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Leadership is Fear

Take a moment to reflect back.

Reflect on those moments in time where you were most uncomfortable, most afraid of unknown situations in your life. What did you do? How did you handle them? Were you paralyzed with fear, unable to move past insecurities and doubt? Or were you able to fight through the situation and learn from the experience?

We all have had feelings of uncertainty at times. Moments where we hold ourselves back from speaking up at work for something we believe in or trusting our gut instincts to make the right choices within our personal lives.

We all feel fear.

That is why it is so important to face fear. Look at it straight in the eye and overcome any obstacles it may present. If you want to be that leader, you must take those opportunities others are fearful of.

There are a few things to consider…

Understand who you are.

When it comes to tasks, take some time to think about which competencies are your strengths and where you would like to improve. Are you a “results-only” driven individual who could not care about soft skills? Or are you a “people-person” striving to build growth in your professional environment? Are you action-oriented or extremely lazy? Do you tend to be the first one to discuss change or prefer that someone else take on the responsibility? Or do you have a mix of everything? Recognizing your abilities will help you understand what you are fearful of and provide a clearer picture on the type of leader you want to become.

Understand why you are this way.

You’ve acknowledged that you’re a pretty easygoing individual, who doesn’t know what to do in life but does want to make a million bucks eventually by getting that amazing job without actually attaining the skills needed to qualify. Maybe you think the complete opposite.

Our past experiences and learning have a huge impact on the way we perceive ourselves. Which of those experiences have shaped your thought process and guided you over the years? What has prevented you from overcoming obstacles? Feeling afraid before starting a task is ok and sometimes necessary. Use that feeling as motivation and constantly remind yourself of the positive development you are about to achieve. The ability to self-reflect is critical to your learning when overcoming any fears.

Understand Leadership is a journey.

The continued practice of self-reflection – understanding yourself - will help focus your thoughts in an analytical manner, giving you the ability to personally and professionally develop. Remember, we all feel fear, so it’s important not to ignore its impact. However, don’t give fear so much value! Great leaders acknowledge fear. They understand its importance in their continued journey for success. Most importantly, leaders live fear and are not terrified of tackling opportunities they are most afraid of.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." - Nelson Mandela.

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