Book Blog |The Loudest Guest
The definition of fear is “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger”, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Calmness is an opposite emotion. The Loudest Guest by Dr. Amy Silver takes us on a journey within ourselves to understand how to evolve from a place of fear to increased calmness. Along the way, we learn to better manage our fear to live a more fulfilling life.
We all have the loudest guest in our life. Fear.
Fear in an interesting character. Fear often sends blaring messages incessantly, so much so we get lost in the noise. Sometimes, we end up in paralyzing, binary thinking, scared of changing but frightened of staying the same; terrified of standing up for ourselves or others but scared of the consequences of remaining quiet.
Fear seduces us with its benevolent intent, leading us to think we need it to be safe. This can cause our relationship to go sideways.
Fear is Good
Dr. Amy Silver explains, “The purpose of fear is to protect us. How much we allow that protection to reduce us is up to us.” The plan for this book is to manage fear rather than eliminate it. Are we going to start skydiving, riding rollercoasters, or mountain climbing in droves? No, fear is not meant to evaporate completely. Through Dr. Amy Silver’s guidance, “courage stories”, and reflection exercises we learn methodologies to control the guests at our own party of life.
Change is Hard
Yes, change is hard. But, as Dr. Amy Silver says, “Our best self is often beyond fear.” To free ourselves, we must navigate the challenging stuff. Perhaps the toughest aspect is unlearning our past thinking, teachings, and habits to rewrite our own story in the now. Dr. Amy Silver helps us start by understanding fear through a continual “loop of betterment” involving phases of recognition, self-compassion, separation, evaluation, decision, and experimentation.
Fear at Work
The Loudest Guest applies to fear in life overall and facets of our lives, like work. Dr. Amy Silver highlights ways in which fear interferes with communication and performance at work, showing up in critical areas including leadership, diversity, talent management, and teams. For example. command-and-control leadership, or fear-run businesses, negatively affect potential outcomes. An often byproduct of such behaviour is underutilized talent. In contrast, innovative, results oriented organisations led with modest leadership, less hierarchical decisions, and psychological safety naturally function more smoothly. With respect to diversity, fear of differences impedes inclusion. In order to rise above fear in the workplace, high-performing teams manage fear well rather than lead with it. Organisations that figure this out are well-equipped to foster an inclusive culture and better business performance.
At times, this book feels less like reading, more like therapeutic self-care, in a good way. We could all use some self-reflection. This time, invite The Loudest Guest intentionally, sit back, and positively change your relationship with fear.
Jennifer Musser – Guiding Strategic Purpose, Managing Member, JLM & Associates Consulting, LLC