I awoke today quite interested in what is going to happen today on the stock market. So many
 are concerned after reading articles and listening to the numerous negative news reports on TV. Magically (or really not so magically because what would one expect when fear is in the air?) the market has lost its footing and is beginning to tumble.

There is a definite lesson to be learned in all of this. It is one that is quite obvious to many, but I’m going to spell it out for my sanity/amusement. When fear becomes the principle guiding force in the economy, within the business world, within our families, or individually – a tailspin is inevitable.

To illustrate my point, I’m going to imagine I’m walking a tightrope across the grand canyon. Let’s say I
believe that the rope I am walking across is so stable & magical that there is no doubt I will make it across. I jump on and begin my journey to the other side. I’m so confident that I dare to dance my way across. I set my gaze on my destination and don’t have a single thought about the possibility of a fall. Half way through my journey, I’m elated at my progress. And then…a stranger standing below yells to me…”that’s not a magical, sturdy rope! It’s just an ordinary one that I can find at any old rope store!!” All of a sudden I realize the magnitude of what can happen if I lose balance. I buy into his negative talk/doubt and begin to teeter back and forth. Sweat pours from my brow and tears begin to form in the corner of my eyes. “I’m too young to die!” I whisper to the universe. I become certain I am going to fall…the rope begins to sway back and forth and the next thing I know I’m flying through the air toward the canyon floor.

I am not a stock expert, but I’m thinking it’s very possible that if last night we were told we gained a AAAAAA+++++++ credit rating (I know ratings don’t get that high…but I have to be a bit dramatic to make my point…so bear with me :-D)  the Dow Jones may reach new heights. Nothing has changed surrounding the companies that people invest in — our fears have just taken over.

Our economy is based on confidence. But how are we supposed to be confident when all we hear is how horrible everything is?

Likewise, on a personal level…how am I (or you) supposed to get anywhere when I don’t believe in what the universe has in store for me? Curling up in the corner and weeping isn’t going to get me anywhere. Fear brings our most monstrous nightmares to life. If you fear the loss of your relationship – you’ll probably do things to lose it. If you fear you’ll be poor, you just may…because you’ll probably freeze in your tracks and fret. If you are creative and fear that someone will steal your idea, you won’t do a darn thing…someone will release a similar idea into the market and you’ll be left saying “if only I were bold enough to make my dream come to life.”

When I look at the US and our amazingly challenged congress and decision makers, I see a group of men and women fearful of losing their jobs – thus their decisions are fear-based. The result is a sinking ship. I’m thinking that we must act out of truth and fearlessness to move ahead. If that means losing a job or risking security then so be it. At what point do we look beyond self-preservation and do something that will truly make a difference?

One day back in my college days, a buddy of mine listened to one of my fear-based rants, looked me in the eye with a fierceness I will never forget and uttered, “fuck fear, Jen….fuck fear!!” He snapped me out of my funk and we both laughed until tears came to our eyes. I’m not one to throw that four-letter word out into the air often; however, eleven years later when I begin to spiral into a fear based tailspin I repeat these words to wake myself up.

Fear is a part of our daily lives – our internal stock market is susceptible to instant crashes. Yet – it takes a second to put on our Superman/woman suits and force our stock back up. Moment by moment. Step by step…we can force fear out of our lives and replace it with confidence.

– Jen Engevik
Project BE Bold