Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith. – Henry Ward Beecher
As a do-gooder, you’re always up to something. Usually something pretty big.
And as you take it on (the presentation to the board, the job interview, the launch of a big new initiative), you’re excited. Anticipatory. And maybe just a little tiny bit (or more) nervous.
And if you pay careful attention here, you’ll notice you’re at a choice point.
Do you want to approach this big event from attitude of fear?
Or from someplace else?
One of my teachers says it’s always a choice between love and fear. Always.
As humans, our brains are wired for fear and survival. So, it is natural that we are on the look out for danger.
However, in most of our lives, there really isn’t a lot of real danger. But our inner dialogue can make some new experiences seem like a true matter of life and death.
It takes some faith or trust to journey into the unknown, the challenge, the change.
In my mind, that is exactly the role of the leader – to step into the unknown, again and again, with trust, with faith.
If you find yourself mired in fear in the face of change or the unknown, try this:
1) Stop, look and listen (to yourself). What is actually happening? Break it down into facts, thoughts, and feelings. What are the facts about the situation? What are your thoughts about it? What feelings come up? Find the distinction between them. We often get confused between facts and thoughts, and thoughts and feelings about a situation.
2) Get curious. If you notice a lot of fear present, peek under the hood and take a look. Describe the fear in detail: its qualities, the specifics, the characteristics.
We learn to avoid pain and fear for good reason: however, the more you can be specific about your experience, the more you can understand it. Often as we clearer are about the fear, we can gain appreciation for it. Sometimes touching our fear is like touching a soap bubble, and it just pops and disappears.
3) Choose. Being clearer about the fear, what do you know now? What is apparent to you? Knowing what you now know, what attitude will you choose? What will you step towards?
Now it’s your turn. In the Comments below, tell me:
– What do you do when you are facing something that scares you?
– What helps you to choose to trust, to have faith?
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