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So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
Case studies from famous public shamings and insight into how the affect the psyche.
Great insights into public relations pickles and strategies; fascinating case studies and learnable warnings to always think before speaking... or tweeting.
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Motivation Monday: The “F” Word
There is a four letter word that starts with “F” that irks me to my core.
FEAR. Fear is a bully. It follows us like a shadow, keeping us from seeing clearly. It whispers lies in our ears “You can’t do that”, “You will get hurt”, “Don’t try, because if you try, you could fail”, “Think of all that can go wrong.” It feeds on comparison, leading us to view everyone else’s life in comparison to our own. We aren’t [insert celebrity or role model here], they are more capable than we are. We lack [insert characteristic or quality here], and we have a lot of [insert bad qualities and limitations here] so we are not adequate.
Don’t get me wrong, fear has its place. I’ve seen Inside Out. It keeps us from doing stupid things and from hurting ourselves. But it cannot be at the forefront of our every decision. Every day, countless people (myself included) choose to let dreams give way to fear. Whether it’s fear of asking for a promotion or raise at work, taking on a new project that seems out of your skill set, putting out feelers to interview for another job, networking with a higher-up in the company, or if it’s starting your own business, seeking new clients, pitching a new client, launching a new product, etc- we hold the power to determine how much weight fear holds.
Fear will always exist as a part of us but we have the choice of what we want to do with it. Do we want to put it in the driver’s seat, burying our heads in the sand because at least the ostrich never fails? Or can we use the fear to determine our weak spots and determine how to strengthen them?
There is a parable I grew up hearing in Sunday School about a very important business owner who delegates to his staff before taking a long trip. To one subordinate he gives five talents (a unit of money), to another two, and the other one, each according to their ability. The men with two and five talents invested them and were able to return to their boss four and ten talents. The man with one however was scared that he would lose the talent so he buried it. When the boss returned, he told him how he had kept his talent safe, anticipating that the bare minimum effort he had put forward would be enough to warrant his superior’s praise. To his dismay, the boss responded “That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest. Take the [talents] and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this ‘play-it-safe’ who won’t go out on a limb.” *
It may seem like unnecessary theatrics, but we have seen the evidence of risk equating to reward. We each have talents and abilities that we can choose to bury and keep safe for ourselves, or we can invest them in this world, taking chances knowing that we could fail, or we could succeed beyond our expectations. Take some time to think about what it is you most want to accomplish, and what you need to accomplish it. A S.W.O.T. Analysis can be a great way to start. Or do some quick research on a favorite success- Disney, Starbucks, JoJo Gaines (of HGTV’s Fixer Upper) , etc- and fuel your inspiration. We are so fortunate to live in a country that allows for such ample opportunity. Let’s get out there and make stuff happen!