being stressed. Children call stress and depression being fearful or sad. Stress only became a medical disorder in the early 20th century. How does that relate to us as adults and striving for success in our work, health and relationships? Think on the nuggets below that support this idea:
- Most adults don't use the words fear, afraid, sad, etc., to describe stress, tenseness, depression, being burnt out, or nerves. Children do. Highly successful people do. Children use these words because they know they live in a world they cannot control. Adults don't accept their lack of control, so they rarely learn how to deal with it successfully.
- Successful people are consistently aware and accepting of their fears.
- Most fears can be reduced to either a fear of losing control (usually referring to health or financial) or a fear of not being worthwhile.
- Denying fear's existence or getting angry when you encounter fear can lead to anxiety or depression.
GEM #2 - CAUTION - AS YOU READ THIS ONE, YOU MAY BECOME AFRAID: Read the DANGEROUS strategies below and see how many of them you've tried to use in the past. After reading through the list below, we may all agree that these strategies do not work unless we enjoy feeling depressed, angry, overeating, etc. I'll tell you something that does work to keep my attention and has allowed me to benefit from Dr. Maurer's books, and that is his writing style. He is able to present complex ideas in simple ways, validated with tremendous research and examples, helping us to understand and apply what we read. The following mnemonic device is an example of that:
- Depression may be masking important fears that need to be addressed.
- Anger is often seen as a socially acceptable response to fear, but it is very hard on the heart.
- Negotiation - when people attempt to negotiate without an awareness of fear, it can lead to trouble.
- Griping can temporarily mask fears and calm the amygdala by tricking the mind into believing that you are reaching out and calling for a solution.
- Eating - It is physically impossible for a person to eat and be afraid at the same time.
- Rumination is worry without resolution. It typically leads to an escalation of the fight or flight response rather than calming our fears.
- Substances - People struggling with substance abuse are usually most successful when their underlying fears are addressed first.
GEM #3 - Here is what I believe is the gem of gems: being willing to ask for help and support in our relationships, in our work, and in our health. Ask for coaching, input, and support. We will explore this more next week when we start talking about the roles we play in relationships. I'd like to give you a challenge. Read the four concepts below, and see if you can create a list of what you agree with and what you disagree with. This exercise will help you understand the importance of what Dr. Maurer is sharing.
- The most critical skill in achieving sustained success in all key areas of life is a willingness, when afraid, to reach for support, and this is dependent upon our awareness and acceptance of fear.
- The bigger and more important the goal, the more fear will be present.
- Once you have achieved success, moments will come when you fear losing it or you feel like you do not deserve it. Reaching for support will give reassurance to develop new skills to take you to the next level.
- Organizations must make it safe for employees to bring their doubts or slip-ups to management without fear of punishment.
How to Benefit from Every Book You Read
For many years, there has been a burning topic in the laboratories of JP Horizons. Why have we watched so many people read books and fail to apply what they read?
One answer we feel is appropriate is that books simply give us information. In order for us to benefit from this information, we must understand it. Information is just data. Understanding is confidence. That confidence will empower us to then take action, get results, make adjustments, and continue toward the improvements we desire. In our three decades of teaching, we have found the best way to gain an understanding is allowing people the opportunity to creatively discuss and debate information. It is why I am looking forward to our discussion on August 18 with Dr. Maurer where he will help us all to have a better understanding of mastering fear and having more success in our lives.
Let me suggest your next step. Begin reading or listening to Mastering Fear today, and make a commitment to join us on August 18 for this free webinar.
You will find options to purchase the physical book, digital edition, or audio book on Dr. Maurer's website here:
Mastering Fear Webinar
Jim Paluch will interview Robert Maurer, Ph.D. about his newest book, Mastering Fear.
August 18 at 3:00 p.m. EST
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR!
Dr. Maurer, Clinical Psychologist and Faculty Member at UCLA and University of Washington School of Medicine, author of the international best-seller One Small Step Can Change Your Life, is the founder of Science of Excellence. He has served as a consultant to Walt Disney Studios, the Four Seasons Hotels, Costco, the U.S. Navy and Air Force, and Habitat for Humanity. His life-changing strategies are presented in more than 40 seminars to diverse audiences worldwide. His newest book is Mastering Fear and in it, he explains why some people struggle to achieve or sustain success and the single most important skill necessary to achieve maximum results. Dr. Maurer will share insights from Mastering Fear during our webinar on August 18.