Convert Fear into Curiosity and Discovery

This article was submitted by Steve Cashdollar, an author, teacher, and coach. Steve writes, speaks, and coaches about “courage.” His Professional Advantage training program is a systematic approach to new client development for attorneys, accountants, and other professionals who never imagined they would have to sell! You can “Crash a Class” for free by clicking here.

“At first glance it may appear too hard. Look again. Always look again.” — Mary Anne Radmacher

Dennis would walk across the dance floor at the freshman dances and ask girls to dance. Boys were on one side of the gym, girls on the other. He seemed to have no fear. He’d ask one girl right after another until one said yes. Some nights he might get six or seven rejections before a yes.

I could never figure out how he did it. But I was the guy who waited for the last dance of the night, “In My Room” by the Beach Boys. Margaret would dance that last dance when I asked. I bet she would’ve danced earlier if I had asked. But it took me all night to build up the nerve.

What if she would say no? That walk of shame all the way back to the other side of the gym was a killer. You can’t imagine the level of rejection a 14-year-old boy would be dealing with during that walk, even though walking with whatever nonchalant, carefree swagger he could muster up.

In her book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Susan Jeffers wonders how much time is wasted with unnecessary fear. Denny probably felt the fear but went ahead anyway. He was willing to do what no one else wanted to do to get the result he wanted. He later married one of those girls. His success ratio improved when he started asking her first, about halfway through the school year.

We had to study someone else’s technique after that. But nobody measured up. There was Mike, who moved toward the girls’ side before the last dance, stalking near his first choice, acting like he was talking to a teacher but looking along the line of girls. The problem was that the songs were only a couple of minutes long. If you waited until the song started, you ran out of time to truly experience the slow dance of the night. Besides, you needed the full two minutes to think of something to say during the dance.

I wonder how much dancing I would’ve done if I had known that there was nothing to fear. It turns out that the girls wanted to be asked. Duh!

I had no one to dance with before I would ask a girl, and after a rejection, I still didn’t have anyone to dance with. No worse off, right? So, what was the problem?

But they almost always said yes. Are you imagining anything that creates fear for you? What is the positive opposite of that?

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