Focus Areas

This page is about the 25 focus areas of the "counterfear" idea; developed in 2017.  They are foundations, starting points, fields, pillars, basics, foci, principles, building blocks, core competencies, essentials, keys, components.   The heart and soul.  The anchor points

These focus areas heavily inform the Shift the Country approach and background.  Shift the Country was launched on a unique website in 2022, with backstories here

Each focus area below has a collection page with corresponding resources and blog posts.  Some overviews have been written; other focus area pages are tagged collections with resources and original blog posts ('16 to '20).  Newer blog posts from 2022 forward have moved to Substack and are not included.

Counterfear Focus Areas:

1.  Don’t Panic
2.  Assess Situation & Resources
3.  Assess, Accept, & Address Risk
4.  Think Critically & Solve Problems
5.  Know & Learn & Train & Teach
6.  Find a Way Forward
7.  Live in Resonance
8.  Be Intentional & Purposeful
9.  Believe
10.  Anchor & Flank
11.  Plan
12.  Assemble a Toolbox
13.  Take Action
14.  Manage Incidents & Events
15.  Build Resilience
16.  Embrace Humanity
17.  Connect
18.  Foster Community
19.  Partner & Collaborate
20.  Facilitate Infrastructure Functionality, Continuity, & Resilience
21.  Increase Economic Resilience
22.  Build & Support Thriving Institutions
23.  Cultivate Creativity & Entrepreneurialism
24.  Be The Change
25.  Advocate & Amplify

There is a sister page of Core Resources, Ideas, & Tools that are inspiration for the counterfear idea and the 25 focus areas.

In general, if you are doing deep work, any of the 25 focus areas are a good spot to anchor to and work outward from. 

Start anywhere.  Pick one, pick several, or pick all of them.  They can be worked on in any order, and separately or together.  The numbered order below is for working through them in a deeper process, typically via coaching or consulting.  If you or your organization would like to work through some or all of these in more detail, check out our services page or contact us.

Shifting the Country & The Great Disruption

For the great disruption that is the coronavirus pandemic, the Shift the Country work on this site recommends four core focus areas for people and organizations to start with:

4.  Think Critically & Solve Problems
15.  Build Resilience
17.  Connect
18.  Foster Community

These areas were identified to help navigate the kind of massive disruption that we are now facing.  More background on that in these posts:  Why (a dedication), The Great Transformation (like the time that's now; in the COVID-19 pandemic with climate change and domestic disruption), knowing a US catastrophe would be bad, and There Is No National Coordination System - There Are 12.  A full list of the back stories are here.

Where Did These Focus Areas Come From?

The personal story about how these 25 focus areas came forward from a sea of thinking and notes is in the blog post "Be the Storm: Channeling Intensity."

The focus areas were developed after much thought and discussion about what "counterfear" actually means, over several years.  Complex or "wicked" problems require deep problem-solving.  One enormous challenge we have before us is a world where fear is being leveraged by many, through propaganda and other means.  

Fear mobilizes.  The challenge to counter fear may be one of the greatest of our time.

These focus areas are intended to help with that challenge.  They are not the whole answer, but they are a start.  They are vast areas of thought and action where we can dig in and do meaningful work in the world.  Where we can bring order from some chaos.  Where we can find our way through wicked problems. 

These anchors can help us navigate the disruptions we cannot yet anticipate, and to create disruption where it is needed.  They can be used in our own lives, in our families, in our businesses, in our non-profits, and in our communities.  

That's the big picture. 

Shift the Country
The (Original) Blog
The Toolbox