Leadership Recruitment for Series A/B/C and PE Firms

The Free Agent Podcast

with Beau Billington

The Free Agent- Fear and Entrepreneurship with Dr. Yishai Barkhordani, PhD

Host of “The Business Couch with Dr. Yishai” podcast, and Adaptability Coach and Consultant to entrepreneurs, leaders, and their businesses
Posted 3 years ago


Episode Summary

What is it? Why does it exist? Of course it goes back to the dawn of time with humans. We’ll get into all that but it’s one of those emotions where I think most people would be happy if it didn’t exist. Dr. Yishai is a psychologist, adaptability hacker, host of “The Business Couch with Dr. Yishai” podcast, and Adaptability Coach and Consultant to entrepreneurs, leaders, and their businesses. Dr. Yishai’s background, experience, and expertise in psychology has provided him with a rare window into the human side of business. As Chief Adaptability Officer, executive coach, and speaker, Dr. Yishai leverages his deep psychological training and experience to help entrepreneurs and business leaders to transform challenges and exhaustion into energy, excitement, and excellence -for themselves and their businesses. Dr. Yishai applies his passion for what he calls “adaptability-hacking” to understand and harness the psychology and unique way that humans adapt to survive and thrive to create simple, applicable tools to increase your ability to adapt in virtually any situation. What if… you could effortlessly sense what is incoming and adapt rapidly? Disclaimer: Dr Yishai is a psychologist but not your psychologist, so do your own research before using anything Dr. Yishai shares.


Podcast Episode 8 Host: Beau Billington Guest: Dr. Yishai Beau 00:12 Hey Everybody, Beau Billington here with the Free Agent’s Podcast. Thanks so much for joining Dr. Yishai and I appreciate you being here with us. Dr. Yishai 00:21 Yeah, my pleasure. I am really excited to be here. I’m honored to be here and I’m really excited about the topic. Beau 00:27 So the topic to me is very interesting and near and dear and the topic is fear, right? What is it? Why does it exist? Of course it goes back to the dawn of time with humans. We’ll get into all that but it’s one of those emotions where I think most people would be happy if it didn’t exist. Waking up you’ve got something that’s pending out there and you’ve got this anxiety in your stomach it’s building and to me that’s fear. Maybe it’s a different emotion we’ll get into that but it’s prevalent unless you’re a psychopath, right? We all have it. How do we deal with it? So anyways, prior to kind of jumping into that, let’s learn a little bit more about who you are and what you do? Dr. Yishai 01:08 My name is Yishai Barkhordari. I go by Dr. Yishai. I’m a licensed psychologist and adaptability hacker and expert, executive coaching consultant and I also am a speaker and I’m a podcast host of the business catcher, Dr. Yishai. Beau 01:24 Sounds busy, the offices from a sheer psychology perspective, are there any specific areas in which you enjoy the most or spend the most of your time? Dr. Yishai 01:34 Yeah, so I really dial in. And I’m really attuned and focused on the kind of subtle and nuanced aspects of our mindset, how we think and react and adaptability, which is really about how our brain, the human brain, is uniquely designed to help us shift and pivot to protect us and help us to really thrive. I mean, one of my passions really is being a psychologist, and I love to supervise other clinicians. I love working with patients, I really also enjoy that work, I love working with couples and parents on parenting issues, and also life transitions. But another passion of mine, which is really something I’ve been digging into a lot more, is helping entrepreneurs and leaders who really want to level up answer the following question, how is psychology affecting my business? How is it affecting me? And how can I harness it to grow? And really, for me, I focused on helping passionate successful entrepreneurs and leaders make adaptability their superpower to level up and thrive. Beau 02:27 Now I love that I think it’s super relevant for today. Because again, fear is not going away. So how do we harness that? In our day to day lives? That was just fantastic. And you mentioned a few moments ago, so develop parenting and so there’s some news that you’re a recent parent, right? Dr. Yishai 02:40 Yeah. Thank you so much. Yeah, I had a baby girl, Sarah, and she was born at the end of May. And so I’ve been going through a lot of those transitions as a parent and working through a lot of stuff. I mean, I had a lot of fears before some of them were already coming to pass. And I’m working through them. And you know, some of them, I’m sure, are really teed up. They’re lined up. Beau 03:01 We’ll just wait. Once you get to the end of the chapter and you spell this fear subside, a new one begins. So you got a lot of joy ahead of you, so awesome. Well, it’s kind of getting a little bit to your background. So how’d you get the psychology and how do you personally view fear? Dr. Yishai 03:17 Yeah, thank you. So the first thing I wanted to start with, I was actually born a sensitive kid. And whether it’s genetic, or there’s an environmental piece, or is a little bit of both, what I really came to recognize and realize is how much my body and brain has really big reactions. And I’m not talking about just like, when something really big happens. I mean, in my childhood, when I was growing up, almost anything that happened really led to this massive, huge reaction and response in my body and brain. A really good example of that one that sticks in my mind and I think was a very big driver for me, is that when I was about seven years old, I was playing on a pool table with a bunch of friends that we didn’t really know how to play pool. So we weren’t like using the sticks and hitting the balls, we were just kind of throwing them around, or rolling them around. Beau 04:06 It was more fun than the pool itself. Dr. Yishai 04:07 So yeah, certainly, as a seven year old, we were just like messing around. And I didn’t realize that I was really into it and watching and being part of it. And so I was slowly walking up to the table. And then I curled my