A smarty-pants sounding title, this book is filled with good ideas...and corny drawings of cows.We all have things that scare the bejeezus out of us: paying down debt, confronting problems in a personal relationship, changing careers. (I know, a lot of them have to do with money, don’t they?)

I’ve been pretty fearful that the uncertainty of my life recently. I know this career change was the right thing to do but like everything in life, there is no guarantee my business will work. And fear has made me a bit of insomniac for about a week.

I was reading a book this week that was supposed to help me with my business but in the end, also helped me with my anxiety.

The book is called “Sacred Cows Make The Best Burgers: Paradigm-Busting Strategies For Developing Change-Ready People and Organizations” by Robert Kriegel and David Brandt. On the surface, it really didn’t seem like a business book but working in a relatively new field, I find I spend as much time selling the idea of internet marketing as selling the idea of working with me. Getting people to change not only how they see things and their reactions to changes seems like a pretty applicable skill. (Plus what a smarty sounding book title, right?)

After a particularly sleepless night, I read the “Turning Resistance Into Readiness” chapter and learned a few useful techniques for dealing with fear. They may help you out too:

Changing a “What if?” statement into an “If…Then…” statement
It’s a pretty simple concept. You write down all your worries (your what ifs) then change them into actions. For example:

What if I don’t make enough money to pay my bills? gets changed to
If I don’t make enough money, then I will find another side job.

You’ll find that no matter how bad things are, you have options…and usually good ones. It also makes your brain feel proactive in dealing with what you perceive as problems.

Refocus your attention.
This book has tons of ski coaching analogies in it because one of the authors used to be a ski coach. In one example, he talks about a student who stopped partway down a particularly difficult run and was scared to continue. His instructor told him to look up the hill at what he’d already accomplished (not down at what laid ahead). “I can’t believe I skied that!” the student said, and was then confident enough to finish.

Looking up the hill the distance you’ve come and noting your successes so far gives you the confidence to continue.

Make your own highlight reel.
An example from the book: “A professional basketball player who was in a slump made a three-minute video of his best moves. After watching the tape over a 30 day period, his point production increased 41%, and his steals per game went up 55%!”

The authors use other clients as examples of people who made videos or lists of their successes and revisit them regularly. Seeing examples of your past successes keeps your attitude positive, and keeps fear to a minimum.

This book is actually pretty fantastic and filled with examples about how individuals and companies have created changes to improve their lives. It was written in 1996, so there’s also some cute references, like about how in the future, people will want to bank online.

In all seriousness though, if you’re looking for a systematic way to create change for you or your business, this is a good book to start with.

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