When you do not act, it is probably because of some FEAR. Fear is the inability to face someone or something. When you cannot face an issue, it causes complexity and stress.
For example, if you cannot easily discuss money, you have money problems. Whenever you need to take financial action, you freeze. You end with less money.
If you are an employer and avoid staff problems, production statistics decline. Work becomes serious. Since no one resolves the staff problems, the problems persist while your business suffers.
Avoiding topics with your spouse is the most common reason for marriage problems. Hiding, withholding or suppressing your feelings and thoughts from your spouse is a giant leap toward divorce.
When fears control your life, L. Ron Hubbard points out you are controlled by shadows. If you reach out and take action despite your fears, you will discover how thin and weak the fears really are!
To illustrate this point, Ron wrote, "On Lake Tanganyika* the natives have a very interesting way of catching fish. There on the equator the sun shines straight down through the clear water. The natives take blocks of wood and string them along a long rope. They stretch this rope between two canoes and with these abreast begin to paddle towards the shoal** water. By the time they have reached the shoals, schools of fish are piled and crowded into the rocks and onto the beach. The blocks of wood on the rope make shadows which go all the way down to the bottom of the lake and the fish, seeing the approach of these shadows and the apparent solid bars which they form in the water, swim fearfully away from them and so are caught." (*Lake Tanganyika is located in east-central Africa.)(** Shoal: shallow.)
There are several ways you can blow away the shadows that stop you from succeeding.
One effective method is role playing or drilling. Once you identify the area you have difficulty confronting, you pretend to confront the situation in a role-playing exercise. Drilling allows you to discover which parts of the problem are really problems and which are simply shadows.
For example, you need to ask your boss for a raise. Before talking to him you practice the conversation with your friend. You work out some details, change your approach and work out your best possible presentation. Because you are prepared for the meeting, you are not as nervous.
Another method of reducing fear is to approach the problem with gradient steps. You cut the problem into small bites. You successfully deal with the small parts and thus reach a full resolution.
For example, you need to fill out your tax forms. You’ve done your own taxes before, but this year is more complicated. You earned money in new ways this year and also bought a house. Instead of trying to take on the entire task in one day, you spend one day just working out how to report the new income. You spend another day just figuring out how to deduct the house-buying costs. Pretty soon, you’re down to the routine tax work you’ve done before and finish off the job.
Simply talking about the fear can reduce the effects of fear. After you openly discuss it with someone who listens, the problem often feels less difficult.
For example, you are afraid of flying in an airplane. Your spouse agrees to listen to you and you spill your guts. You describe everything about flying that scares you. After a while, you decide you can fly.
L. Ron Hubbard discovered that talking and listening is a powerful form of therapy when done correctly. He spent years developing an entire technology for one-on-one communication that removes fears for good. See link below.
In many cases, the best approach to dealing with a fear is to close your eyes and jump in. You face the fear without any regard for your feelings and emotions. You might get nervous or even terrified, but once you take the leap, you discover the walls are merely shadows.
Confronting a fear can be tough, but the reward is enormous. Confronting just a small part of a fear is an accomplishment.
Succeeding despite a fear means you have done something you could not do before. And that is real success.