RAB Research Archive

Triskaidekaphobia



Happy Friday the 13th! For some, this is just another day. For others, it's a day that can cause fear, uncertainty, anxiety or even panic. The clinical term is triskaidekaphobia – or the fear of the number 13.

Motivational speaker Les Brown instructs his audience, "Raise your hand if you've ever come up with an idea to do something, and before you could take one step towards it, you – yes YOU – talked yourself out of it?" You've done it, I've done it… quite recently, in fact.

My dad was an expert at "do-it-yourself" home improvement projects. Growing up, I frequently made trips to the hardware store or lumberyard with Dad for supplies for his latest project. I was in awe of his ability to take a vision for a project and turn it into reality. A gazebo out by the pool, a new deck or a bathroom suite in the basement, there seemed to be no limits as to what Dad could accomplish.

It wasn't until a few years ago when my wife Carolyn wanted a new bathroom in our basement that I attempted to do what my dad had been able to accomplish. Why? Fear. I was afraid there was no way I could do it as well as Dad. It was that fear that caused me to avoid home improvement projects. That meant hiring expensive contractors or simply not having the project completed.

Fear, according to dictionary.com, is defined as: "A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined." Fear actually changes our brain chemistry and organ function and ultimately a change in behavior such as running away, hiding or freezing. The Psychology Today website says, "Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger – if we didn't feel it, we couldn't protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But often we fear situations that are far from life or death, and thus we hang back or avoid things for no good reason."

What more would you do or be able to accomplish today if you didn't fear you'd fail? Would you make more prospect calls? Would you make larger presentations to bigger clients? In my experience, sales is not a life-or-death situation, and the fears we have when it comes to situations in sales are largely the types of fears we would refer to as irrational. They are fears that have no basis in reality or fears that hold us back from accomplishing so much more simply because we are hanging back or avoiding things of which we are afraid.

Ralph Waldo Emerson says, "Knowledge is the antidote to fear." My fear of doing the bathroom project was easily squashed by learning, reading and watching some videos on how to stud and drywall.

Is fear holding you back? Learn and/or find a guide to help you. There are more experienced sellers on your team right now who are willing to help you get past your irrational fears.

That's the thing about fear. Once you get past it, you'll be amazed at how motivating and liberating it can be. When you overcome your fear, you feel like nothing can stop you. Our next Sales Essentials class is coming up Tuesday. You can register for it here and eliminate some fears.

Tell someone right now what you're afraid of and see if they can't help you logically think it through. Then learn what you need to and push through it.

And happy Friday the 13th!

Jeff Schmidt is SVP-Professional Development at the Radio Advertising Bureau. You can reach Jeff at jeff.Schmidt@Rab.com or follow him on social media: Twitter, LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP of Professional Development, RAB





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