Episode 40

#040 - Fear

Published on: 11th May, 2021

Today we sit down and talk about the impacts fear and anxiety have on our ability to live healthy and productive personal and professional lives.

We are firm believers that everyone experiences fear and acts of *bravery* are individual's willingness to face their fears and move forward in spite of what they are feeling. This ability can have profound positive impacts on your life and career.

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. In this podcast, we cover practical tips to help think through, process, and mitigate your fears so you can better prepare and manage them moving forward.

"I believe the intervention that is most effective, the minimum effective dose here, is just that first part of writing down what it is you're afraid of."

You can't keep yourself from experiencing the chemical reactions associated with fear, but you can work to override and mitigate their effects after the fact.

Thanks for joining us today and don't forget to hit the subscribe button or reach out at [email protected].

Transcript

Charles Knight 0:06

What's up guys?

Robert Greiner 0:08

What's going on?

Charles Knight 0:09

Not much, man? It's a busy time. Y'all doing okay.

Robert Greiner 0:12

Yeah, doing really well. Igor, you're in California,

right?

Igor Geyfman 0:15

I'm on vacation. I'm taking it easy. I'm a beautiful Southern California. I'm doing in Redondo Beach right now. And two hours behind. So it's only 2:14pm right now.

Robert Greiner 0:27

Redondo Beach is great.

Igor Geyfman 0:28

Yeah. Robert, did you travel to Southern California back in the day for a client?

Robert Greiner 0:33

I think I joined right after you left your first stint? Yes. Yeah. So we were spent a lot of time in Redondo Beach. Great.

Igor Geyfman 0:41

Yeah, it's a really great spot.

Robert Greiner 0:43

I promised my daughter I'd get a seashell from the beach and didn't realize until after the fact that the way the currents work in that area of the country. All the sea shells are broken. They've sort of like slam the shells against the ocean floor. There's no whole seashells, which someone on our project actually knew I was complaining about it. I spent like an hour and a half trying to get a seashell in this misty evening. And I was complaining about the next day. And my buddy was like, Yeah, my my girlfriend's really into oceanography. And she was mentioning this the other day, and I thought, I wish I want to talk to you about it first and said to get one from the gift shop went all the way to California to get a seashell from a tourist gift shop. But I did your shrine, I did bring home seashells.

Charles Knight 1:27

Have you been to the beach yet?

Today?

Igor Geyfman 1:28

Not today? I'm going to go right after we record. But yeah, the first thing I did was, yeah, go to the beach and just being by the sea is, is pretty phenomenal. It has a lot of calming healing properties. And that's good to new agey about it. But yeah, it's it's pretty good. It was my first time flying since the pandemic started. That was the first time at the airport first time in an airplane now fully vaccinated.

Charles Knight 1:53

Okay,

so let's use this to segue into the topic of today. So first time flying in a while you are fully vaccinated. Tell me did you experience any fear on your journeys on your travel?

Igor Geyfman 2:06

No, I didn't really experience any fear, anxiety. Maybe I didn't, I didn't know what the flight experience was going to be like, like I've made this flight to Dallas to LA flight so many times, dozens and dozens of times, and pre pandemic. So know what to expect what seat to get on the airplane. Like all that good stuff. And I was just I don't know what the airport's gonna be like, I don't know what the plane is gonna be like. And basically, everything is just the same, except for people are wearing masks, but maybe they don't serve food or something on the flight. Maybe that was another

difference.

Charles Knight 2:41

So for you anxiety and fear, are they connected at all? Do you see them as similar? Completely different? distinct?

Igor Geyfman 2:48

Yeah, I guess I see them as related. And maybe fear to me is when anxiety boils over.

Charles Knight 2:55

Interesting. Yeah.

Igor Geyfman 2:56

I don't know if that's accurate. But a lot of times, that's how I think about it.

Charles Knight 2:59

Yeah. Today I wanted to talk to you all about fear. And my my assertion or hypothesis that learning to overcome fear is the single biggest predictor of achieving our highest potential in life. And I'm not sure if y'all have heard me talk about that. But that's, that is fundamental thing that I speak to a lot of our new hires about fear and my journey and learning to deal with that. And I can answer the question for you as to whether or not fear and anxiety are linked and how they are if you're interested in but thanks for sharing that. But I'm curious, do you all have a visceral reaction to my statement that learning to overcome fear is the single best predictor of our success in life, like put on your skepticism hat, like the same lens? We've been looking at the nine lies book? And what's your reaction to that?

