Fear is a human emotion that is triggered by a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism that signals our bodies to respond to danger with a fight or flight response. In today’s episode, host John Laurito talks about the concept of fear and how your surroundings affect how much you fear something. In the workplace, it is your job as a leader to empower your team to get out of their comfort zone and conquer whatever gives them fear or anxiety. You might not know it, but it might be what’s holding them back from their full potential.
[0:45] A quick riddle
[4:27] Our surroundings affect our ability to conquer fear
[6:36] Here’s today’s lesson…
John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership. What makes the best leaders so good? After running companies small and large over the last 20 years, today, I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito. I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leaders so good. Welcome to tomorrow’s leader.
John All right. Tomorrow’s leaders. Welcome to the show. Back again. Yes, I just did a whole episode and didn’t record it every once in a while that happens. So back again. Four, take two or maybe three. I don’t know. But All right. Let me start with a quick riddle. I know that’s why this massive audience tunes in to hear t his riddle. I do not have any answers, correct answers on the last couple of riddles, so keep guessing. Send me your guesses. Today’s riddle is I add 5 to 9 and get to. How is that? How is that possible? I add 5 to 9 and I get to. Tell me your answer. Tell me Your guess should be a text. Whatever. Carrier pigeon. Drop it off at my place. Whatever you want to do. Okay. Let’s get into today’s topic. Is it going to be a quick episode? But I just it’s so important and so powerful. And just just a quick story to set this up. I was doing virtual reality. If those of you have not done virtual reality, you have to do this. It is amazing. And I did this on my nieces, niece and nephew have I think it’s called Oculus. This set that you put on your on your head and you you operate it through the TV.
John I pretty sure it’s called Oculus. And I did this thing in my backyard. So I’m wearing this thing in my backyard. I’m I have a patio out there, nice, safe area. And I did it. For those of you who have this, you know what I’m talking about. There’s there’s a I don’t even know if you call it a game. I would even call it a game because it’s absolutely terrifying. But you walk into an elevator and it takes you all the way to the top of a building. You get out of the elevator and you walk on a plank of wood out over a skyscraper. Like what? Like how is that fun? How is that entertaining? Now, you’ve heard my past episodes. I’ve had some pretty scary stuff. I got to tell you, I was terrified. This thing is realistic. I could not take a step forward. And I, when I truly say was terrifying, you’re turning your head and you’re looking around. I mean, it’s literally like your first person. It’s as it says, virtual reality. You feel like you are on the top of a building, walking on a a plank of wood. And I know some of you are listening to this and you’re cringing because you’re envisioning it right now. Some of you have done it. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the scariest freaking thing I’ve ever. One of the scariest things I’ve done. It took me so long to finally get out and I couldn’t even go out all the way. But to take a step on this blanket, I’m walking on my back, I’m walking on my patio. There’s no risk. There’s no risk of injury, there’s no risk of dying. There’s no risk of anything. I’m not going to fall and I know it.
John My brain is telling me, okay, I’m in my patio. I had to keep reminding myself I’m on a safe, I’ve got a safe footing, I’m on my patio, I’ve got friends and family around me watching me, laughing at me. But I could not take a step. It was terrifying. One part of my brain is telling me the logic side. Okay, I can I’m I’m not safe area my patio. The other part is not allowing my body to move because of fear of falling off this imaginary plank and croaking. And it was amazing. I finally took the headset off and had to kind of steady myself in and you do at one point fall off. So you are truly feeling like you’re fallen off, but you’re not. Your body’s not moving. Terrifying. And there’s another game again, quote, game that that I’ve played with my kids where you’re in like a house and there’s this angry, angry man trying to kill you or an angry woman. There’s another scenario where an angry woman trying to kill you. It is terrifying. I mean, terrifying. So it’s interesting just when you think about fear, how how did this house surroundings affect our our fear, our ability to conquer fear. So here here I am in a very safe setting in my living room or I’m out on my back patio. Yet my surroundings have changed in a way where I am at the utmost of fear. If I’m watching somebody do it, I might even be watching on the TV screen and seeing what they’re seen. But it’s it’s much more comfortable surroundings. My fear level is not there because I’m watching it on a TV. I’m looking and I can see out of the corner of my eye friends, family, I can see the the sofa, I can see things.
John I realize, okay, I’m not actually on walking on a plank, but you know, that’s an extreme example. Take another example as some of you love scary movies. I love scary movies. My daughter loves scary movies. Skyler and I watch scary movies a lot and love it. But if you it’s one thing for me to watch a scary movie in a house with her or with some friends or whatnot, or in a movie theater. But if if I had to watch the same scary movie and I’m asking you this question, do the same scary movie in an old abandoned house that in the you had to watch it in the attic and this was supposedly a haunted house and then you had to sleep in the house. You were just by yourself. You had to watch the scary movie in this creepy attic of this house with no lights, no electricity, and you had to sleep there overnight. Would you be able to do that? Oh, well. Well, I don’t mind telling you. Nope. I’m going to tap out of that one. Not doing it. That would be like, okay, that’s a little extreme. Now it’s easy to watch the same exact movie. I’m watching the same exact thing, but my surroundings have changed, right? One makes it more comfortable, removes fear. The other heightens fear. Same exact movie, same script, same actors, everything. I can even watch it again and know what the ending is going to be. One evokes much more fear. One eliminates it or removes it or minimizes it. So here’s today’s lesson. Think about how you can do this, how you can apply it to your life. Think about how you can apply it to your your situation, your ability to overcome fears.
John And as a leader, that is one of the best things you can do as a leader is help your people, help your organization step out of their comfort zone by helping to change the surroundings. Have somebody instead of doing a difficult task. I had somebody teach a leadership course class for a group of people. Now, that’s a scary thing. If they’ve never done it before. It’s a scary, scary thing. And what made it a lot easier was this person did it with somebody else, which really and they did a fantastic job. But doing it with somebody else removes some of the fear that would have existed by just doing it yourself. Maybe the next time they do it just by themselves, but it’s a heck of a lot easier to do it. You’re changing your surroundings. If I had to do a presentation in front of one person or two people, that might be different than if I had to do in front of 2000. Again, it’s the same speech I may be giving, but the surroundings change. So pay attention to that. Be conscious of that the next time you’re facing an uncomfortable or difficult task with a high fear factor, then change. Think about how you can change your surroundings. Who else can you bring into the mix that might help make it a less fearful task, might help you do something you otherwise wouldn’t have done before. It’s why everything and whether it’s mental and emotional discomfort or fear, whether it’s pain, physical pain, working out, whatever it is, changing surroundings can make an enormous difference in your ability to do what otherwise would have been scary or frightful or unmanageable, mentally or physically or mentally or intellectually unmanageable. Now it changes the surroundings and it’s doable.
John Okay, so quick thought I wanted to leave that with you. Get the wheels turning. And of course, as always around that idea, I’m interested to see and hear what you do with this. So apply this. Think about what the people in your organization are, are held up by fear of something. Fear of change. Fear of the unknown. Fear of of of a new position, fear of new people, personality conflicts, whatever it might be. How you can apply this concept, change the environment, and all the sudden the fear is not as big of an obstacle.
John All right. As always, thanks for listening. Thanks for tuning in. You know the deal. Thumbs up like share, subscribe, go down below, give a five star review and I will see you next time. Take care.
John Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching, reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on!