Wow. It’s the end of another year. A lot has happened so let’s recap.

The Chilean miners. Amazing story. The BP oil spill. That was depressing. The Mets. Don’t get me started.

Here at Pushkin PR, we’ve had some ups and downs as well. I lost my Mom. I also lost a few clients. On the positive side, I saw thundering herds of wild horses, launched a new website and Facebook page, began new relationships with some clients, and enjoyed my first year in my downtown office.

As each year ends we pause to take stock of what we accomplished and examine where we fell short. We set goals for the year ahead and begin preparing for how to reach them.  At least that’s what we do if we are not too paralyzed with fear to move forward.

For far too long, fear of losing a job, losing a home, going hungry or getting sick has been all too real for all too many Americans. But a lot of people are frozen by fear that is manufactured. Fear of immigrants, fear of airports, fear of deficits, fear of health reform, fear of anyone who looks or sounds or thinks differently than us. It’s emotional, it’s irrational, and it’s driven by cable TV and talk radio.  

It may be comforting to blame our troubles on someone else, but nobody gets anywhere if we are too paralyzed to move. We just get stuck. We stop innovating, we stop creating, we stop making things happen. America used to be a country that could do anything. Instead we are a country that can’t do anything except freak out. 

As we look ahead to 2011, it might be wise to think about what we can do to get unstuck. Personally or professionally, what will it take to let us look forward to a challenge again? To make us risk a leap of faith?  Can we secure an investment, grow our business, take a vacation or take on new employees? Can we initiate that long overdue project, contribute to a worthy cause, or volunteer our time to make a difference in our community?

Some fears are valid and some are phony. It is up to us to distinguish which ones are real. Will we face 2011 with hope or trepidation?  The answer to that question might determine how we feel about things a year from now.

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