One of the things that keeps us from reaching our potential as leaders is fear. There are a variety of fears such as fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of success, and fear of judgment. It’s important to tackle these fears so that you continue to grow and live life fully. To do so, we must allow ourselves to be uncomfortable.
If the thought of doing something new, taking a risk and potentially failing, makes you shake in your boots, welcome to the journey. We will start with a discussing on FEAR because it has a way of keeping us steady and stuck. Humans are hardwired to be this way. There is a part of our brain that is resistant to change because it registers change as danger. That’s where fear comes into play. My good friend and colleague often says that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real and I couldn’t agree more.
Let me tell you my story about fear. For years, I dreamed of owning my own business focused on helping organizations and leaders excel. I envisioned partnering with leaders to build strong teams that performed at such a high level that they consistently exceeded their strategic goals. Despite the strong conviction and passion, it was years before I took the leap. Whenever I found myself close to doing so, I told myself that I needed more knowledge, more experience, more certifications and degrees, more time in my current position, and so on and so on and so on. This went on for more than 15 years. Even though I enjoyed my work, was successful, loved my co-workers, and worked with great teams, it just wasn’t enough.
What kept me stuck? It took me years to realize that it was fear. I was afraid. All those years I’d been allowing fear to be in charge. I was riding in the backseat of my career bus. I was having a great time, there were plenty of snacks and beverages, and the ride was scenic; but I wasn’t driving.
Imagine my joy once I switched places with fear. It was, and still is, absolutely incredible. I will admit it was a process that did not happen overnight. I needed support from a fantastic coach to help me work through my blind spots. Only then was I able to create a plan and work my plan until I successfully moved fear out of the way.
It took a lot of courage and it was well worth it. After 27 years in corporate America, I’ve now been running my own coaching and consulting practice for six years. I work with leaders who are deeply committed to achieving their vision but struggle to get there. I help them shine as leaders, build high-performing teams and experience extraordinary transformation. The transformation is achieved through one-on-one executive coaching, leadership and team development workshops, strategic planning and related organizational consulting services. There is sheer alignment with my gifts, passion, purpose and work and it exceeds my wildest imagination.
The elation that I feel is what I want for everyone. I’m committed to doing my part as a coach to help others push fear to the side and say, “No more.”
In that spirit, here are some tips to recognize fear and work through it.
- Be aware – If you notice yourself stalling and procrastinating, ask yourself what is holding you back from moving forward? Is there a legitimate reason or could it be fear? Be honest and realistic with yourself.
- If it is fear, ask yourself: What are you actually afraid of? Is it a real threat? What is the likelihood of it happening? What’s the worst thing that could happen? If that happens, what will you do? Then what?
- Reframe your thinking – How else might you think about this? If you stay where you are, what will be the outcome? What options do you have?
- Learn about your strengths and how to leverage them – When we play to our strengths, the likelihood of success is greatly increased.
- Get feedback from others about what they believe your strengths are.
- You can also take a strengths assessment such as StrengthsFinder at www.strengthsfinder.com (free with the purchase of the book) or the free VIA Survey of Character Strengths at www.viacharacter.org. These tools provide helpful insight into what makes you tick.
- Develop a plan that includes small milestones. Each small step will move you closer to your goal. Be sure to celebrate the small wins along the way.
- Even if you are afraid, do it anyway. Get into action. If you don’t do it, then who will?
- Still stuck? Consider investing in Kindall Evolve’s Executive and Leadership Coaching programs. We’ll empower you to lead with confidence, clarity, and compassion.
Which of these tips will you be using? Leave us a comment below!
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