The Science Project of Fear

Mindy Grossman is the CEO of the Home Shopping Network. In a recent article, she talked about her education, her life’s ambitions and the way she balances work and family. The one section of the interview that really stood out to me was the part where she discussed the career risk she took when she left a secure job in Oregon to take the helm of HSN,  the then faltering shopping channel, headquartered in Florida. While she admitted that the move  was bold, Mrs. Grossman said that “a lot of people, especially women, turn things into science projects of fear.” She did not want to undermine her own efforts in pursuing the goal she chose for herself by being consumed with worry.

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Science projects of fear..

…what an interesting visual that is, don’t you think?  If you remember back to High School science class, the chemistry experiments were all about gathering up the burners and petri dishes, the chemicals and the stirrers, hypothesizing about potential outcomes..then carefully measuring and mixing the brew together and noting the results.

There was a lot of exacting work that went into every part of those projects.

Living in fear requires a lot of work as well…we need beakers bubbling with negativity and potential excuses, an assumption of the worst outcome, a healthy dose of self doubt, the white hot heat generated by major anxiety and a clearly marked route to the EXIT door.

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By describing this state of being as a science project of fear, Mrs. Grossman clearly implies that we play a pivotal role in our own discouragement and obsession with failure. We aren’t just spectators here, we are the mad scientists!

While (once again) it is plain to see that we are the source of so much of our own inner chaos, the good news is we are the cure for a hefty chunk of it as well!

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to leave that lousy laboratory once and for all.

Psalm 51:10

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

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