hands over the edge of the table. And my brother who was there at the time, he chucked the ball across the table, and it smacked my hands so hard, you kind of heard, and I had that, anybody who hears that and knows what that might be like, it’s like a cringy feeling like I was in that moment. What happened inside of me was an explosion of reactions. I was in pain and angry. And what I did immediately was I grabbed the ball, and I chucked it so hard, straight at my brother’s head, that it tore a two foot crater through the wall behind him. And I was lucky because his head got out of the way and in that moment, I had another massive explosion of emotions. I was petrified, afraid, because my brother is actually a bigger guy than me. And at the time, and he’s a year older than me, he was eight and I was seven, and he’d already gotten into a spurt. It’s huge. I mean, he was so much bigger than me. And our relationship at the time was very contentious. And like, he didn’t have any issues with wailing on me. Not that it happened all that often. But, I was so afraid. And then I was still so angry and in so much pain, and I was scared. And I was also so ashamed. Beau 05:35 Right. Dr. Yishai 05:35 And so I tore out of the room. There were tears streaming down my face, adrenaline coursing through my veins, and I went and I hid for hours. So long, in fact, that this by the way, was on a Saturday, which for me, I’m orthodox, Jewish, it was the Sabbath. So we don’t use our phones. We don’t use electronics, we don’t travel. But I was hiding for so long that they called the cops and they called my parents and everybody showed up, like in their cars, which is also like a big no, no. And they only do that when there’s some kind of life threatening danger. So for me, it was just this massive explosion. And at that time, I was sitting there hiding, like shame, crying and ugly, crying and trying so hard to be silent. I realized in that moment, one thing that happened to me is I said to myself, that my emotions are dangerous, that they hurt me and hurt people around me. And I swore to myself that I would never let them do that again. Now that led into a lifelong journey. And the question was, how did I get into psychology, right? Beau 06:29 So you just locked your emotions up. Dr. Yishai 06:31 For years, like over the next decade, I spent all of my time and energy, learning how to lock it up how to put it down, I used to have this image of putting it into like a giant box or coffin, chaining it up and dropping it into the bottom of the deepest crevice in the ocean in the sea. And that was an image that I used to try to help me do that. Now, where that led me really into a deep depression actually got me stuck. And I didn’t realize it at the time. But what ended up happening was it really was the beginning of this journey. And what happened in high school, when I became really depressed, I was really struggling with that, and it’s really stuck, was also part of that journey to realizing and learning and understanding. What are emotions? Why do they show up? And how do I deal with it because everything that I did, I didn’t have the option because I was a sensitive kid, I didn’t have the option of just trying to make it go away. I tried it, it didn’t work, it failed miserably. And so for me, that’s really what took me deep into it. And it really took over 25 years, decades of schooling, both for my bachelor’s, my master’s, and also for my PhD, and also my personal therapy to really figure it out. Why do we have emotions? What are they? And for me now, the way I view fear is that fear is my companion, it’s like a loyal watchdog. It’s a really, really good friend of mine in the sense. It shows up and barks. It raises its hackles when it senses danger or potential danger. Now, it used to hold me back. And really what it does for me now at this point in my life is it actually helps me focus, prepare and really ensure that I’m mitigating risk, reducing the likelihood that some outcome is going to be disastrous, and helps make sure that I stay on track to accomplish my mission and achieve my dreams. Now, that might not sound like the thing that I fear is going to do for most people the way most people experience it, which to me is why it’s so exciting to talk about something like this. Beau 08:29 It’s funny, you mentioned that. So at the onset of the call, of course, I said, “Hey, fear we needed to go away”. Like I don’t like having a fear of the stomach, I can’t stand it. In fact, I kind of went through a similar situation, I’m trying to try to find myself and I tried to suppress fear. Around the time that I started my organization, my company, not because fear held me back from starting it, I wanted to start four years prior. And so for me, I kind of attached negativity, with fear, because it held me back in my journey in really what I wanted to do in life, which is be an entrepreneur. And so it’s funny. So the next question I have and specifically fear is a positive or negative emotion. And again, I’ve always thought of it as this very negative emotion that I want to be devoid of getting rid of at all costs. It seems like somehow you flip the script, and you look at it more positively and that’s fantastic. Dr. Yishai 09:21 Yeah, thank you. I just wanted to point out one thing, and I think it’s really common, and we learned this from the people around us, is that a lot of people pin on fear, on their emotion. The way that they handle or respond to it, meaning the behaviors that we engage in, we put all the responsibility for those behaviors on the emotion itself. So we say things like, and we hear it all the time, fear holds me back or fear is holding me back. We say this about all kinds of emotions. And I’m going to stay focused on fear here, but we say the same thing, right? You made me mad and my anger made me do this thing. Or we say about so many different ways that we experience the world and I think it’s really important and necessary even to separate and split out between an emotion and a behavior. Because they’re very different. So let’s talk about positive or negative. So a lot of people think and categorize emotions, positive and negative. And there’s a lot of judgment, there’s a lot of