C-Suite Network™

What Scares You?

“Sometimes, your imagination scares you. To assess your fears, check your unchecked thoughts.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

“… The thought of that scared me. My focus was on what others would think if I failed.” An executive manager of a major international corporation spoke those words. I suggested that he shift his paradigm from thinking about failure, and what others would think, to one more positive.

Have you ever considered what scares you? While you might be frightened of some things, they may be the doorway that leads to greater opportunities. There are things that you should shy away from. Therefore, I’m not suggesting you go head-first into everything that scares you. Instead, reflect on the benefits that might reside within your fears.

Consider the following thoughts when assessing how, whether, and when you should embrace things that frightened you.

Identify what scares you:

Before you can address your fears, you must identify them. You should also identify why you’re lending legitimacy to them. In identifying them, note their origins. Do they stem for a hurt you experienced in the not too distant past, or do they stem from some further hidden source? The better you are at identifying the source of what scares you, the better you’ll be at assembling a plan to deal with those fears.


While assessing the source of your fears, assess if it’s something that you should rightfully be afraid of. Fear can serve as a warning. Thus, there are some things that you should avoid. In your assessment, label what’s real and what’s imagined when it comes to what scares you.


When we were kids, we dealt with things that frightened us by using imaginary forces. We even created imaginary friends. The point is, we used our mind to help us live in the reality we wanted for ourselves. We can still use our mind for that purpose. When confronting what scares you, imagine what will happen when you overcome your fear by addressing the thing that scares you. Imagine you’re receiving accolades for doing so. Now, how does that make you feel? It should make you feel good. After all, you’re only imagining it, which means, you’re in complete control … as you are always.

You can find motivation from the above thoughts and allow them to move you to action. Or, you can choose not to address your fears. But If you’re serious about achieving greater success in life, you must commit to challenging the things that jeopardize that success, that which scares you. After making that commitment, your life will instantly be on a straighter road to success … and everything will be right with the world.

What does this have to do with negotiations?

When negotiating, the fears of adopting one position versus another may cause you angst. But if you’ve considered the unexpected offers that might occur beforehand you will have planned on how to address them. That should allay your fear.

Nevertheless, if you’re caught by a scary situation, don’t show it through any body language and/or nonverbal signals (e.g. mouth agape, widened eyes). You don’t want the other negotiator to sense his momentary advantage. Instead, go into quandary body language display mode (e.g. hand on chin head cocked to one side, or chin resting in hand and on side of face). This action will give you time to think, while the other negotiator wonders what you’re thinking about. If you display a cunning smile while doing so, you may evoke fear in him.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com 

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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