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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Morrison-Williams

Ditch the F.E.A.R.



But the one that I like most is FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL. Because when we believe falsehoods and make them a part of our DNA, then it becomes a part of our belief system. And once there, it’s almost impossible to dislodge. This is why we must always question our belief system and make sure that what we believe has empirical data to substantiate it.

In high school, I was always told I had leadership potential. I didn’t have a clue what they were talking around. I didn’t particularly like being in charge, but I realized that my Type A personality allowed me to get things done and my peers would listen to what I had to say. By the time I graduated from high school at 16 (In Jamaica, we have a different system), I held several leadership roles and was even a Junior Camp Counselor at the YMCA. I’d no idea that a foundation had been laid.

I’ve worked in Education for more than 25 years. In college, my skills assessment said I should teach. My 20 year old self could not see that as my life path. With hindsight, I see my entire life has been a trajectory leading me to where I am today. It would take 9 years before that 20 year old College freshman landed in a college classroom full of fear and trepidation. But all those leadership roles in high school and college gave me the moxie to stand in front of a classroom as an industry expert. I’d been building on a foundation that I’d not even known I’d been laying.

leadership, management, success, training, growth, potential, assessment, #nofear #drsuespeaks

Ten years later, I’d risen to be a Regional VP of Academics over five campuses. By this time, I’d learned to always embrace opportunities because if I had the right attitude, then I could learn the required skills. My peers and managers kept pushing me to do more and take on more. I learned to manage the fear and embrace the challenge. Of course wanting to increase my earning potential had a lot to do with my enthusiasm for accepting an ever changing new normal. But that always inadvertently helped me realize that I needed to treat fear like a necessary commodity for growth. I’d learned to face my fear and overcome it.

From the time I took my first management role in my mid to late twenties, I learned there was nothing to fear because ONLY one of two things would or could happen: 1. I could succeed and have a feather in my cap,: or, 2. I could fail and need to go back to the drawing board and figure out what went wrong and

create a new plan or strategy to get to success. I learned that to fail was NOT the end of world. Hurtful to my pride? Yes! Embarrassing in front of my peers? Definitely. A resilience builder? Yes! And so I took my collections of successes and failures to create a blueprint of HOW to combat my fear. What I think was the BIGGEST asset to my growth are the people who were leading me when I did fail. I was not made to feel less than. Instead I was met with calm, quiet patience with a firm hand that I now needed to re-assess and then come back with a workable plan.

So my life experience taught me that fear really had no place in the permanent growth plan. It served its purpose because it made you know that this was serious and so you needed to act accordingly. Over the course of my management and leadership career to combat the negativity of fear, I created a 7 point fear assessment matrix.

1. What is the task and why do I fear it? 2. Is this similar to anything I’ve done before? 3. Do I have personal resources such as friends, coworkers or colleagues who can provide

me with data? 4. Do I have access to physical resources such as education and training? 5. What new will I learn? How will mastering this increase my skill sets? 6. What is the timeline this will involve?

7. Can I monetize this at my current or future jobs? I added this one in the last year as I

became a small business owner and had to figure out what skillsets I had and how could I

monetize them.

Once I’d gone through these 7 points and documented my findings. I found writing it down was better than having it roll around. I am a list maker - So having a list that ended with #thisisdefdoable, then I realized that #FEARISFUTILE because while this thing I could choose to fear would require work, time and effort to make the goal or task achievable. It WAS achievable; and, all that fear would do is sap my energy which I’d need to accomplish the goal.

So here’s my advice! 1. Ditch the fear 2. Use my fear assessment matrix 3. Then just hit the ground running 4. You may succeed right through the gate. Great! You may fail. That’s ok. You have 1 hour for a pity party. Then start the reassessment process. Keep what worked. Ditch what didn’t. Rinse and repeat. DRSUESPEAKS.COM

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Nov 30, 2019

Among other things, I will definitely remember these 2: "if I had the right attitude I could learn the required skills and "treat fear like a necessary commodity for growth". Thank you.


Sep 24, 2019

Brilliant post! I will share with my daughter who had just graduated from University.

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