connotation there. Yeah, we hear about it that way, as well. A lot of people think and when we talk about emotion as being a negative emotion, what we hear in the way our brain processes it is that it’s a bad emotion, it’s an undesirable one, it’s one that we could, if we were able to surgically remove it from our brain from our thought process from our emotion system. Beau 10:38 And sort of, like to me any emotion outside of happiness is negative. I mean, I’ve literally been a flat person, I’m not happy, I’m not negative, I’m just right here. But anytime I feel fear or anxiety, it’s like, “Oh, I can’t stand it.” Dr. Yishai 10:54 Yeah, and the way I think about it is on a different axis that it’s neither good nor bad. It has, like every emotion, I like to talk about the three P’s, emotions show up under specific parameters. Meaning they’re not random. We are not afraid when we are in a space and an environment, and we’re working on something and we anticipate that it’s going to be safe, that it’s going to go well, that everything’s lined up, we don’t feel afraid, we don’t feel angry when somebody orders our favorite meal, and it shows up at our doorstep, we don’t. We don’t feel angry, when someone gets us a gift, the thing we’ve been eyeing for months, or maybe years, we don’t get angry, we feel happy or excited, we feel other emotions. So they have parameters. The second thing is emotions are actually a prediction system. Our emotions are a system in our brain that’s designed to help us anticipate or predict what’s going to happen or what’s about to happen. And then the third P of this like three P framework that I have for our emotion system is that its job is to help us. So we’re going to edit this. Beau 12:13 The third P no worse. Dr. Yishai 12:16 The third P is that it’s really there for a purpose, and the purpose of fear. And we’re gonna talk about different kinds of fear, the purpose of fear is really to point out to make sure that we become aware there’s potential danger, that we direct our attention. And we do some analysis, we figure out and determine what is the nature of that danger, the source of that danger, how can that danger come to pass, and then for us to create a new action or action plan and implement that so that we reduce that possibility? Now, does that sound negative to you? To me, that sounds like it’s really purposeful, really functional, really useful, if you know how to use it. Now, to be fair, and I think to be, it’s really important to say I don’t say that fear is a wonderful emotion, we should all enjoy it and lean into it. Instead, I say fear can be incredibly uncomfortable, downright miserable, and an uncomfortable emotion is very different than a negative one. And that’s why I don’t think any emotions are negative, I think they can be really uncomfortable. They are all, every single one of them is purposeful. And that to me is really the core of it. That’s what gets me so juiced up and excited about it. Because when I experience fear, it’s actually my brain working really hard and doing a good job most frequently is doing a good job at helping me point out and notice and pay attention to and then divert resources, energy effort, and really divert the resources to ensuring that something goes well. Beau 13:52 I think that’s a thought provoking response. And my next question was going to be around whether or not fear was a relevant emotion. And so I think what most people think fear myself included, you think about the caveman fight or flight there’s literally saber-toothed Tigers that are out there, and there’s a fear associated with them, because there shouldn’t be. And so when I think of fear, I think back to the 20/ 30,000 years ago, today, it’s this emotion that’s no longer relevant. That has just been kind of some baggage that we’ve carried along the way and listening to you talk leads me to think that it’s highly relevant. And it’s totally acceptable to embrace fear and even leverage it in a certain way. And in a point you brought up a minute ago, so I am used to public speaking, it would make me anxious, there’d be some fear associated with it. But as you were talking a few months ago, I realized that fear always made me prep so much. And so when I actually had to do a speech or have a conversation, most of the fear subsided because the three four days prior to it, it was really a driver for me to do the due diligence, into the research and ultimately there for the discussion. So I have that, I mean that’s crazy. And it’s too little and I never thought about it from that perspective. Dr. Yishai 15:10 Yeah. And I think it’s so common. It’s such a common trope, the idea that our emotion system is outmoded or outdated, that our brain is a 20/ 30,000 year old brain, that isn’t really capable of coping with today’s issues or today’s environments or situations. And to me, again, that’s an issue of attaching fear as an emotion to a historical or past event. Now, if I were to ask you, do we have the same danger today that we did 20,000 years ago? as a species? The answer is no. However, does that mean there’s no danger whatsoever in our lives? I think that’s such a misinterpretation, misattribution. And it’s really mixing two things up. Beau 15:57 Yeah, well, the fear has just evolved. Now, instead of running from saber toothed tigers, you’re dodging cars. So next thing, it’s completely, it’s just a different type of fear, or its duration, I should say. Dr. Yishai 16:08 Well, it’s interesting. Yeah, exactly. And you’re noticing it now. And I hear you are already now starting to switch that thought process, that mindset, even the way that we talk the language. I’m going to dig into neuroscience a little bit. So there are two kinds of fear. As a general category, there’s fear that’s about direct, clear, imminent danger, which is what we typically call fear. And then there’s, when there’s a situation that is not necessarily clear, the danger is not necessarily direct, and it’s not necessarily immediate. The word for that that we often have is called anxiety. There’s obviously a difference between clinical anxiety and the emotion of anxiety, worry, concern, right? And it’s really important to recognize that there are some people and there’s