Fear…Another “F” Word

At some point, Factoring will be the “F” word I write about. Really.

Today though, “F” is for fear.

Not “Scary Movie” fear. Not “Situational” fear. I am talking about creeping fear that becomes so normal we don’t recognize it as fear.

An old anecdote… If you place a frog in boiling water, it will jump out. If you place a frog in cold water and gradually heat it, the frog won’t perceive the danger and be boiled alive. Is this true? I don’t know. I do know the underlying premise is. When something happens gradually, we compensate and often don’t realize it is happening.

In “F” is for Fostering, I introduced my foster pup Laila (formerly Little Miss). When I picked her up, she was little more than skin, bone and scabs. AND, she was happy. Her tail never stopped wagging. She did not know she was miserable. As Laila starts to come out of the fog caused by malnutrition, neglect and abuse…as she starts to physically heal from mange, constant itching and pain, the fear periods are starting. Today is her ninth day with me and yesterday morning was her third distinct fear period.

I had to be out of the house early, in grown up clothes. Laila melted down – whining and shaking – as I walked down the hall. When I opened her crate, she would not go outside. I had a sudden inspiration that the clicking noise from my shoes was the issue so I put my slippers back on. That worked. She finally went outside although she avoided me and would not eat unless I was out of her line of sight.

Noisy shoes? I won’t even try to figure it out.

For the first time in her life, she is experiencing the absence of pain. She does not have to compensate by wagging her tail and acting happy. Her fear periods are an indication that she is healing. It also means that she is growing past her fear. It is healthy – emotionally and physically. We will work through issues as they happen.

How often do we compensate? Act like everything is fine? And then one day freak out about noisy shoes?

One of the common denominators in business is that most owners operate at some level of fear. Fear of the unknown. Of failure. Of making wrong decisions. We keep trudging forward.  We don’t deal with our fears.  We lose it over noisy shoes.

“We all make them, the difference is what we do after we make the mistake, how we see the mistake – a learning experience or a failure.” Catherine Pulsifer

It took until a couple of years ago for me to begin seeing my mistakes as learning experiences and not failures. That is when my mistakes stopped being so scary and I learned to ask for help. Ironically, it is also when I experienced huge leaps in personal and professional growth.

We see this all the time with factoring clients – waiting too long to ask for help because they fear being judged for their decisions. The thing is, factoring, when done properly, is absent judgment. It is an empowering financial tool to help business owners “level the playing field”, fix mistakes and position themselves and their company for greater success.

The lesson…

Do not fear the fear periods – it means you are growing.


Mistakes are not paralyzing when you choose to learn from them.


Even when we tell ourselves noisy shoes are the problem, it is rarely the shoes.