Tuesday, 05 January 2016 16:03

A Secret to Success – Dealing with Fear

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I find it interesting that after years of being labeled as the “Lean Process Guy” you less frequently see articles by me on the subject of “Lean” as of late. It is not that I don’t still enjoy Lean and Theory of Constraints, in fact I can still “geek out” and talk about it for hours. The fact is, is that I created my business to help collision repairers not only survive in these challenging times, but to thrive, and right now what shops need even more than process methodologies is to learn to get out of their own way!


The shops that are hugely successful these days are able to overcome the odds by challenging their beliefs and create a new normal for their businesses. Collision repairers can compete with MSO consolidators or anyone else for that matter, but only after they first learn to compete with their own thinking! Right now in history can be the best time ever to own a collision repair business, but ironically, for some, it is also the worst! You don’t need to be a consolidator for this to be the best time ever in the history of the world to own a collision repair business; you just need to have the right mindset!

I recently had an epiphany while dining at my favorite Chinese restaurant where I got this fortune cookie message.

To follow the advice of my fortune cookie, let’s dig a little deeper. Getting out of your own way really means believing in yourself more. Fear is what keeps you from believing in yourself, right? A little voice in your head likes to tell you things like,

“You’re not good enough”, or “Remember the last time you tried expanding your collision shop, you’ll probably fail again.” The biggest enemy of belief is fear, so if you want to get out of your own way, you need to learn to deal with fear!

The secret to success and happiness probably lies in our ability to change our relationship to fear. We have a tendency to view fear as a bad thing. If we could view the feeling of fear as a sign that there is an opportunity –ahead, you could have a different relationship with fear. What if, every time you noticed the feeling of fear creeping up, instead of bolting back into your comfort zone, you headed into the source of the fear? To many of you, that seems like backwards thinking. You are exactly right, it is backwards (unusual) thinking, and not going there is exactly why so many people fail to achieve their potential and their dreams.

Embracing Fear Will Help You To:

  • Invite Change - What stories do you tell yourself when facing a choice to try something new? Do you only think about things that could go wrong? Have you wanted to implement a blueprinting program at your shop, but are worried about rocking the boat with your team?
  • Make New Friends – Is there someone who inspires you that you could reach out to? Many of us are a product of the people we choose to hang out with. Choose to hang out with winners.
  • Enhance Relationships Through Communication – Fear affects us through the communications we choo-se to have or not have. Imagine what your life would be like if you could speak and live freely.
  • Learn New Things & Become Curious – When you accept failure as an acceptable part of life, you will want to try many new things and experience life in a whole new way.

If you will recognize that your ego is an obstacle and that vulnerability is freeing, you can be your true self. Another thing to recognize is that the negative chatter in your head is just noise! Most of us don’t realize that all the incessant chatter that goes on in our head is not real or true. When you recognize the chatter for the nonsense that it is, your life will change in very powerful ways! YOU WILL GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY!

The big take-away here, and what you can immediately start doing to make a dramatic change in your life, is simply to Practice Awareness. It takes practice, and that’s why it is called “Practice Awareness”. It takes time to become proficient at listening to your thoughts, but once you start to take notice it will have a profound impact on your life.

The technique I use goes kind of like this...

  1.  When you feel your chest start tightening, fear is setting in.
  2. Sit with the feeling for a moment to recognize what’s going on. (This gives you the power over the fear!)
  3. Choose to do the thing that is causing you fear, like engaging in a conversation with the person that may be intimidating you.
  4. The more times you do the thing causing you the fear, the less you will feel the fear.

Just to be clear, I am not talking about being fearless or doing stupid things that will get you hurt or killed, I am talking about the thousands of opportunities we pass up, because we have an adversarial relationship with our own fears. To me, the real definition of courage is when you feel the fear, and do it anyway!

For help reaching your unlimited potential contact Elite Body Shop Solutions today. www.elitebodyshopsolutions.com