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5 Insights from a NASCAR Champion on Conquering Fear

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September 03, 2020 | Jennifer Namazi

5 Insights from a NASCAR Champion on Conquering Fear

What does a NASCAR champion have in common stock compensation professionals?

A lot, it turns out, especially when it comes to fear. In a perfect wrap to our first week of #NASPPVirtual, Julia Landauer showed us that even a NASCAR champion experiences fear. You’ll want to hear her tips for conquering that which terrifies her – insights we can use in our own lives.

Don’t worry, if you missed her keynote, you can still access it on demand.

1. If you need information or an answer to do better, you should absolutely go out and get it!

In a story about her admission process to Stanford, Landauer shares how she circumvented bureaucratic protocols to seek answers she needed, ones that were vital in understanding the process.

2. You can’t always rely on others for validation. You must be able to stand on your own two feet.

This tidbit can be applied in so many ways. Especially in these times of working remotely and virtually, it may not be as easy to get validating answers or feedback from management or peers. This is an excellent example of taking charge of our own careers and lives, instead of waiting for the external world to provide a green light.
The next three insights cover how to overcome fear:

3. Acknowledge and identify manifestations of fear

Yep, you heard that right. Acknowledging that the fear exists is not evidence of weakness, but rather a sign of strength. You can’t conquer what you don’t acknowledge. Julia knows this firsthand – for years she buried her fears associated with racing until one key interaction with a young fan changed everything.

4. Adopt strategies that will minimize distracting fear symptoms

Does your heart beat a million times a minute when you’re afraid? Is it hard to focus? Julia recommends deep breathing, visualizations, physical exertion (think of sprinting to your mailbox and back) and positive self-talk as core in alleviating fear.

Okay, I know some of you are asking about visualizations. Do they really work? Does envisioning something in your mind translate into real life results? Landauer shares learnings from a study of basketball players that is kind of mind blowing.

What does this all have to do with stock compensation? Fear is one thing that is essentially human.  And, we are all human. 2020 has been a year of uncertainty, of unknowns, of the unpredictable. Many of us are facing a variety of fears – whether they relate to our organizations, our employees, our families, and friends.  That brings us to our 5th insight:

5. “Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom” – Marilyn Ferguson

Landauer cites this as one of her favorite quotes, and I can see why. We can’t run away from fear, we must overcome it, break through it, to get to the other side. The side where freedom exists.

Whatever your fear is, it’s important to conquer it. It’s important to find a way to carry on and carry through.

As we continue #StockPlanSeptember with #NASPPVirtual, the answers and strategies related to your stock plan fears are bound to be addressed in our MANY conference sessions.

I encourage you all to take everything in, find the answers that will help you and your organization move to the next level in uncertain times. Make connections that will allow you to lean on each other (which was another Landauer tip, by the way). Find the services that will make your world of administering stock plans easier.

Whatever you do, remember, freedom is on the other side. See you online next week!

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