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Hello, everyone, welcome to the Five Minute Podcast.
Today, I like to talk about how to reframe our fears and why I want to talk about this. Recently, I listened to a McKinsey podcast that was talking exactly about that the pandemic, with all disruption and how we handle and how we in some ways not control, but how we calm down. How do we reframe our fears? The first thing I want to say to you is that fear, fear of not delivering your project or fear of not delivering the value, promise or fear about the risks. This is all-natural. Every single human being has fears, because everything that is out of our full control, even things that we have full control, we fear, we fear, we fear because we fear failing in our projects. We fear because we want to be accepted, and we are not sure if our team is accepting us as, for example, a scrum master or fear of making the wrong decisions in this chaotic environment. Because in this environment, you need to make decisions right? And we fear making the wrong decisions. Most of the time, we would love to have a fully informed scenario to make decisions. We want to know everything, but in real life, this does not exist. We know pretty much nothing. And even with that, we need to decide and we fear making the wrong decisions that will impact our projects, our team members or stakeholders, our organization, our society and we as human beings, we fear not being prepared or not being ready for new things.
For example, every time someone shows a new methodology or new disruptive technology or a new social media or a new trend, the first thing that happened to us is fear. Will I be able to survive in this new environment? So all of this is absolutely a natural fact. But what I want to suggest is that you can reframe this and you can transform this fear into energy for you to move without the pain.
And let me give you my first advice is that work hard to shift fear to curiosity. Everything that is, I would say, completely fog and you cannot see well. Be curious to know more about that. Be curious to know more about different things. Open your mind to curiosity. For example, I spend a lot of time, a lot of personal time trying to learn different things. I love talking to people that work in absolutely different scenarios from myself. I have a lot of project managers as friends, but I need to be honest, most of my friends, barely know what I do for a living. But it's incredible because when I work with them when I talk with them when I have dinner, I feel the curiosity for other things to learn other things. So shift the fear of the unknown into curiosity to explore that as children do.
The second tip is one step at a time. These means don't try to make you know to define a single point in the future because there is a good chance that the future will not bring you to that exact point. You have a sense and a direction of journey, and then you adapt. You reframe, you evaluate. You move, you adapt again, you reframe, you evaluate, you move. And this is only one step at a time. Don't try to figure out, OK, what will happen in thirty-five years from now? Because you don't know. The President of the United States do not know the Pope, do not know and whoever you put on the 100 most influential people on the planet, they do not know either. It's just impossible. So one step at a time. So you know the sense of your journey. You know the sense of your project. As soon as you receive more information, you adapt. You reframe your revising. You evaluate. And this is natural. This is not something that should bring you to fear about changing. Imagine that you want to enjoy the journey the best you can.
The third one is to seek comfort by knowing that you are not able to control everything. I used to be a control freak, you know, trying to control everything, everything, and this is why twenty-something years ago, I join it, project management because you plan and then you do whatever you can to control that plan and make it happen, right? But today I learned that there is no perfect plan, there is no perfect route. You are not able because the variables are so big. The system is so complex that you need to know that you just need to live with this unknown. And the biggest skill you should have is not having fear, but having a strong capability to adapt. If the world moves one way you adapt. If the world moves another way you adapt. These will make you more prepared.
The fourth one is to work hard to distinguish what is a real fear and what is only part of your uncontrollable thoughts. You know, because many times there are really things that are real and that you should fear. For example, if you're walking in a forest and you see a snake course, you need to run or you need to find some ways of living. Otherwise, you will be in danger. We know that, but most of the time our worst enemy is our thoughts and we are not able to think and we start to jeopardize and become risks. And we become, you know, perceiving risks where they are just part of the life and we start increasing everything. It's like now with COVID and this, you know, everybody's thinking, Oh, it's over, it's game over. It's a big challenge, but we need to understand what is real, what is really something we should be concerned and what is just our thoughts. It's like when you wake up and you go on Instagram and you see someone waking up beautiful, gorgeous, handsome and then suddenly you start to realize that you are not so beautiful, you are not so handsome, and then you start thinking that you are ugly and then you end up thinking that you are the, you know, the ugliest person on Earth.
You know that, and it's not rational. So you need to understand all the time thinking what is real and what is in our minds. And I'm not telling this for you because I suffer this like pretty much all of us. So I work all the time because many times I start feeling fears that are not rational. They are not real, and I need to stop and try to reframe that, and trying to understand and transform this fear into curiosity, adapt myself into that.
And last but not least, I would suggest mindfulness. I struggle. I need to tell you, I do mindfulness for many years, but I struggle a lot with mindfulness because, you know, when you are a little bit more anxious, mindfulness becomes very challenging to stay 5, 10, 15 minutes just thinking. But it's an outstanding technique for you to calm down and practice calmness, to make the right decisions and to overcome and survive and thrive in this very disruptive environment we are living in.
So think about that. I hope you enjoy this podcast and see you next week with another Five Minutes Podcast.