some circumstances that we still do experience danger. If you’re a parent, and you’re standing at a corner with your child and your child is about to run into the street, you see a car coming. Is that not as dangerous as the saber toothed tiger? Beau 17:04 Oh, absolutely. Right. Probably more with how distracted people are. Dr. Yishai 17:08 Yeah, and the car can be going far faster than the saber-tooth tiger can, right? And yes, especially because we’re so distracted. And so the idea that danger has changed or disappeared, is nonsense, from my perspective, and the idea that we attach fear to some past experience that we say we no longer experience. Now, again, I think, misconstrued and it’s deeply misunderstood. And we do have a lot more of the unclear, indirect, not imminent kind of experiences, because our lives are very complex, and in a lot of ways, because of culture and rules and societies and laws. And so many people follow them. And we live in communities and many of those communities, for those who are privileged they’re safer so much more so than they used to be. At the same time, the beautiful thing is that our brains are not genetically engineered the same way for humans as they are for other kinds of animals. For some animals, they avoid certain things, because they’re genetically programmed to do that. But our brains have the least amount of genetically encoded behaviors of any organism that we are aware of. What that means is, what that means is for something like a horse, or a bird or a frog, they have most of our much more of their behaviors encoded genetically, they do what they do, because their genes tell them to do it. For humans, most of what we do we learn. And the way that shows up is childhood and infancy when a horse is born, how long is it until they can do all the things that adult horses can do? Approximately 20 minutes, maybe a couple of hours. How long does it take for humans to be able to do all the things that adults can do? For the answers decades, right? And the reason for that is because it’s not genetically built into our system. What that allows us to do and the way our brain is designed, the way it’s built, is as a system, that is much more geared towards adapting and adaptability and learning than it is to genetically encoding a particular behavior. It’s the reason we can develop new habits, learn new skills, and build skills on top of each other. In fact, a lot of childhood is doing that. learning a skill, building that skill, and then once that is mastered to build a new one on top of it, and then another one on top of it. And because of that, it doesn’t make sense to think about your fear as something that is genetically built that is no longer applicable. If you in your business, in your life, are encountering circumstances that either there’s imminent danger, or there’s a possibility, it may not go well, there’s a need to prepare. There’s a need to protect, then your fear is doing exactly what it’s designed to do. And often it does it, very well is that beautiful example that you were talking about, when you know you need to get up in front of a stage, there’s a possibility it doesn’t go well. And there are consequences to that. And some of those consequences might not be so big, but some of them can be. And it can affect your business, it can affect how people see your experience or perceive your business. Right? Imagine if Steve Jobs got up on stage. And the way he talked about Apple are the products didn’t really resonate with anybody, well, what would have happened Apple, Beau 20:26 They wouldn’t be where they are. Dr. Yishai 20:28 They wouldn’t be where they are, right. And so there are consequences to that. And what our motion system is designed to do, what fear is designed to do, is to make us aware of that, on some level, we are aware, and often it’s because we’ve seen heard or witnessed that when people succeed in what they’re doing, when they do it a well, that can really help their business. And that fear as you really beautifully put it can help protect us and can push us to prepare, especially when it’s that more anxious type, where it’s not direct, not immediate, and not imminent. That system and that emotion is really designed, it pushes us to prepare. And when you look at it that way, it’s really about tapping into the system. And that takes some steps, it takes skills, it takes growth and development and that’s something that I think is really important to get into. Beau 21:25 Well, so I really appreciate that. And I want to get tactical here in a moment on how we can actually leverage that. But you’re talking and it sounds like, fear something that we’ve witnessed, right? I mean, that fear is essentially created by humans, which I’ve basically heard what you mentioned a few moments ago, and so again, I’ve kind of dedicated my life to overcoming fear. I’ve done a pretty good job with it. But the weird part, though, is that a lot of the time in these areas, I get anxiety or experience fear that they’re rational because I haven’t necessarily stumbled or given myself a reason to react in the way in which I do and so how does that kind of happen, right? I mean, if there’s something that’s layered on, and it’s through negative experiences, negative emotions, it’s kind of what I heard it could be wrong. How does that actually happen to us when we haven’t necessarily experienced it firsthand? Does that question make sense? Dr. Yishai 22:15 So what I’m hearing the question just to make sure I’m getting it is, how does fear show up when you have not encountered the situation before? Beau 22:22 Yeah, so like, starting my business, there’s a lot of fear associated with it. Also, I am used to public speaking, which would kind of make me a little bit nervous. And again, I fixed that cool as a cucumber for the most part. But fear to me, when I started a company, was irrational. I hadn’t done it before. And I guess maybe I just kind of picked that up by all the anxiety kind of in the room about people starting their businesses. Dr. Yishai 22:47 So yeah, I think it’s important there are two things you touched on that I think are really important. One is you call it irrational, or I’ll use the word illogical. And the