We are all born with two fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Any other fear is a story you’ve created, consciously or unconsciously.
You are not born with the fear of failure, public speaking, dying, or even spiders! If you were born with those fears, why would some people not have a fear of failure, public speaking, dying, or spiders? There is more to it…
We create our fears through catastrophic thinking about certain situations and events. We are the master storyteller. If our negative narratives go untested, they become ingrained as beliefs and impact our behavior. Our fears limit us. The only way to overcome a fear is to face it, unravel the story you have created and test it to see if it’s true!
Everybody has fears, and leaders are no exception. Individually our fears can hold us back. But as a leader of others, leading from a place of fear can have a broader negative impact where your response to the events around you do not come from your best self.
Here are five common fears that leaders, in particular, need to look out for:
#1 The fear of being seen as an imposter.
If you secretly feel you’re not good enough or intelligent enough to be in a leadership position, you are not alone!
We are all imposters! We are all called to lead into the unknown. We don’t know what we don’t know! That is where the power of the team comes in. Leveraging the collective wisdom of your team will make you agile and adaptable to the unknown. It’s not all up to you!
Next time you experience imposter syndrome, ask yourself: when was the last time you faced this exact situation, and how did you deal with it?
A ridiculous question, am I right? You have never been where you are at this moment! Every moment is a new moment. You feel like an imposter… but you are self-generating and innovating, and creating in real time!
#2 The fear of being criticized.
Facing criticism is part of the territory of leadership. You should be concerned if you never hear criticism because that means you’re probably playing too safe or your people don’t feel the emotional safety to offer criticism. Criticism is feedback; feedback is information. Learn to listen to criticism and take the important messages for your growth and improvement!
Actively seek feedback. Ask your team this powerful question: On a scale of 1 – 10, how would you rate my leadership this week? Whatever number they give you, ask what specifically you did to get that rating (this gives you clues about what they are looking for from you). And then ask the follow-up question: What would it take to make it a 10? See what is requested and decide if it’s something you will do!
#3 The fear of being a failure.
When you become afraid to fail forward, you miss out on new learning experiences and opportunities for growth. Failing is a form of learning. Pay attention to the information, adjust the course, and frame failure as a learning opportunity. Humility opens your heart and mind for growth.
Ask yourself this powerful question: What does it cost you to act like you know?
#4 The fear of making hard decisions.
As a leader, you need to be able to make hard decisions without getting stuck in “paralysis of analysis.” You will never have all the information you think you need when deciding. Learn to trust your gut, include everyone in the decision that the decision will affect (the best you can), and then commit, pay attention to the feedback, and adjust as necessary. Making a decision creates movement, new information will emerge, and you can course correct it if necessary.
Remember, not making a decision is making a decision! Avoiding tough decisions doesn’t make them go away. It can, however, make the situation worse and impact your credibility.
#5 The fear of not getting enough done.
As we all know, hundreds of distractions and millions of diversions can slow us down. Leaders must produce results—yet so much of what leaders do is intangible.
Our role as leaders is to unify a group of people around a shared purpose and work collectively to achieve that purpose…and all the other stuff in between!
Our success is measured by how well that group of people can unite and work collectively. Your job as a leader is not so much doing as it is being.
We all have fears. As leaders, we must learn to recognize when we are operating from fear, take a breath… and question:
- Am I falling?
- Was there a loud noise?
If not, it’s likely a story you have created. Sit in the story, question it, rewrite the narrative, and lean in!
If you are ready to address your fears, step into your potential and be triggered less of the time. Come join me in my upcoming Free Masterclass WHY DO I SOMETIMES LOSE MY SHIT… & What To Do About It, where we’ll help you unpack just that.
Learn More and Save Your Spot Here (https://human.gg/hFcTHl)