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May 28, 2024

Why are we so much better at solving our friend’s problems than our own?  Well, one obvious reason is just that we think we are good at it.  When we offer our solution and send them off, we think to ourselves, “well, that’s handled."  

But, we would like to dive a bit deeper and postulate that in fact, it is easier to solve our friend’s problems, and that it is not just our faulty perception.  Why is that?  It has a lot to do with the relationship between fear and performance.  The higher and greater our fear is, the lower and less our performance will be, and vice versa.  We’ve never heard anyone ever say, I would have done a much better job, if only I was more nervous or frightened.  Fear reduces our performance.  

When we are giving our friend advice, we can often see their challenge with significantly less fear than if it was our challenge.  This creates clearer thinking and more creative problem solving.  So, the simple solution is just be less frightened.  Ha!  If it were that simple, none of us would ever be frightened.  So, what is the solution?  How can we be as good at helping ourselves as we are our friends?  That is a much longer answer than we have time for today.  Reducing fear is at the core of what we do with our clients at Workability.

For starters, acknowledging that you are frightened of whatever the thing is and that it is ok to be frightened about it, is usually an important first step.  Thinking there is something wrong with you for being frightened and beating yourself up about it, only makes things worse.  To go back to helping your friend: You wouldn't first berate them for being frightened and then offer a solution, but rather you would include their fear into your proposed solution.  We are often much nicer to our friends than we are to ourselves, which might also be responsible for why we are better at helping them.  

How different would your experience be if you treated yourself like you do your best friends when you’re helping them solve a problem?

To accepting fear

About US


Since 1978 Workability has been helping individuals and organizations integrate who they are with what they do. Our greatest performances, relationships, and contributions are dependent on our authentic expression of who we are.

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