Acting in spite of fear or worry

Acting in spite of fear or worry

Everyone on the planet is managing three fears every moment of every day:

  • The fear of not belonging
  • The fear of not being good enough
  • The fear of not being loved

And we do more to avoid pain than we do to seek out pleasure. So we play it safe, stay in our comfort zone, and seek certainty of how things will play out before we act.

However in the world of leadership we need to learn how to embrace uncertainty in all its forms, and inspire our people to do the same. There are a couple of brain ‘tricks’ to help us move through fear in the moment:

  • We cannot experience fear and appreciation at the same time so thinking of 5 things for which we are grateful helps right then and there
  • Reminding ourselves that there is no failure only feedback i.e. if something goes wrong it’s feedback that we need to do something different next time
  • And future pacing i.e. imagine going forward to 15 minutes after SUCCESSFUL completion of task – what does it look like, what are you hearing, what are you feeling, and what are you telling yourself

Red disengaging

Now these are great in the moment, but how do we sustain this going forward?

In the world right now, leaders are facing more and more challenges of increasing complexity and fast paced change which leaves us with an ever growing To-Do list. With that come all our fears, especially the fear of not being good enough to know everything and get through it!

However when leaders change their focus from their To-Do List and work on their To-Be List, they then set up a framework for how to move forwards, even if they don’t have all the answers. This in turn provides certainty for their people in this ever changing world.

In other words -we can’t always be certain about the ‘What’, but as leaders we can be certain about the ‘How’ and the ‘Why’.