How Fear Can Ruin Your Mastermind Group
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How Fear Can Ruin Your Mastermind Group

Let’s cut to the chase: Your group has been active for a few months and everyone is getting along fine. Then all of a sudden, people stop showing up on time. Or they’re not prepared. Or their creativity is blocked and the group brainstorming stinks.

What Happened?

It’s simple. Mastermind groups ask people to grow and change. People want to grow and change…or at least they say they do.

But when the rubber hits the road and you ask people to not only set goals but to be held accountable for completing goals, things fall apart.

Fear raises its ugly head and people in a mastermind group stop working efficiently together. You’ve heard the litany of fears:

  • What if I’m successful? Will it ruin my life?
  • What if I fail? Will it ruin my life?
  • What if others get jealous? Will it ruin my life?
  • What if I run out of money? Will it ruin my life?
  • What if I make the wrong decision? Will it ruin my life?

(Notice how each fear goes to the worse-case scenario? That’s what fear does to us, and that’s how you’ll be able to spot it in your mastermind group Hot Seats.)

How to Fix It

First of all, tell people in the very first meeting that fear is likely to come up in a month or two, so that they’re prepared for it. Find out from them what their common fears are around change, growth and learning curves. Ask them to keep a journal of their thoughts and feelings so that they can identify when fear arrives — and deal with it — before it grabs a hold and won’t let go.

Second, ask the mastermind group to support each other knowing that this sluggish time will happen to nearly everyone in the group. Create space in your meetings for people to talk about their fears and the way they self-sabotage themselves. Brainstorm with each other to find ways of dealing with the problem.

Finally, keep holding each other accountable to take action. You might need to ratchet back the action items into smaller steps, making them less daunting and more do-able. But don’t allow people to stop taking action and wallow in fear.

Being prepared in advance for this to happen will help your mastermind group tough it out during these small crises. After all, that’s what you’re in a mastermind group for — support, brainstorming and accountability!

Mastermind Group Success Starts Here


3 thoughts on “How Fear Can Ruin Your Mastermind Group”

  1. Pacaw says:

    I have seen this happen in my group but I didn’t know what to do about it and we ended up breaking up the group instead of dealing with it.

  2. George Whitney says:

    Karyn, what do you do when the members won’t admit that they’re feeling fear? Thanks, George.

    1. Karyn Greenstreet says:

      Great question, George. Mastermind groups are supposed to be places of complete honesty. But some people don’t equate their actions (or lack of actions) with fear. So start with actions: what are they doing or not doing that’s sabotaging their success? Then ask, “Why do you think you’re doing that?”

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