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Pushing Past Fear

By Joey Havens

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Woman finger pushing domino of red fear word falling, isolated on white.

I bought CeCe a beautiful pink outfit for our anniversary which she packed and carried on our recent business trip to California. How do I know it was beautiful? She kept this one — ha!

When we returned home, she unpacks the new outfit — which she still had not worn — tags still attached. (This is not unusual as CeCe normally takes two to three outfits more than she needs on any given trip.)

“Oh No! My pink outfit is ruined and I have not even worn it yet. Look at this, something has bled all over this.”

It is easy to see, some darker color has faded all over the outfit. Yuk!

After researching as well as trying all of her home remedies, the stains remained on the outfit.

“CeCe, just take it back to the store and tell them what happened, I’m sure they will send it back to the manufacturer and get another one.”

“I can’t do that. I’m scared to do that plus this is my fault.”

“Surely, you can take it back to see what they suggest or will do?”

“No, that scares me to death. I will not do that.”

“Okay, I will take it back, I bought it.”

“No, I am not going to let you do that. I’m going to email the manufacturer.”

CeCe contacted the manufacturer who shared the proper way to store this outfit when you travel. They also indicated if the retailer will go back through their distributor, they will replace the dress.

“I still don’t think I can go up there and ask them to do this.”

“Yes you can, let’s role-play how you might start the conversation.”

After we practiced, CeCe agreed she was going to take the outfit back and ask for a replacement. You can see from the picture that all ended well, as the retailer contacted the manufacturer who made good on their commitment to replace the outfit.

There are two things we can learn from this experience.

One is how to pack certain items for travel in a suitcase. Ha!

The personal development lesson is how crippling fear can be on us to where we can’t see our options or even contemplate our next move. Fear makes us insecure and plays with our mind. We become locked on being embarrassed and we lose hope to growing fear. The more CeCe thought about taking the outfit back to the retailer the more fearful she became, and the more bad outcomes she imagined.

But then she took action. She took a small step by contacting the manufacturer. This started to remove her fear as the manufacturer understood why she was upset over the outfit.

Having the confidence the manufacturer would stand behind her, she started to build courage to ask the retailer for help. As we practiced how she could make the request and still own the fact that this was our mistake, her confidence grew. CeCe killed her fear with action. Small steps that added up to a big success.

Taking action, no matter how small when we are fearful, can lead to bigger action and better outcomes. Don’t let fear hold us back from our full potential.

Joey, pack this in your suitcase…..

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Together, we can inspire leaders and team members to trust, care and serve people in intentional ways that lead to high performance and magnetic culture. Thanks so much for being a regular beBetter team member. I will be drawing two beBetter subscribers every week until June 6th for a free signed copy of Leading with Significance.

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