S:1079 Great Fear: Of Not Remaining Relevant

(Great fears are barriers to experiencing your real life.)


[There are countless fears, yet few are of the level of the Great Fears. A Great Fear is noted by its commonness and its effect; it shows up in a large part of society and can have a numbing effect on one’s happiness.]

Relevance is an interesting topic. It’s less interesting to younger people and more so to older. When I first started to notice it I thought it was part of the legacy conversation, i.e., “What do I want to leave behind?” But then I saw it was an independent thought. It’s parallel to the legacy one, along with several others woven into the retirement issue, but relevance is a standalone topic.

So what is relevance? It includes feelings and thoughts of engagement, inclusion, contribution, satisfaction, meaning, learning, and growth. You can probably add to that list as you think about how you feel relevant.

As we grow into adulthood and mature into our unique journeys we don’t consciously think much about the relevance of what we do. We have a job or assignment; we get paid (in money or psychic pay); and we just do it without thinking about the relevance of it.

Then – typically as we get older – we begin to wonder if our contribution/what we know/our expertise is going to remain in demand. That wondering can turn into the fear of not remaining relevant.

If you catch yourself experiencing this fear, you will probably find it useful to look at your place in the world from a macro view, the fundamentals which are beyond your specific skills and other tactical issues. Make a list of those fundamentals, such as your core values, the layers of wisdom you now possess, and the lives you’ve affected positively.


Coaching Point: When you step back from the fear how are you still relevant?


Copyright 2016 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.