In my counseling practice I am currently working with two budding entrepreneurs. Both of these new business builders are starting companies in similar fields, and both of these talented individuals have often found themselves struggling with the F-word.
When working with clients who are struggling with the problem of fear I am always interested in helping people get space from the overwhelming effects of fear which can include diminished initiative and blocked vision. It is my hope that we may collaborate in an examination of how to take a stand against fear, and begin to move toward preferred goals. Stephen Madigan who has been writing about narrative practice for years says that fear has the ability to create a dialogue that is ongoing, insidious, and irrational. He also believes that fear can create a “horror film” out of our worst nightmares, paralyzing all our best ideas and thwarting any attempts at fulfilling our hopes and dreams. According to Madigan it is fear’s goal to get you to see all the ways you will mess up your life, meet with failure, and how you should just quit before you start.
In my counseling role I use narrative practice to help to get distance from fear by the following process;
Begin to ask how fear has been influenced, manufactured, and maintained over time;
Question what aspects of the social environment might be assisting in strengthening fear’s influence;
Ask questions that bring forward moments and stories where fear was resisted and successfully taken on;
Strengthen the preferred self apart from the influence of fear;
Begin to recruit others who would stand with those that are in the process of taking on fear.
Through deconstructing questioning of how fear operates, it has been my experience that people begin to tell a different story about fear. Rather than the old story where fear has made goals unattainable or told my budding entrepreneurs that they are just dreamers and they should not really try. The new stories include tales of personal agency, and the hard won experience of “walking through” fear, which creates an alternative story free of the overpowering influence of fear, leading to preferred goals.