Fear grips all people at some time or another. It is an emotion placed within the body as a self-defense mechanism that warns of danger and heightens the senses that facilitate a fight or flight response.
In this way, fear is a good emotion for people to feel. As a guardian, fear serves to protect individuals from the dangers that approach them.
But fear can also serve to rob an individual of opportunity. When fear becomes an agent of paralyzing anxiety, it no longer serves to protect and can instead act as a thief, stealing a persons will to act.
Stark evidence of this claim that uncontrolled fear can rob a person of their ability to act can be seen in the annals of the Second World War. As Allied troops pushed further into Fortress Europe and continued their island hopping campaign in the South Pacific, a clear lesson on the danger of unbridled fear was quickly learned.
Returning GI’s and marines often spoke of the horror they felt when encountering enemy snipers. And while the fear these men felt after coming under fire from an enemy sniper was great, the veteran fighters understood that the best way to survive a sniper attack was to keep moving.
Most sniper rifles, even today, are bolt action operated; meaning that after the sniper fired a round they would have to work the bolt action to put another round in the chamber. This precious second that it took for trained snipers to reload their weapon and drawn a bead on their next target provided assaulting soldiers the opportunity to move safely from one point of cover to the next.
In this way, moving directly after the sniper fired, veteran soldiers and marines leapfrogged from one point of cover to the next until they were able to locate and eliminate the threat from the sniper. Those soldiers and marines who became paralyzed by fear, however, were not able to move from cover to cover and instead chose, or were forced by their fear, to stay behind the first cover they found.
In so doing, these men made a tragically fatal mistake as they became easy targets for the unseen enemy sniper to pick off and destroy. Fear, then, drove some to advance and live while it drove some to stay and perish.
Fear can Steal the Opportunity for Growth in a Business
The robbing power of fear should likewise be avoided in a company’s business decisions. In the fast paced and modern market, those businesses that remain stagnate wither away and die while those that continually strive to move forward have a better chance of success.
Right now, that means moving forward with an online presence. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, can lead a business’s website from the gutters of Google to the first page of a keyword search.
Likewise, social media is becoming an outright necessity for any business, big or small. But fear of these beneficial online practices, fear of maintaining them, and the fear that the investment to undertake an SEO or social media campaign is not worth the return results in fearful businesses that decay and wither.