second thing that you mentioned is other people’s anxieties or worries is something that they conveyed to you or communicated to you, whether directly or indirectly. And so there’s a part of you that may have been responding because of that, or in that way. And I think those are both really important points, I want to address both of them. First, the illogical or irrational piece of it, if you think that fear, it’s really designed to just show up in the circumstances in which you want it to show up, then when you don’t want it to show up, it looks very illogical. And that’s a thought process that I see very frequently. However, fear, and I think any emotion has logic, it’s actually extremely logical. It’s just that and if you ever studied logic or philosophy, you need to always have your starting point. And that starting point is the core and the crux of everything. If you start from one point and you follow it, logically, you’ll come to one conclusion, if you start from a different point, you can follow logically and come to an exact opposite conclusion. It’s really about that starting point. So the starting point that most people come from is I don’t want or I don’t think this fear is helping me it’s just holding me back. And therefore it’s irrational. Beau 24:00 Absolutely. Dr. Yishai 24:00 The starting point is, and it’s a very common way and we often get taught this is again, it’s the trope is the way we think and hear when people say that the old saying of there’s nothing to fear, but fear itself, that even tells you that the starting point is the end result of what fear does, which is it can it can push you to hold back or to try to protect yourself by maintaining a more secure position. That starting at the endpoint, I actually call that circular logic that starts by saying, well, the way I responded to the fear wasn’t helpful. So the fear wasn’t helpful. So it’s not good. Beau 24:34 100% Yes, absolutely. Dr. Yishai 24:36 Whereas if you look at what’s the purpose of fear, we’re coming back to the three P’s right, fear shows up under specific parameters, there’s perceived danger or an undesirable outcome, in the example of anxiety in the case of anxiety, so if it’s showing up under specific parameters, and it’s there to help us predict a specific set of outcomes, then it has purpose and it’s really useful. When you follow that logic, you say, okay, if emotions don’t show up randomly, I don’t experience happiness, in a situation where I anticipate everything is going to be a disaster. So it’s not random. It’s specific. And when you think about it, and when we look at it from a scientific perspective, when a phenomenon shows up under specific parameters, there’s a function or purpose, there’s something that’s going on there. Whether it’s a law of physics, or for humans, there’s an internal process with a design with a functional design. And in the case of fear that functional design is to help you anticipate what is coming up, and then to push you to deal with that. Now, a lot of people’s response is, I don’t want to deal with it. And it’s easier to hate staying back or staying in the safe zone. Beau 25:50 Public speaking, the number one fear, here’s me, I don’t want to do it. Not me personally. But that’s what a lot of folks feel. And so they just don’t even entertain it. Dr. Yishai 26:00 And that’s one response to the emotion. That’s a choice. That’s an action, that’s an analysis that people are often unaware that they are conducting in their brains. That’s a weighing of those things. Now, if public speaking is really important to you, if starting a business is important to you, if the freedom it brings, the ability to engage in your passion that it brings, if the ability to create and pursue a mission that it brings, is that important and meaningful to you. Then when you do that analysis, we talk about the three A’s, emotions give us awareness, analysis and action, new awareness, new analysis, new action. So the new awareness that fear brings is this may not go well. And I’ll add to it if I don’t anticipate preparing to try to mitigate those risks. The analysis is, and this is really important, this is where we get to the tangible piece of it. The analysis piece is that it’s extremely important to sit down. And I like to say pick a piece of paper, pull out a piece of paper and write down what I am afraid of? What might happen? What is the potential outcome that I am concerned about? List every single one of them, in fact, you can list even the most disastrous ones. Now I’m gonna give you a second step to this exercise. When you list all of those things. Once you’ve listed them exhaustively, then come back to it and ask yourself how realistic each of these things is. In fact, you can ask yourself and follow these different lines of potential timelines, what set of actions, activities, circumstances, and outcomes are going to lead to this situation that my fear is telling me might happen. And what you’re doing as you outline all of those steps, is you also outline for yourself, if at any given step, I intervene or choose to do differently, then I may get a different result or outcome. And that becomes the third piece of this, which is, once you have a clear sense of these multiple different potential timelines, or ways that things may go, you can also generate or create a list of given the most likely set of things that could occur, what actions what action plan can I create, in order to mitigate or reduce that in the case of public speaking? How can I prepare? What are the steps that I can take? How can I work on my skill? How can I put myself in an environment where even if it doesn’t go well, I’ll be able to learn something, and the following time, I’ll do a little bit better. And if I repeat that process of doing a bit better, doing a bit better, doing a bit better, then at some point or over time, I will be able to get up on that stage, and communicate and share and engage and speak in a way that really benefits me, the audience, everybody listening, that brings something of value to everybody involved. And that’s the crux of it. And that’s the kind of tangible takeaway is this kind of three step process of one, outline every one of your fears or anxieties or