Igor Geyfman 3:52

This is something that I've been thinking about, maybe not from a personal perspective, but definitely from a professional perspective, almost two decades. And I started reflecting maybe five years ago or so about why do companies hire consultants? And what is it about consultants that helps companies make progress that they feel like they aren't able to make? And when I asked why, enough, I think that I've got to Charles was fear. And it's what prevents companies and organizations from reaching their potential is too much fear in the system, fear at the individual level, and then that sort of rolls up into a, you know, maybe a business unit or organizational level fear, which prevents people from doing their best, and from taking risks, and from capturing a moment that would benefit everybody, but can seem really scary because it might impact your career might impact you having a job. It might impact lots of different things, right, the way that your colleagues See, and that fear really holds back individuals, obviously. But then, as you roll all that up, It holds back organizations. And so one of the things that I've been really trying to practice over the last couple of years is creating environments of safety. So people can explore and feel less fearful in their work. So, at least from a business perspective, I have been thinking about fear in that way. I don't often think about it from a personal perspective. No,

Charles Knight 5:23

thanks for that. Robert, what do you have to say about

that?

Robert Greiner 5:26

I think this is a cornerstone for what you're saying. So definitely your ability to overcome fear to face fear, right? Because bravery is not. It's not being afraid. brave people are afraid all the time. It's what they do with that fear and choose to confront it. So that's lots of really smart people have outlined that observation around bravery, like it's not the absence of fear. So if fear is a common human condition, human emotion, and there's all sorts of science around how the feeling of fear screws up your physiological state, hampers your decision making, right? chronic fear, or those feelings and emotions can have really deep repercussions. And then if you just point that lens on to professional life, yeah, there's we talked about playing not to lose or just taking the safe path, because you may have tremendous upside over here. But also, the downside is felt right, and we feel we experience much more pain, with a loss than an equivalent game that hurts much more to lose $20 than does to get $20, those kind of things. So I think we're onto something where this is a space that we don't talk about enough that we all are exposed to, we deal with regularly, and could absolutely deal with more effectively. And your ability to confront overcome, manage, mitigate fear is a critical component of your success in working in life. I don't know if it's the critical component, but it's certainly top three.

Charles Knight 7:00

I am fine with that.

I'll take it. And I think it's so fascinating for me, because when I've talked to people about fear, I get one of two reactions, and probably more so one of them, which is okay, let me talk about what in the context. And in our company, when I talk about fear, I talk a lot about fear in the context of professional development and growth. And I think a lot of people say, I'm not afraid at work, like I don't feel fear at work. And I think for some people, that may be true, but I think for many people, it might just be a misunderstanding of what is fear. And that's why I asked you, Igor, hey, what do you see anxiety and fear is linked, because they absolutely are. So let's provide some definitions for people to help people understand, do they actually feel fear, because Jeez, like, in my life, I have spent a lot of time trying to learn how to speak about the feelings that I feel as silly as that sounds. And it's really hard. But there's a lot of clarity and goodness that can come out of being able to name Hey, I'm feeling this thing, this sensation. Ah, that's a feeling of fear. Anyway, fear. It is an unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined. So fear, an unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined.

Robert Greiner 8:30

So there's real or imagined really sticks out? That's an interesting nuance there. Yeah.

Charles Knight 8:35

So fear developed over time, from an evolutionary standpoint, for very good reasons. A lot of people talk about the Oh, you hear a rustling in the bush. If that triggers an unpleasant feeling in you. That gives you the leg up to fight or flee that whole the What do you call that thing? Yeah. When you feel threatened to freeze, fight or flight? Yeah, yeah. So that unpleasant feeling is what triggers those responses. And that that increases your chance of survival, if you run away at the sound of rustling in the bush, doesn't matter if that was a real leopard or not, you're safe. And so that's rewarded over time. And those were real threats. But nowadays, when this is our privilege, speaking, but when have we actually been confronted with real threats, like to our safety into our lives, and it is just a very different world and environment that we live in. And I think we confuse a lot of the threats out there with life threatening threats, as opposed to just Ooh, that's going to bruise my ego or something like that, which is where that kind of the whole real or imagined danger comes from. And we feel fear, but should we get into that is the question that I posed to people because it's not a leopard, it might just be a run, going to look silly in front of my colleagues, and I don't want to do that. Rob, are we gonna say some?

