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Presistent Resistance Destroys

October 16, 2019, in my email inbox, I see this headline, “Trying So Hard Not to Cry”, in Inc. This Morning. The editorial was about the state of employees and the effects of an unhealthy work environment. According to a recent UK study of 2,000 employees surveyed with 40% respondents, these startling statistics revealed:

  • 60 percent said they get stressed about work when they go on holiday.

  • 31 percent said they call in sick due to work stress.

  • 30 percent said they've been "pushed to the point of tears."

  • 10 percent said they use alcohol to cope.

  • 14 percent said they "used their own children as an excuse to avoid the office."

There is sufficient empirical data in the US to support similar findings that the number one cause for anxiety and stress is job-related (Kelly, J., April 17, 2019, Anxious, Stressed Or Feeling Burned Out? You're Not Alone: Here Are Tips To Overcome Those Feelings). Technostress, the negative pyschological reaction or stress of learning new technology, costs United States companies more than $300 billion per year attributable to lost productivity and increased absenteeism, workplace accidents, and employee turnover. Technostress is the cause of over 275 million lost workdays each year (Moses, 2013).

Leaders face every form of stress, personally and professionally. It’s expected. As a matter of fact, leaders who stand strong under stress are considered to be good capable leaders. There are levels of stress that can actually be beneficial to provoke one to do their best; to strive harder and to encourage others to get the job done. But chronic suspended repeated & continuous high levels of stress can cause physical, mental, emotional and physiological damage often resulting in depression, anger, micromanagement, and even corrupt and immoral behaviors. Leaders who experience high levels of stress tend to promote a stressful toxic work environment. Mental strain triggers FUDS, fear, uncertainty, and doubt syndrome.

What is the FUD Syndrome? Fear, Uncertainty, & Doubt

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Fear, uncertainty, and doubt are the results of unchecked emotions. What you feel is real but if not properly addressed, it can become all-consuming and debilitating. Most of us know what fear, uncertainty, and doubt does to us personally. Imagine the impact the FUDS have on a leader. The overwhelm can be paralyzing and damage the effectiveness and reputation of a leader. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt creates crises and lingers long.

FUDS Trigger Antibodies

What comes to mind when you think of antibodies? Just like antibodies attack antigens to protect the body against invaders such as bacteria or anything foreign in the body that comes against the immune system, (this is not an exact, scientific analogy) foreign concepts, new concepts, new opportunities are killed and destroyed by antibodies in the workplace. Antibodies in the workplace are forms of resistance that attempts to preserve inefficiencies in the organization associated with the fear of change. Antibodies are often those who’ve been in the business for years and are comfortable with how things are. They resist change, even if it’s beneficial for themselves and the organization. These busy bodied antibodies are afraid to learn something new, or are afraid to share what they know, and/ or stuck in a paralyzing fear mode that causes them to prey on innovation and anything different from the norm. They are creativity killers.

Recognizing catalysts and symptoms of FUDS:

There are numerous triggers and symptoms of FUDS. A few that are common are:

  • Feelings of inadequacy, insufficiency, insignificance, and irrelevance

  • Comparison

  • Obsessed with competition

  • Fear of being left out (Fear of Missing Out- FOMO) or left behind

  • Overwhelm

  • The imposter syndrome - a fear of being found out; fear of being exposed as being a fake and not being qualified and so many more!

There are stigmas that bring shame causing one to coverup instead of exposing and addressing the emotional and mental issues that bring stagnation. The FUD Syndrome is REAL! You can hardly avoid toxic workplace culture where employees are feeling anxious and worried about their jobs, hating to go to work, tired of feeling unsafe and dealing with poor leadership. We are constantly seeing, hearing, and reading about toxic leaders, leaders who are bullies, malicious and vindictive. These leaders are inwardly struggling with the FUDS as well.

Watch the video below for more insight and solutions. There are ways to Bust the FUDS

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E. Michelle Mickens, DSL, is CEO of Live 4 Change, LLC, a Christian-based, global strategic leadership development consultancy that brings transformational change in the lives of leaders and their organization. Live 4 Change, LLC equip C-suite executives, managers, emerging and experienced leaders with the right tools through the leadership development system, Be 4 R.E.A.L. Leadership Series™ . I provide consultations, coaching, workshops, training programs, digital products and more. My programs, products, and services are designed to:

  • address leadership and organizational gaps

  • improve performance

  • increase productivity

  • Increase profits and help leaders

  • fulfill their purpose

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Dr. E. Mickens

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