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F&S: Fear and Risk

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. -Dwight D Eisenhower

It has been whispered in certain circles that I tend to jump first and look later. As a Virgo you’d think I would stand back and take notes and make a list before I leap. And I do, but I also have too much of my parent’s genes not to jump when things look good. Dangle a shiny carrot in front of me and I am so there.

With other things, however, I’m a bit more reserved. If it means sticking my neck out, getting rejected or walking down an unknown path, I tend to hold back. When I’m having a hormonal day like I wrote about last week, I start thinking about everything I could be doing and why I’m not doing it. For me, it comes down to one thing: Fear. Fear to walk down that hallway and open door #3 not knowing if I’ll get a car or a lifetime supply of car wax. Fear of rejection or being told what I have to offer isn’t good enough. You get the idea – we wouldn’t be human either if fear didn’t hold us back.

My husband has recently gone back to school for project management and one of the concepts he’s been learning about is Risk Management. According to Wikipedia, risk management is the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events. In English this means identifying what could go wrong and minimize that event and have a backup plan.

From what I could glean from Wikipedia, the methods of assessing risk are:

1. identify, characterize, and assess threats

2. assess the vulnerability of critical assets to specific threats

3. determine the risk (i.e. the expected consequences of specific types of attacks on specific assets)

4. identify ways to reduce those risks

5. prioritize risk reduction measures based on a strategy

Think about all the ways you can use this assessment in your everyday life. When I’m mulling over something big I sit down and make a list of what it is I want, the fears I have and how I can address those fears. This helps to reduce the “what ifs”, gives me a backup plan and makes me feel more prepared so I can jump.

The reason behind all this corporate talk is because this week on A Closer Look Radio, Pam is going to address these issues. On Tuesday the fabulous Dr. Susan Bartell will discuss how fear holds us back and what we can do overcome osbtacles. On Thursday’s show business expert Norris Beren will talk about how to apply risk management strategies to our own lives and business.

This is good stuff we can all use to get beyond our fears and start making plans for the future.

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About Anna Alexander

I am a freelance writer and producer living in the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I live with our cat Grendel who lets us pay his mortgage.

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