Robert Greiner 9:55

Yeah, that's an important distinction you made here. So all the data are in Right. In modern society, the world we live in today, you can make exceptions for the pandemic. And those types of things in aggregate across, let's say, the last decade or more as a society, the level of fear that you're talking about, which is I hear rustling in the bush I need to run, you can round that down to zero in aggregate. There's individual cases, there's macro events that come in from time to time. But mostly Yeah, we don't as a society as a planet live in everyday fear the way that you were talking about it.

Charles Knight:

Yeah.

Igor Geyfman:

But I think our we can't discern it chemically. Right. Right, right. Yep. Like it produces the same chemicals, whether it's an imagined fear of looking silly, a tiger rustling in the bushes. I think that's the hard part.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, cuz there's let's talk about maybe modern day fear. Because that because you're right, we what we feel is real, whether it's a rustling in the bush from a leopard or the wind. And that is just something that we have to accept the feeling of fear is something that we will need to accept. I will say for me, in my lifetime, for whatever reason, nature and nurture, I have probably suppressed the feeling of fear. And I've tried to ignore it, maybe. And, and so maybe as a result, I'm a little desensitized. If you ask me maybe 10-15 years ago, Hey, are you afraid when you go to work? That's no way. Like, I'm not afraid, I might be worried about something, I might be anxious about something. But the way that the anxiety and fear has an interesting relationship, anxiety is a type of fear. And so all of the things physiologically that we talk about for fear, they apply to anxiety. However, fear is about some sort of threat. Like right now, there's a rustling in the bush, I've got a meeting, and a presentation that I've got to deliver tomorrow, like those are threats to safety that triggers that feeling. Anxiety is more about something in the future. Oh, what if I get sick from going on this trip, Igor, you know, maybe that crossed your mind or something like that. And so one, fear is more present oriented. Anxiety is something about thinking ahead into the future. And given that you're right, Robert, and there stats out there that in books written about the fact that this is the safest moment in human history, like right now, it is the safest moment in human history, like child mortality has gone down. Life expectancy has increased violent crimes have gone down trends to support all that sort of stuff. And yet, in another way to say that it's like physical threats, like real threats to our lives have gone down. And yet, it seems if you look at social media, in the news, the amount of fear in our society seems to have gone up, or it's at least being amplified as a result of some of the technology out there. And I think most of that fear that we see, is about anxiety, more than fear itself. People are thinking about the future, because we can think about the future. Now. We can think about next week and about next year and about the next decade, because from a hierarchy of needs standpoint, we're all sitting pretty, pretty good in terms of our base level needs and stuff like that. And so that's how I've made sense of my experience and what I observe in the world. And why now more than ever, there needs to be strategies to help people to work with increase their capacity to sit with fear, and anxiety, but also work to I don't like saying the word overcome. But that's the word like how do you overcome fear and anxiety in the moment? Because those things whether it's real or imagined, they, you're exactly right, Robert, it triggers the fight flight or freeze phenomenon, like it shuts down the logic centers of the brain, it shuts off people's creativity, they physically lock up. And if you do that, you're not showing up in that meeting, giving that presentation, you're not showing up in the relationship with your kids or your your partner. And that impacts your ability to thrive. So I think there's a great need to provide tools, tips, tricks, strategies to help people when they feel fear. And there's one particular exercise I can't remember if you all have done it before. Have you all heard of fear setting? as an exercise?

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, you

introduced the idea to me at a pretty key point in my career. So

yeah,

Charles Knight:

Igor, how about you?

Igor Geyfman:

Yeah, same same thing you've introduced.

Charles Knight:

Okay. Yeah. So fear setting is something that I learned. I'm pretty sure from Tim Ferriss,

Robert Greiner:

Tim Ferriss. Yep.

