Breaking the Fear of Engagement

By Todd Liles Breaking the Fear of Engagement
Breaking the fear of engagement

In Top Gun, Maverick represents the type of man we all want to be.  He is strong, handsome, wins at life, wins with the ladies, and flies a freaking fighter jet!  Right now I bet you are singing, “Danger Zone” in your mind, aren’t you?  Going to take it right into the danger zone!

However, Maverick had a few bumps in the road on his way to becoming Top Gun.  He suffered a terrible loss, and developed a massive Fear of Engagement.  His fear almost grounded him, permanently.  He recovered, and saved the day.  Unfortunately, not every hvac tech, plumber, or salesperson recovers from his Fear of Engagement.

What creates the Fear of Engagement?

Maverick lost his cool when his wingman Goose died.   The same thing happens to service techs and salespeople.   The difference is in the name.

Every tech has a wingman.  Codename:  Wolverine, real name Confidence.

Confidence is a great wingman.  He is tough, and can take a lot of bullets.  But when he goes down, he goes down hard!

All techs need a wingman, so with the absence of Confidence, a new wingman flies into position.

Codename:  The Reaper, real name Fear.

RELATED – Boosting your confidence

How do people react when they are dealing with their Fear of Engagement?

Most techs don’t directly show their fear.  If they did, they would quit this game all together.  Instead, they mask it with 2 other faces:

  • Anger
  • Sympathetic Excuses

Anger is Poison

I know one tech that lives his life Angry.  Seriously.  He is constantly mad.  If a homeowner doesn’t buy, his default is to get extraordinarily pissed off.

A little bit of anger can serve as a proper motivator.  However, too much anger leaves you weakened and vulnerable.

By now, you know the dangers of out of control anger.  (Increased heart disease, bad relationships, less money in your pocket.)

That kind of anger poisons the lives it touches.  Deal with the fear, and let it go.

Sympathetic Excuses

Here are some examples of a sympathetic excuses:

“I get where they are coming from!  This is expensive.  They have kids.  I know I couldn’t afford this.  They will call back when they have the money.  I know they like me, so I won’t  push them.”

Similar excuses are used with other people that have a Fear of Engagement.  Other grounded pilots like these excuses:

Hey, I’m a plumber not a salesman.  I don’t want to sound like a salesman.  If the homeowner wanted a salesman, she would have called one.  Our company needs to quit worrying about making money, and just go back to serving folks.  All these techniques they are teaching us are just about making money.”

The service tech that has lost his cool makes sympathetic excuses.  He then gets angry at those who would point out what is going on in his head.  (Bring it!  I’m not concerned about hurting your feelings.  I’m concerned about getting you to truly engage!)

Related – 5 part objection handling series

Breaking the Fear of Engagement

Overcoming fear is tough.  It’s not as easy as saying, “Get over it!”  

You will not live the life you deserve, and have the influence you need, until you master your fears.  So, I’m going to help you with your fears.

3 Practical Tips for Breaking the Fear of Engagement

#1 – Admit you lost your confidence – admitting that you lost your confidence doesn’t make you a wuss.  It makes you smart, and brave.  Share this with someone that wants you to succeed.

#2 – Specifically name your fear – if you can name a thing, you can control it.  Be specific about the name of the homeowner that destroyed your confidence.  Detail the situation.  Don’t let anger come back into the equation.  Anger is a butthole that wants you to lose focus.

#3 – Determine the worst possible outcome for facing your fear – Maverick thought the worst possible outcome was his death, or the death of another pilot.  That is what brought him his fear.  He saw that as the worst outcome.  But it wasn’t the worst outcome.  The worst outcome would be him not getting back in his fighter jet.  More would die without him, than with him. You must realize the same thing.

#4 – List the benefits for facing your fear –  Your benefits are unique to you.  There is more to life when you conquer your fear of engagement.

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”   (This is the life-verse for Shannon and I.)

#5 – Get back in training

When was the last time you had your skills sharpened?

Professionals train.  Professionals train with a focused intensity.  Professionals train ritually.

The benefits to training are the following:

  • Increased Confidence!
  • A period of Rest and Reflection
  • Addressing your fears in a supportive environment
  • Refocusing your mind on the proper things in life
  • Increased results
  • Destroying the Fear of Engagement

There are many ways to train.  If you want to train with the best, then come see us in Austin at one of our PRESS PLAY events.

#6 – Engage!

The final step is to Engage!  The first 5 steps mean nothing if you don’t take flight.

Get back into your fighter jet and soar baby!  And when Fear comes up on your 6, then you and Confidence – Codename Wolverine, shoot that son of a gun down!

Question:  What’s your Codename?  Please comment and share on  and .

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