Many of my clients have been struggling with what I call a “crisis of confidence” — where their inner guide and strong self-esteem are taking big hits during this downturn in the economy.

Do you find yourself thinking this during your workday?

“My boss wants to have a morning meeting . . . he’s going to fire me . . . I’m going to lose my job . . . I will be out on the street by Christmas.”

“Even though we are posting good numbers, the board is never satisfied. Lately, they never warm to any of my accomplishments or ideas. I am on my way out.”

“Every day I lose customers . . . and it’s seems that my current ones are not purchasing as much as they did last year.”

“I can’t find a job . . . I don’t know where to look . . . we are going to be out on the street by Christmas.”

If you do, read below.

In business, there are ups and downs.

FACT #1: The ups are not as ‘up’ as we think and the downs are not as ‘down’ as we perceive.
FACT #2: When we feel that we have no recourse or ability to affect the outcome, we actually do.
FACT #3: All is not lost, in reality, there are many options open to you.

You just don’t see them clearly. The problem is that we let the story overcome reality. Why?

Stories are fun.
Stories are interesting and easy to remember.
Stories are fun to develop, add characters, and grow as time goes on.

Reality is scary.
It is fact-based and hard to remember.
It sometimes hits you square in the face and that isn’t a pleasant experience.

Example — one story (from a current client):
“If I call that executive out of the blue, he is extremely busy on a project, will get on the phone and either blow me off or yell at me for wasting his time.”

Same Example — an alternate story (that I made up for the same client):
“When I call that executive out of the blue, he will listen to my interest in his company, and make an appointment to see me in the next week.”

Both are stories — which one are you telling yourself today? Probably the first one. But you will never know if your story will become reality unless you act on it. And that’s the paradox — the story prohibits you from acting on it. So I say — stop making up stories and take ACTION.

Just do it. Try it. Make that call. See what happens.

Look at the facts first and banish the story. Logically look at what needs to get done and DO IT.

What does it mean for you? That’s easy — you get out of story-land and actually take positive steps to change your situation. What’s the worst that can happen? You get fired. But you would probably get fired anyway for doing NOTHING.