Episode 47: Fear is Just a Risk to Be Managed

Fear is Just a Risk to Be Managed“Adapting to change” gets a lot of attention.  Even though we have some tools to intentionally deal with changes, that is a reactive approach. In Episode 47 of Just One Simple Thing, we’ll learn a more proactive approach, where we anticipate things that could go wrong and develop a plan to deal with the ones most likely to derail us.  Because I believe that all those things we fear are just risks to be managed.

Raise your hand if you’ve laid awake at night with the “what if” tape looping through your head.

What if I launch and no one buys?  What if I take a step and don’t do it right?  What if I share my message and no one responds?  What if I send a proposal and get told no?  The What if loop is endless.

We often let the “what ifs” paralyze us with fear and uncertainty. We let those fears keep us from doing what God called us to do. The fears take up more room than they deserve until we completely give up.

But what if we had a better way to deal with those “what ifs” … an analytical process that puts them in their proper place, removes the emotional response, and allows you to create plans to deal with them?

Before we dive into the details, let’s look at someone in the Bible who created a risk management plan that derailed a fearful response.

Nehemiah had a big assignment from God, leading the Israelites as they rebuilt the crumbling wall around Jerusalem. It was a risky endeavor.  (You can read all about this in Nehemiah chapter 4).

Not only did Nehemiah address the specific threat facing them but he addressed the consequences that the people most feared.

Let’s dive into the details of how to create a risk management plan that silences the fearful “what ifs”.

1. Clarify the Risks

What could happen?
Why might it happen?
What would be the impact?

2. Rank the Risks

First look at the Likelihood – How likely is the event or the cause to happen?  Give it a score of 1 if it is unlikely to happen, 2 if it may happen, 3 if it is highly likely to happen.

Next, evaluate the Level of Impact-How damaging would the consequence be if the event happened? Give it a score of 1 if it would be minimal impact, 2 for some impact and 3 for major impact.

Finally, calculate the Significance Score – Add the Likelihood and Impact scores for each risk on your list.  Highlight the ones with a score of 4 or more.  These are your Significant Risks that you need to focus on.

3. Create Mitigation Plans

For each Significant Risk, create a plan to manage it.  Your plan should reduce the likelihood that the cause or event will happen or reduce the impact if it does happen.

Just clarifying the “what ifs” and ranking them will help you see that some of them are not as scary as you think. And you can kick fear to the curb when you’ve create a plan to overcome the scary ones.


Think of the three biggest what if’s that keep you up at night, rank their likelihood and potential impact, then create a mitigation plan for the significant risks.  If you head over to my free Facebook group, Plan & Pray with Do A New Thing, you’ll find a worksheet and some examples to help you do that.


This episode is based on a module from my Move Forward Mastermind, a group coaching program helping you make progress on your goals and projects through training, accountability, and community.

Book Recommendation: Fear is Not The Boss Of You by Jennifer Allwood.

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