9 Ways to Brave a Scary New Year

by Bill Treasurer, author of Courage Goes to Work

Fear is running rampant, says Bill Treasurer, a courage-building coach to individuals and organizations, and author of "Courage Goes to Work." The good news? Courage isn't the absence of fear, asserts Treasurer, but the ability to carry on in its presence. Here he offers 9 ways to brave a scary '09 at work, home, and beyond.

Happy New Year! Or maybe not. The economy is in crisis, and experts agree the worst is yet to come. With daily headlines on bailouts, bankruptcies, and a broken-down job market, workers everywhere are bracing themselves for 2009--afraid for what's next. There are no quick fixes for fear; still, some small changes can make a big difference in how you think, feel, and function.

Fear is running rampant, says Bill Treasurer, a courage-building coach to individuals and organizations, and author of "Courage Goes to Work" The good news? Courage isn't the absence of fear, asserts Treasurer, but the ability to carry on in its presence. Here he offers 9 ways to brave a scary '09 at work, home, and beyond:

 

1. Resist playing it safe.

Treasurer's tip: Ditch the herd. While everyone else is hunkering down on the job, you can stand up and stand out--getting noticed for your talent and contributions.

2. Skip the pity party.

Treasurer's tip: It's tempting to commiserate with family, friends, and co-workers. Don't do it. It will stoke your fears and shake your confidence even more.

3. Form a posse.

Treasurer's tip: Create an inner circle--a small support group, or even one other person, who you can trust and turn to when the going gets rough. Take turns injecting a daily dose of hope and optimism.



4. Grow your skills.

Treasurer's tip: Expanding your capabilities is the best way to bolster your job security and boost your marketability. Invest in yourself, even if your company isn't.

5. Think big.

Treasurer's tip: Pick one major action that you want to achieve in the New Year--the bigger, the better. Break it down into little steps and get started.

6. Take a break.

Treasurer's tip: This is not the year to skip or stockpile vacation days. Use what you've got on the books to rest, relax, and recharge. You'll return to work less stressed and more productive.

7. Try something new.

Treasurer's tip: Give fear a productive outlet and be adventurous in your downtime. Try a fun, new sport or activity--something you've always wanted to do, but were apprehensive or afraid.

8. Do good.

Treasurer's tip: Find a charity or cause that really resonates and give the gift of your time. You'll do good--and feel good.

9. Get ready for the rebound.

Treasurer's tip: The economic clouds will lift--they always do--so plan now for brighter days ahead. Start thinking about where you are and where you want to be--and how to close the gap.

Copyright 2008 Bill Treasurer. All rights reserved.

Bill Treasurer is author of "Courage Goes to Work" (Berrett-Koehler, October 2008, $26.95) and founder and CEO of Giant Leap Consulting, a national training company with clients ranging from NASA to SPANX. Before launching his business career --and despite a lifelong fear of heights-- he was a member of the U.S. High Diving Team, performing some 1,500 high dives (often as the fire-diving "Captain Inferno") into waters 100 feet below.

 

 
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