Charles Knight:

I don't know where you got it from. I doubt it's a Tim Ferriss original, maybe it is. And it's it's a three step exercise. And it begins with really trying to understand what it is that we're afraid of. And so you can do this very simply by taking a sheet of paper and creating three columns, by just draw lines to create three columns. And the first step is to just write down, if it's a situation, or if it's a decision that you're about to make that gives you this fear. What do you think is the worst possible outcome of doing whatever it is that you're going to do, and really just articulated in great detail, like the worst possible thing, oh, if I show up to this meeting, without a tie on, I'm going to get fired. And what's funny is that people laugh, because ultimately, I think, all of these things like, oh, if I say, you know, to somebody, that I like them, and I want to date them, and I'm going to get rejected, ultimately, those are interpreted by the primitive brain as threats to our lives, right? Like, those are perceived as real dangers. And by articulating those things, writing them down, it allows the more modern part of the brain, the logical brain, to help process those things like wait a second, that might hurt. But that's not a leopard in the bush that could come and eat me and completely end the propagation of my DNA throughout the species in the future. So writing down this, what is it that you fear? And even rating then on a scale of one to 10? Is this really worst case scenario? If not, what is like encouraging getting it out of your brain? And onto a piece of paper? is step one. So Robert, Igor, would you be willing to share? What if you all did this exercise? Like what? What was it like to try to write those things down? You don't have to say the specific thing if you want, but what was it like to write down? If you remember, like that worst case scenario, for that first step of your setting?

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, it

was really helpful, I think. And maybe in the same way, I'd be curious to know if this is true, like immersion therapy, right. So if you have someone who's afraid of dogs are taking them, maybe driving past a dog park and having them look at it out the window, and for a while until they get bored. And then maybe you walk up to the fence or view it from the parking lot. And then you keep these like slow incremental steps where you're exposed to something you're afraid of. And that dulls the fear. Over time, like there's your brains rewiring, and you can slowly get into the point where maybe you want a dog or at least you're not in this, like hyper hyperventilating state when you see them. And so I think, for the professional, if we take their fear setting idea, and you can use this for personal too, I used it in a professional setting, it's a level of immersion therapy, where you're defining the worst case. And when you put on paper, sometimes you can ask yourself the question like, Hey, is this really that mad? What's the worst that could happen here? And for me, it was really around, do I exit this safe career state that I'm in and go pursue something that has some pretty significant downside, and the kind of thing that could maybe set you back a few years, if it doesn't go well. And it just like another games we play, if you can even think of work as a game, when you have an advantage, and you don't press that advantage that that advantage of evaporates. So you're you hear that we're playing not to lose, we're not playing to win that kind of thing. And so it really helped frame up, okay, here's what the downside is. And then what you'll get into in a minute is I could actually then think through, okay, if this happens, I could, there's some steps, I could take now to mitigate the pain for that anyway. And so now you're planning this sequence of events are planning for things that could happen. And there's a level of preparation there, as well. So you're defining it, you're exposing yourself to it, you're intellectually using your imagination to put yourself in that situation and fake thinking through how you might respond. And that whole exercise is like you are maybe it's like you're experiencing that failure in a safe place. So that you if you did experience it in real life, you've been there before, almost. And it doesn't completely remove the risk. It doesn't completely inoculate you from fear or the negative impacts of it, but it certainly helps by orders of magnitude, then you just tried to wing it, and are forced into that freeze flight or fight mode.

Charles Knight:

You've talked about some of the other steps in fear setting. The first one is define your fears. The second one is talking about, okay, what are things that you could do that are within your control and power to try to prevent those fears from happening, okay, I'm going to lose my job. Because of whatever I do. There are things that you can do to prevent that outcome from happening. I rarely even get to that step when I talk to people because there's, I believe the intervention that is most effective, like the minimum effective dose here is just that first part of write down what it is, you're afraid Because as soon as you get it outside of your brain, and you can read it, you can look at it, you can touch it on a piece of paper, it changes things, like it changes things, it becomes something else, as opposed to consuming you. And that's when you can start to work with it, like in a logical fashion and say, Okay, I may not lose my job. But if these are the things that I can do, I can prepare, I can practice, I can get advice from somebody else before I go into this meeting. And, you know, I could start talking to a recruiter in case I do lose my job, which kind of bleeds into the last step. So step number one, define your fears in great detail. Step number two, write out what are the actions that you can take to prevent those outcomes, those bad outcomes from happening. And step number three is to imagine, Hey, you know what, worst case scenario happened? You lost your job, you lost your job, you got divorced, you lost your dog and your truck, insert cliche meme about a country song, what are you going to do? Like, what's the first thing that you need to do to get back to where you were, before that bad thing happens. And that's a really powerful thing.