concerns and get really clear about it, two pick the ones really clarify which ones are most likely to happen and follow the various timelines, the various possibilities, what setup events or situations may lead to that. And once you have have kind of outlined three, four, or even five of them, or you pick or prioritize the most relevant or important ones are likely ones, then that third step is you create a new plan, how and what can I do in order to address prepare, protect, ensure that as much of that risk is mitigated, that I am as ready as possible for some of those things that might occur? And of course, there are parts that are unpredictable. And sometimes that still happens. And either way, how can I learn and what can I take out of that to ensure that the next time something goes better or it is getting better that I’m developing a skill that I am growing and learning how to better prepare. Beau 29:50 Initially, the unpredictability piece and I think that ties back to preparedness and being prepared allows you to kind of deal with unpredictability which can be challenging, but in particular, if you’re not prepared, right, but I appreciate you kind of going tactical in there, because I was gonna ask you how folks can leverage fear for good and the process because for me personally, I’ve always been in the mindset that you fear things that you haven’t done often, you fear the unknown. So if public speaking again, just to kind of go back to the example we’ve been using, if that’s something you fear, then you know what you need to do more of it. And so I’ve kind of been in that camp. And that’s worked for me, but I really like the approach that you mentioned about literally listening out of the fears. And I’ll do the exercise kind of in my mind about what’s the worst that could happen. But I haven’t taken it so far as to literally take pen to paper. And I really, really liked that aspect of the exercise. Because that’s really I think, what drives most people’s fear is, how are people going to react, what’s this could go wrong, that can go wrong. Nine out of 10 times, things don’t go wrong. And the things that do go wrong, typically are really not that big of a deal. So one person didn’t like your speech, or 10 people or whatever that number is, is it going to wreck your business? It’s not until you’re able to dig into that kind of aspect of it, like what’s really gonna happen, what’s the worst that could happen? And just a quick last example, for me, I’m not big into social media, I’m not on Facebook, I’m not on Instagram, I’m on nothing but LinkedIn. And I started my company, I’ve kind of realized that I was gonna have to be a bit more present on social media. And so I created my first my first LinkedIn post, and I was petrified. Literally, I did not want to send it, it was just, it’s not something I’ve done. I’m only 41. I grew up on social media. But I haven’t done social media, right? Hasn’t been a focus. And I’ll never forget I had to get my wife in the other room to come in and hit the Post button. And she literally said to me, she’s like, what’s the worst that could happen? Somebody that’s like your post? Who cares? Click? And ever since then, it’s really kind of disarmed. The fear? Because, honestly, who cares? Not everybody’s gonna like what I put out there. Those that do? I love them, those that don’t? Well, they’ll find somebody else that they prefer. Dr. Yishai 32:11 Yeah, it’s not for them. There are a couple things I want to draw out, because I think they’re so helpful. And so important is your experience with social media was as a consumer as someone who engaged and consumed rather than someone who produced and when you were in the production, once you started to produce or you were at the beginning of production, what may have been experienced? Is this kind of vulnerability, you’re putting yourself out there, you’re putting your idea out there, and how is that going to be well received? And the reception of that idea may really have an impact on your business? What if nobody likes it? What if everybody and that’s where notice, we’re coming back to that we’re starting to list out all the potential fears, and what the potential consequences of it is, well, if literally, nobody likes it, then you don’t have a business. And that’s important to follow that potential thought process and to say, well, what’s another possibility, some people really don’t like it, and some people might not be okay, or they might like it. And well, what happens if some people really don’t like it? Well, they might actively try to get in the way of what I’m trying to do. Then, so that there’s a lot of different potential thought processes or lines to kind of walk through and when you do that, you can also ask yourself, Well, how do I prepare myself for what is it that I can do to mitigate some of those risks? And one of the answers to that, which I heard you, you kind of get yourself into with the support of your wife is, look, if not everybody likes it. The people who don’t like it, that’s their problem. But also, that doesn’t necessarily mean someone won’t like your stuff. And if you don’t put it out there, there’s no way someone will be able to encounter it. Beau 33:43 I actually do like it. You don’t I mean like that’s kind of where I’m trying to put myself now it’s like you’d never score a shot and Wayne Gretzky or somebody, it’s like, what do people do like it? Oh, no. And so you’re allowing your fear to stop you from doing some things that could impact your business, either positive or negatively. You’re not gonna know which one it is. You actually put yourself out there. Leverage your fear, conquer your fear, and kind of put your best foot forward. Dr. Yishai 34:12 Yeah, I don’t like to think about it as conquering in the sense that conquering is really kind of pitting yourself against your fear. And that lends itself again to that same mindset of my fears working against me, leveraging your fear, joining your fear, making it your friend, harnessing it, this is the kind of language that indicates that my fear is actually there. It’s got my back, it’s trying to help me. I wanted to point out one other thing which I think is so important is you talked about your wife