The feeling is like a Category IV storm brewing. You're preparing for the worst, hoping for the best. You're anxious, frantic or perhaps so overwhelmed that you are at a standstill.
With the above description, I could be talking about virtually anything of importance to you — your last job interview, the first day of school, a pending case, your next marketing plan. You get the idea.
What's interesting is the amount of punishment we put ourselves through when we're facing uncertainty. Ever the inquisitive one, I'm curious, why do we put up with this? Whether it's in our personal or business lives — which, by the way, I believe are one in the same — we go to great lengths to avoid being let down. We prepare rebuttals. We gather evidence. We do whatever we can to absorb the impact of not getting our way should the worst actually occur.
In the context of marketing, we're prepared to blame the other side — you know, sales or even worse, the customer — should the desired campaign results fall short. This behavior is extremely costly. We're slow to create and respond to market conditions. We become defensive and brand equity can suffer by losing its essence.
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
— Mother Teresa
Why does it seem, then, that we're afraid to be authentic? The reality is — whether we think it's right or not — we are constantly judged by others. And, we are constantly playing judge and jury on others. We may call it protecting our self interest. But, the reality is, we lose our ability to be vulnerable — which is where the magic happens and the storm waters sweep you off your feet and take you to a higher ground.
Addendum — After a great friend, Angela Bryant, shared this with me, I figured it would be a crime to not share it with you.