Robert Greiner:

That's so helpful. It just gets you right into action mode, and you have a playbook, you have a protocol. I actually did that for when we were around this time last year, and I was thinking, hey, all signs are pointing towards, I'm going to take some kind of pay cut some kind of hit to my income at some point this year, like it just happening all around us. And so I spent some time talking to my wife about it, we put some plans in place, and largely felt good about like, we have some runway, we have some breathing room here. And then if this happens, the first thing I'm going to do is call around and check on my team. And it's not because I was in a situation where I experienced some hardship. And my first instinct was to care for others. I would love to say that was the case. Right? That I'm so altruistic, that's the case. But no, I spent time outside of the fear, experience thinking through a negative outcome that might happen, which I mean, talk about anxiety, talk about negative feelings, when you're worried about your ability to provide for your family to meet your financial obligations, like those things are, you know, real, right? There's history is filled with examples of people doing very foolish things, when they're when their ability to earn income is put at risk. And I didn't want to fall into that trap. And we're all just human, right? Well, none of us are above that. And so I was able to have a protocol for when that happened. And I didn't have to rely on me overcoming these hardwired human emotions. And I knew what I knew what I needed to do, I could trust that the details were taken care of, because I planned for it. And it doesn't always work out that way. You can't always you know, get ahead of it. But when you can, it is really helpful.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, there's some stuff that you can do to proactively deal with fear. And this is what we're talking about. Fear setting is a great way to proactively figure out what's your plan, when confronted with something you had mentioned, being inoculated, as, like, there is no cure for fear. But I do believe that by regularly, putting yourself in situations where you fit in this might be like the exposure therapy, Robert, that you're talking about. But I do think though that as a leader, the more situations you put yourself in where you are forced to confront fear. And you use whatever tools you need, like fear setting, or, for me, gratitude is a big strategy to deal with fear to try to shift my thinking and my physiology, the more tools like that, that you can use to overcome fear, get through to the other side, and see, hey, it wasn't that bad. I may have been fearful of this, I may have had a lot of anxiety. But now that I've gone through it, and I've reflected back, it wasn't so bad. But the more you do that, I think the more we can begin to do that for others. Because what I don't like seeing, and I see this a lot in the world, and with the people that we work with sometimes, too, is that there's a recognition that there's fear and anxiety, you know, fought that's happening for people, and it's just what are they afraid about? What are they worried about? Like, why are they so anxious? Yeah, that's a response because maybe you're not feeling that way. And unfortunately, that's just not helpful. But as a leader, if you see somebody in your one on ones, that's why they're so important is to establish that space of safety, Igor, like you were saying, if you hear or see them express something that makes you think that there's fear and anxiety that may be underneath the surface. There are things that you as a leader can do to help them work through that. And it's things like fear setting, and gratitude and creating a safe environment for them to experiment and learn and get better. And so I think there's a big responsibility for leaders to not only create safe spaces, but to encourage people to move in To uncomfortable situations, learn how to work through them. And if we do that everybody wins when I see nothing but goodness in that

Robert Greiner:

Another hack to app, Charles, have you gone into this like idea of mirror neurons. So like they mirror the behaviors of other people, right? So if I started a conversation with you, if I came over to your house, and I was visibly angry, and I started yelling at you aggressively, like your mirror neurons are going to kick in and you're going to get aggressive. Now, you may be able to overcome that in the moment and calm down and lower your heart rate, and behave effectively and rationally. But that's a lot of biology you have to overcome to get there. And I don't think you can rely on yourself being able to do that every time. And so when you're talking about fear setting, and we talked about immersion therapy and getting yourself in the mind of what failure might look like, saying it out loud in a calm voice, like actually physically, verbalizing and uttering the words, what will hit your mirror neurons, and help calm you down as well. And so that's a hack that now you're talking about getting an edge and all these little different things you might, if you especially if you're focusing on a really hairy problem that you're worried about, or fearful about saying those things out loud, could actually help as well.