being there as a support to the point of literally pushing that button after you produce the whole blows Beau 34:39 Literally, Yeah. Dr. Yishai 34:41 Literally pushing that button. It reminds me on a episode, recent episodes of the business casual Dr. Yishai on my podcast, I had Bob Wheeler and one thing that he talked about is also with public speaking, and in a few other areas for himself for his business, that he shared his biggest fears that he faced in his career and as an entrepreneur and leader and then he talked about how it was only possible to face and work through those fears, because he had somebody that he trusted, whether it was his boss, a close friend, or even his sister, who stood by him and pushed him who would be there for him, regardless of the outcome, win, lose or draw. And it’s so important because another element of fear is that fears about and fear tells us when there’s danger when something may fall apart, and its job is not to just let us feel secure its job is to, through the discomfort of that feeling not so secure or in potential danger, to really be careful or concerned with and put the right effort and energy into making sure that what we’re doing isn’t going to harm or destroy ourselves or our businesses. And when you have a base, somebody you can trust, who’s there for you, it gives you the space. And there’s actually a lot of research on this when we have that kind of security. And for little kids, for those of you who are parents that security can come from clinging to your parents. And it can also come from having a security object, which can be a blanket or a toy, that gives them the sense of this little piece of stability, this little piece of security from which they can take a leap into the unknown. And we all need that, we all need it. And in that case for you, it was your wife who was there. And for Bob, he shared it with different people across his career and into his entrepreneurship and his leadership. And for all of you out there. When you’re experiencing fear, it’s really important to make sure that you have or create this piece of security everybody needs a secure touch point, whether that’s someone who will stand in support you no matter what, or it’s a sense of financial stability and security or an internal sense that regardless of what happens, you will learn grow and do better next time. You have to figure out what yours is and lean into it because only if you have that under your feet, can you take the leap. Beau 37:08 So that’s interesting I never thought about my wife kind of as that object for me when started my company and obviously she believed in me and you know, I jumped out of court America four and a half years ago, but I was her cavalier attitude in regards to just hitting the Post button like just it was almost like, “Who cares?” and if they do, that’s fantastic and ever since then I’ve kind of had that same thought process and one more point with this podcast. I had planned on doing it for about two years prior to actually launching it and I always found some excuse to not do it and in fact it was really fear that was driving my apprehension started and since then, and I’ve kind of realized this over the last several months I’m trying to kind of put things together like making lists, etc. But it’s funny how a lot of times when you’re in the moment you don’t realize what’s happening and that actually there is an emotion that’s holding you back from doing what you know you need to do and podcasts are something I knew I needed to do. But I didn’t realize what was holding me back and why I couldn’t launch. Dr. Yishai 38:12 Yeah, and I want to point out something that happened again. The emotion that is holding you back is a construction of looking at that emotion negatively. The emotion was pointing something out to you, your response to what you learned to do with that emotion is just to interpret the discomfort. Or the indication of fear as holding back that’s a response. And you can shift that response because the emotion itself isn’t designed to hold you back the emotion itself is designed to help you see and respond to and deal with danger Beau 38:47 Yeah, no. That’s great. And I’m trying to flip how I look at it as well. It’s fears hold me back but it’s more so if I don’t do these things. I’m holding myself back and so that’s helped me launch the podcast. It’s helped me with some other aspects within my business by not taking the step of putting my business I wouldn’t say in peril. Dr. Yishai 39:07 What’s hampering growth? Beau 39:08 If I put it up as you grow precisely. So this is awesome. So a couple more questions for you and then we’ll let you go but any other tidbits, thoughts or otherwise, that someone should consider when trying to think through or deal with their own fears? I mean, the paperwork, the paper writing down the fears and the rational, logical, phenomenal, I think to add to that would be something to what are you going to miss out on? What’s the opportunity cost for not doing these things? I think they show but what else can somebody consider when trying to deal with their own fears, whatever they may be? Dr. Yishai 39:40 Yeah, so I got two things. One is, I have a framework, I call it the three D’s. It’s my 3-D adaptation framework. And in fact, I have a worksheet if you want to connect with your audience, I’d be happy to get that set up and we’ll have a link. So we’ll set that up. But to present the three D’s are all about how every emotion, any emotion that shows up is there to provide you with three things. This is the purpose, it gives you data, it gives you direction, and it gives you drive. And what that means is, for the case of fear, fear gives us data, the data is my brain is telling me this might not go well, there may be some potential damage or harm, there may be danger. And I need to prepare, protect or prevent it. That’s the data. The next thing that it does is it directs you, it either directs you towards or away. And sometimes it’ll feel paradoxically, like it’s doing both, it can pull the wheel in both directions. And that can be really, really challenging. So it’s really important to be intentional with that direction. What is the Fear want for me? I love to ask