Professional Development

Insights from Chief Mastermind Jack Kelly

I call it the “F” word: fear.

We let it prevent us from doing things. Of course, fear is a necessary emotion. Otherwise, we might jump off a cliff without a parachute.

Fear can develop due to an experience or what our family, friends, or parents tells us to fear. Left unchecked, it can become irrational… and even worse, we become good at justifying it.

Facing Our Fear

This past week I had to face fear with my family. We had been invited by my cousin to spend the 4th of July at Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountains. Seven years ago, we were in a rollover accident with another car on the way down from Lake Arrowhead. We survived without any permanent damage, but we have not been back since.

Even though I drove up and down that hill for 30 years without incident, this was the first time with my family since the accident. The road is winding and goes up the side of the mountain. My whole family had some fears about doing it, yet we decided together to face our fears.

5 Questions to Help You Overcome Your Fear

We make decisions all the time – both consciously and unconsciously. My challenge to you as a sales professional, whether a leader or producer, is to make them consciously. When faced with a decision where fear may be playing an important role, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Am I making this decision based on fear?
  2. What are the potential outcomes, both positive and negative, for me? For my company? For my family?
  3. What are the possible alternatives?
  4. How will I measure the success or failure of this decision?
  5. Am I willing to own the outcomes and not make excuses?

If you ask yourself these questions before making a decision, you can identify and address your fears head on. Otherwise, you are likely to make an impulsive decision to protect yourself from your fear.

What Are You Scared of?

In my situation, we were scared about having another accident. But it was an irrational fear. We drive every day in crazier traffic than we ever face on the mountain. Also, I have a body of over 100 trips up and down the mountain to support our decision to go.

What about your situation? Are you are scared to pick up the phone? Scared to ask for someone’s budget? Scared to ask for someone to commit to a timeline?

The worst thing that can happen is they say no, or they don’t pick up the phone. Big deal. Unfortunately, I see these fears drive poor decision-making and performance from sales professionals every day.

It’s often said that the best athletes have the shortest memory when it comes to failure: next shot, next pitch, next swing.

Make a decision to overcome your fears! Ask yourself the 5 Questions to ensure fear is not holding you back from success.

Facing Your Fears

Jack founded the Corlea Group in early 2009 with his first client coming on board in January of that year. Jack loves to coach. He coaches his clients and he helps coach his kid’s teams – it’s his passion and has been for over 25 years as a professional, father and volunteer. Why? Because he likes to help a team succeed.


Mastermind Insights