Charles Knight:

I think the way that I I communicate that to people in my talk is embracing vulnerability, which is exactly that it's voicing your fears and a calm voice. And here's the key to people that are worthy of your vulnerability. It's kind of goes back to a book called daring greatly by Renee Brown, which changed my life. It's all about vulnerability and shame, and how I believe vulnerability is an underrated leadership skill. And because I do think it takes practice, but it's exactly that. And it's like, having a safe place to communicate a fear to your team lead, for example, is probably the best thing that could happen that we go for just being able to talk about it openly.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah. Or say it into the voice memo app on your phone and read the transcription later, something like you can work up to it, especially if you're like new in your job, or you're in a high stakes situation. Have

that safe environment.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, for sure. I like that.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, we don't rise to the occasion, we fall to our greatest level of preparation as humans. So I think that just counts, you'll get a tenfold return on any minutes that you invest in that level of preparation.

Charles Knight:

Do you have any thoughts on tips for people to overcome? Fear anxiety?

Igor Geyfman:

There's two that come to mind. I think one of them we talked about Charles, when he initially introduced me to fear setting. It's also a way to sometimes get free coffee. Do you remember what we

talked about?

Charles Knight:

vaguely, I think Yeah.

Igor Geyfman:

Yeah. It was like it was the same vein of trying to put yourself into a uncomfortable situation. And asking for like, Yes, yeah, at Starbucks. And that's an uncomfortable conversation, right? We're not used to haggling, especially over coffee. There's a menu, there's a price on the menu, the employee behind the counter really doesn't have that much agency over that. And asking for something is not comfortable, especially if you think you're going to hear a no. So it's almost like

Robert Greiner:

every Starbucks gives away more than one cup of coffee for free every day. So it happens.

Igor Geyfman:

So that's why can't. And so just to share that training to hear no, but that I think that's a core rejection for a lot of people, rather for a lot of people because we're social beings. And rejection is a anti social signal. Yeah, I thought that was interesting. putting yourself in even small situations where there's a bit of anxiety, but a fear helps prepare you to face other things maybe better, far more consequential. I totally agree. I

Charles Knight:

there was another coffee shop related one that is appropriate to share. I can't remember why I heard of this one. But going into a coffee shop and just finding a spot on the ground to lay down on the ground. And

Robert Greiner:

I'm 100% not doing that.

Charles Knight:

exactly yeah, most people have this.

Robert Greiner:

She just seems dumb. Like you do you think it's gonna give you a profound there's a lot of people inside about

yourself,

Charles Knight:

Robert, go try it. And tell me about the fear that you feel and doing. Some people are like, Hey, I'm afraid that they're going to call the cops on me. I'm going to get thrown in jail.

Robert Greiner:

get

sick with the other germs or floor.

Charles Knight:

People are gonna think that I'm an idiot. Because that I think that's probably the most fear that's connected to what you said, Igor, right around the social judgment. What does that weirdo doing? Why are they on the floor? And yeah, walk into a coffee shop, lay down. Don't say anything. somebody tries to talk to you just ignore them for a few seconds. You just need to do a 30 seconds. And that.

Robert Greiner:

That seems silly.

Charles Knight:

It is. But it is also an example of something small that you can do that, I think can help you inoculate yourself against fear and triggering that fight flight or freeze in us. That happens at a smaller scale.

Robert Greiner:

Is that a thing? For real?

Charles Knight:

Yeah, yeah.

Igor Geyfman:

Maybe bring a sanitized Get Robert. So that way you're only confronting social fears.

Charles Knight:

I think Robert's feeling fear. And and I think his compensation is to just say that it's silly. And to poopoo it. That's my guess.

Igor Geyfman:

And it's embarrassing. Yeah. Right. Like it's not something that that's probably something he might have done when you're a little kid throwing a fit, because

Charles Knight:

don't get you a triple mocha, nonfat latte thing, right? Yes, the pink drink at Starbucks, whatever that thing is called,

Robert Greiner:

I guess where my objection is. That is what's the point, like all that. And maybe I'm just blind on this. Everything we've talked about up until now, personally and professionally as a means, right? Like, there's a reason to, if you're afraid of dogs to go put forth the effort, hopefully to at some point, not be afraid of dogs, or face a difficult career challenge. Right? Those things have these tangible outcomes, like they're in pursuit of something like what's the point of going into a coffee shop and laying on the floor, I guess that's what I don't get the practicality of it.