that question. Because most often, people think my fear just wants me to play small or to be small, and they’re pinning on their fear, which really has been the direction that they have chosen. Whereas the fear’s job isn’t to keep you small, the fear’s job is to keep you safe. When you go pursuing all the things you’re so passionate and care and want to make sure you’re not just reckless people. By the way, there was an example of a patient who had their amygdala, which is the tagging system, that tells us when there’s something to be afraid of, and generates and contributes to generating fear, the person had their amygdala was basically damaged beyond repair was destroyed. And that person would go walking through parks late at night, when there are people actually mugging each other it was objectively unsafe. And they would do that. And the scientists, the researchers, even the doctors who were treating them, were really concerned because this person, they have no fear, would engage in a lot of behaviors that put them in danger, and they weren’t able to identify it. So that’s the data. And what it’s designed to do is to direct you to make sure that you are still safe or safe enough that you’re protected to mitigate or lower the risk. And that doesn’t mean you always have to hold back. And so that it’s so important to recognize that because of this, this taps into the third thing, every emotion gives us a drive, it hits the gas, or the brakes all at the same time. And fear often does both, it hits the brakes on what you’re about to do. And it slams on the gas, for trying to ensure that you are safe. And for a lot of people because they feel the direction pulls them away, it drags the wheel away from their end destination. And it’s slamming the gas to protect them. It’s like grabbing your kid from the street when the car is coming. That’s the driver. It’s motivating you. But that doesn’t mean that it’s motivating you to stay small. And again, I think having that framework, that worksheet and working through it is really, really key. Because if you don’t slow down, then you’re going to respond to your fear, you’re going to treat your fear the same way you have always treated it. But the thing is your fear, because it’s an adaptive system, when it doesn’t get you where you want to go, it’s just going to show up more and bigger next time, which is how people get even more and more afraid of something when they step back or step away from it. And it doesn’t really fulfill their goal or their mission, it doesn’t help them move forward. If it’s not working, well, that system is actually going to try to push you harder. Beau 43:14 So the old adage, though, facing your fears, making the uncomfortable comfortable, I mean, that there is some truth to that, right. And I felt better. And the things that I’ve deemed, that I’ve been feared, there’s been fear, I’ve felt that, again running through a brick wall has helped me kind of face those fears. And ratchet that level up a little bit where this is my new normal, Dr. Yishai 43:37 Yeah, and I was using that metaphor of running through a brick wall. So if you’re running headlong into a brick wall, and you do not have a helmet, your fear is gonna show up and be like, “hey, if you do this, you’re going to smash your head, and you can get a concussion or hurt yourself,” And if you then put on a helmet, you put on some protective gear.You put on some armor, and now you know that you can smash through that wall. You’ve worked on this skill, you’ve improved the skill. And for anyone if you’ve ever done any martial arts, you work on it, you work on it, you work on it, and at some point, you can smash the brick. But you need to do that work. If you don’t do that work, you’re going to hurt yourself. And that’s what your fear is there to do. It’s not there to stop you from smashing through the wall. It’s there to tell you, “Hey, put on a helmet, do the work, develop your martial arts, develop your skills, and when you are ready and able then you can smash the wall.” Maybe you need to choose or select not a solid, brick wall, maybe first you select a wood wall or a wall that’s a little bit less difficult to smash through. And that’s where these baby steps come and that’s where really being prepared and working on it in a stepwise fashion is really, really useful. Beau 44:53 I think it’s a phenomenal summary. I appreciate the analogy and last thing I’ll share is when you talk about the fear center of the individual walking to the parks. I immediately thought of the movie free solo, which is about a guy who was climbing up the summit in Utah, I believe El Capitan without a rope. Anyways that’s probably a topic for another day but I will greatly I will put the link to the 3 D’s on the video. I love the tagline. “What does fear want for me?” I think that’s phenomenal. And I really appreciate you being on the show, Dr. Yishai. So in closing, how did somebody reach you? Dr. Yishai 45:30 Yeah, thank you for asking. So I’m reachable through LinkedIn, under Dr. Yishai linkedin.com/in/dryishai/, or you can look me up Yishai Barkhordari on LinkedIn, and also my website www.dryishai.com and if you haven’t, you want to actually dig in and learn more about this kind of mindset stuff. Also, I want to say listening to my podcast is another way to get more of it, and more of me. Beau 45:54 Awesome. I greatly appreciate it. We’ll be sure that there’s a link to the 3 D’s as well as you know how folks you get in touch with you and your podcast and I truly appreciate you coming on. Thanks so much for the time thought provoking, really exciting subject. Thank you so much. Dr. Yishai 46:09 Likewise, thank you. It’s been such a pleasure. Beau 46:11 Yeah.
Posted 3 years ago
Dr. Yishai Barkhordari

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About Beau


Beau spent over 14 years in enterprise-level software sales and was exposed to high-level talent by working alongside companies such as Apple, AT&T, Amazon, Coca-Cola, and more. 

In this podcast, Beau aims to interview high performing business leaders in the hope that their insights will bring about real positive change to the businesses of his listeners.

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