The Fear Paralysis Reflex is a primitive reflex that develops in the embryonic stage and stays with us all along our life. It is just one of our self-defence and survival mechanisms and, technically it should merge into the Moro reflex.
I am not an expert, at all, but we all have such mechanism completely embedded into our central nervous system in order to guarantee our survival. We feel in danger, then we run, or we hide, or we fight, or we end doing nothing at all, creating a false feeling of security, because "everything is right, it has been always done this way and this danger will go away in some weeks, months, or years".
Does it sound familiar? The art of doing nothing to change a situation. Just waiting to everything to settle by itself. In medical terms, getting stuck and block when confronting fear is pathological.
Enterprises, composed by people, behave just the same way. But they are much prone to became blocked. Fighting, running, survival, is a huge effort that needs tons of energy and confidence, because you do not know, actually, if yours actions will lead you toward salvation. For an enterprise, this is a huge amount of money, change management, organisation and taking risks.
How the hell are you going to take risks, turn the house upside down and spend a good amount of money just to try something when your business is a well-settled, decades-long success just passing by a "small bump". Very difficult decisions.
In such crisis moments, very few enterprises are able to stuck with their purpose and find a way to follow it despite the adversities. Changing everything if necessary.
Maybe seems counterintuitive, but in these moments of danger, these moments of uncertainty and change, you should take risks. You should act, test, fail, and act again. Re-organize, change, invest.
Because, remember, getting paralysed by fear is pathological. And you do not want to be a sick company.
Cover photo by Mwangi Gatheca
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