I went golfing yesterday and got paired up with three good players who I know slightly. I’m mediocre. It was daunting. And I started out terribly. For the first four holes my play was worse than in a long time. So on top of all my swing thoughts and notes to self about how to play I started analyzing my thought pattern and what else might be impeding my game. I came upon Fear of Shame.
Essentially I was worried that my golf shot would suck and I would be embarrassed. Worried about embarrassment = Fear of Shame.
In my business development coaching practice two of the most frequent hurdles I hear about are how to get over the reluctance to contact a centre of influence initially and how to follow up with people who haven’t responded. It seems to me these hurdles exist for the same reasons that my golf sucked yesterday. Fear of Shame.
Generally, people who market themselves for a living fear rejection. Actually anyone who is selling anything fears rejection. I just think it’s a little worse when you’re the product. And what is rejection. It’s embarrassment leading to a feeling of shame. People hate that feeling and their nature is to avoid it. I know people who don’t get back to me would get back to Brad Pitt if he was calling so my shame is a relative thing. I’m not as important as Brad Pitt [or as good looking], so I get less rewarded and feel less well about myself. Shame.
What to do?
Back to my golf game. I hit rock bottom on the third hole. I couldn’t have been playing worse. The fourth hole was no better. But I persevered. Kept going. Kept swinging. And on the fifth hole I hit a good shot which pumped me up. I started playing better and was my mediocre self for the rest of the round. Good enough.
It was easy for me to persevere. All I had to do was stay there and keep swinging. And it’s the same for my clients. I help them work out something they can easily do [I call it a baby step]. The smaller it is the more likely it will get done.