One of the more challenging topics to consider in the life of a leader is fear. At different times it bothers even the most confident leader. The challenge with fear is that it deals with consequences of actions, loss of value and the unknown.
The thought of “unknown” is a difficult one to overcome. Not all of us are wired to have a high tolerance of ambiguity. Not all of us can accept uncertainty as a normal state of affairs. No we prefer the predictable, the habitual, the known.
Challenge is that comfort, predictability, habitual are really a myth. We live in a world where outcomes are unknown, people are somewhat unpredictable, challenges and change are the norm.
So what can we do?
1. Recognize and accept that the myth is exactly that.
Operate from the believe that the world is a wonderful place to explore and
experiment in. People are fascinating and need to be known to be understood.
2. Build your own self confidence.
The deeper your understanding of who you are and what you know and do not know,
the better you will be able to remain calm and strong in the most adverse of
3. Refuse to allow fear and anxiety to grip you.
Increase your self awareness to a point where you become fully present and conscious
of your emotional state. Look at fear from the point of view of an amused and curious
bystander. Hold it at arms length by the scruff of the neck. Separate it from yourself.
Please note there are real fears, fears that are life and death. I am not talking about these. I am talking about the fear that leaders face from time to time.
I am reminded of the other meaning of fear. False evidence appearing real. Many fears are just this. As a leader we need to consider how to overcome fear in a healthy way. The ability to stand in against fear is not only a core tool of a leader, it is also for many the definition of courage.