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Develop a courageous mindset

When you try something out of your comfort zone for the first time, or something that you have already failed at, you know as well as I do that you need some serious courage to push through. Have you ever been so afraid of failing at something that you decided not to try it at all? At one time or another, many of us are afraid to undertake a trial because of the possibility of experiencing an error. The truth is when you speak with successful leaders they will tell you that trial and error are usually the prime means they have applied to solving many problems.

Personal Reflection

Are you a risk-taker by nature? Reflect for a minute … what’s the biggest risk you have ever taken … are there any risks you regret not taken? Chances are you avoided taking some risks (career or other) because of some level of fear. In my coaching engagements I have encountered several categories of fear experienced by my clients. Here are some of the common ones: (1) fear of failing; (2) fear of disapproval from others; (3) fear that the intention will be misunderstood; (4) fear of the responsibilities that will come with success; (5) fear of competition; (6) fear of confrontation; (7) fear of change; (8) fear of building close relationships; (9) fear of rejection; (10) fear of losing control; (11) fear of being inadequate; and (12) fear of the unknown. By the way I have personally experienced a few of them myself.

If we are not careful, the symptoms of fear both emotional and physical end up controlling our behaviors and stalling our destiny especially if we don’t recognize them for what they are and confront them before they conquer us.

Don’t Let Fear Make You an Ineffective Leader

In our leadership role, it may be that expectations of perfection has gotten the best us to the point where we send direct and indirect messages to our teams that failure, mistakes and errors are not options … EVER … thus squashing all hope of energy, creativity and progress! The best way to conquer fear is to confront it!

But let’s get back to you and the personal aspects of fear for a minute. Are you living your best life or are you settling? How would you honestly answer the following questions?

  1. Do you truly like and enjoy your current job? If your answer is no, what is your drive to keep doing what you are not enjoying?
  2. What would you pursue in life if nobody was watching, commenting or judging?
  3. What would you like to be doing one year from now and are you doing anything to move you closer to this goal?
  4. Where do you see your life in five years and what are you willing to commit to make sure you stay on target?
  5. What would you do if you had more courage?
  6. What would you do if you had more talent?
  7. What is currently taking up most of your time and how is this aligned with your one-year and five-year goals?
  8. What motivates you to be productive and how much of your time is spent doing what motivates you?
  9. Looking back on your life lived so far, what is the legacy you are leaving? Does it align with the legacy you want to leave?
  10. What are you going to do about all of your responses to the above questions … what is your next move?

If fear has never been a challenge for you congratulations on being in the top 1%. However, if fear has ever held you hostage from moving into areas that could enrich your own life and the lives of others I can tell you … you are not alone. Fear is one of the biggest problems we must face if we truly want to live our life to the fullest. The good news is … there is a solution to fear … courage! Let’s be clear though, courage is not the absence of fear. It is also not something we wait to feel before stepping forward towards the challenge. Courage is a mindset and it is what enables us to face the things we fear. Courage propels a force in us to execute on the challenges while being afraid. I can tell you … once you get a taste of what courage feels like and see the benefits it brings, courage becomes contagious. If you want to amplify your courage … spend more time with people who are courageous and less time with fearful and defeated people.

So… what are you doing to jumpstart your future?

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