Charles Knight:

For me, the way that I talk about it in the way that it was impactful for me is that it highlighted really clearly the imagined danger, piece of fear. Because you're not going to get thrown in jail, you're not doing anything wrong, and people aren't gonna say they might think that you're weird, they're not going to approach you. Because they probably think you're crazy. And that if they talk to you, or they try to touch you or remove you that you'll freak out, but they're just as afraid of you as you are of them. It really highlights the how we are, oh, there's a quote by Seneca that applies here. Like we we are more often caught up in the fear itself, as opposed to the thing itself. What is that quote? That's so terrible? Oh, we suffer more from the imagination than from reality. So we can if we were to actually do this thing, we would get so wrapped up about Oh, how would we do it? What would people think of me? It's a, what's it gonna be like? And most people just never do those things. Like when they're confronted with a decision or a situation, it's a proxy to put you into this place where it's like, oh, yeah, I'd never do that. That's stupid. But if you were to actually do it be like, Oh, I see. It wasn't bad at all. Nothing happened. And in fact, I had a great conversation with somebody after the fact because they did it too. Like, it's just a way to get people through the barrier that is erected when we feel fear. And to see that it, it's not all that bad on the other side. And if I could do that, maybe I can handle the presentation tomorrow. You know, it's, it's a practice, I'm going to say equivalent to like doing a repetition. What's the value of doing a repetition. It's like you do enough of them, and you increase the work done, you can get stronger.

I didn't get

Robert Greiner:

That's funny. You went to public speaking, I was thinking the same thing. Like, maybe it would help with being in front of a crowd that Yeah, or something? Yeah, I'm not gonna do it. So now you can do let me know how it goes.

Charles Knight:

I have done it.

Robert Greiner:

Oh, yeah,

Igor Geyfman:

I haven't done it. But I would do it.

Robert Greiner:

Did it change your life, Charles?

Charles Knight:

It did. It

was very illuminating. To me. That's part of why I speak about this, at least within our firm.

Robert Greiner:

Alright, man,

Igor Geyfman:

that reminds me of this video. It's the dancing guy from the Sasquatch festival. And if you guys saw us about 10 years old, this point, but basically, it's it's this guy, and he's just dancing on his own, just not a care in the world. And but it's pretty embarrassing to dance by yourself when it's empty. But over time, you can see this like infection that happens, one person joins in, and then seems like the whole festival is dancing. There's also something infectious about people doing uncomfortable things and encouraging others to do

that.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, but maybe I'll leave y'all with this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. So she says you gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stopped to look fear in the face. And then later on in the quote, she says, You must do the thing you think you cannot do? So Robert, if laying down in a coffee shop, doesn't make you feel fear, go and ask for that discount or find something that will make you feel a little bit of fear and then go do it. I guess that's the

Robert Greiner:

Yes. That's definitely Yeah. And I think all you have to do is ask yourself, and and the answers will come pretty fast. Sure.

Charles Knight:

Alright guys. Thanks for the chat. enjoy talking about fear.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, glad we could do this. Igor. Thanks for spending some of your vacation time with us.

Igor Geyfman:

I love it. I wouldn't miss recording with y'all. Sorry, my. My audio is a little potato quality. We'll chalk it up to California vibes.

Charles Knight:

yeah, no. Robert will fix you up man. Don't worry about it.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, I'm gonna try my hardest.

Charles Knight:

Alright, guys.

Igor Geyfman:

See ya.

Robert Greiner:

That's it for today. Thanks for joining. And don't forget to follow us on [email protected] or drop us a line at [email protected]

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About the Podcast

Wanna Grab Coffee?
Join us for weekly discussions about careers, leadership, and balancing work and life.
A podcast about all of the topics we discuss during our mid-day coffee breaks. We bring you stories, thoughts, and ideas around life as a professional, leadership concepts, and work/life balance. We view career and leadership development as a practice that spans decades and we are excited to go on this journey with you.