Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you in better living quarters. — Rumi
The leaders and teams I work with are up to big things. They have a vision, they want good things to happen in the world, and they are willing to work hard to make big things happen.
Until they get scared.
Scared they might fail.
Scared that something they do or say might risk too much.
Scared that something bad might happen in the future.
This isn’t bad to have these feelings, but when we operate from fear, we essentially turn off our higher cognitive thinking capacity.
Without our bigger brain running the show, when we plan from fear, we tend to limits our actions to a very small range of options. Which then, in turn, tends to limit our impact.
Not so good.
The best way I know through fear is just that: through it. Not over, around, or under: through.
Because rarely is the fear that we imagine really as bad as we think it is or will be. We have such amazing, creative minds – so good at making up elaborate stories, aren’t we?
When you next find yourself in the clutches of some fear, try this:
1) Name it. We can’t work with or change what we don’t know or name. What are you afraid of? What is the story you are telling yourself? And what is the really significant meaning you are layering on this situation?
2) Feel it. Despite what you may have been told, feeling your feelings won’t kill you. What is the emotion(s) that shows up when you think of your worst case scenario? Lean into that a bit: what if what you most fear actually happened? What would happen next? Let it play out in your head, all the way. What is here? What do you notice is different now?
3) Create from it. Imagine this fear had some information for you: what is really truly important here? There may be some really critical information for you lurking below the surface of what scares you. How can this inform your next steps?
Rather than resisting or protecting ourselves from our fears, if we can name, feel and learn from our fears, rather than have them drive us, we are using our whole brains and whole amazing selves to take risks, play bigger and ultimately impact the issues we care most about.
In the Comments below, take a risk! Tell me:
– What are your greatest fears as a change maker?
– What helps you work through your fears?
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Image credit: Pixabay