Fear, Covid, oh my! Here's how to crush fear and create success regardless of the obstacles you face. Last week I achieved a phenomenal feat. Fear and its first cousin nearly stopped me.
Fear runs deep. Fear is what keeps us alive. Fear of the unknown balances childish curiosity and keeps us safe.
The thing is, most of us are no longer children. But the fear still runs deep.
But fear left unchecked destroys hopes and dreams.
I remember when I had the remote thought to achieve something no one in my family had ever done... higher education. In my family, just finishing high school was a huge accomplishment. Get a a college degree? Now that was completely unheard of. I only had a high school degree when I dared to dream. Immediately fear gripped me. What if I failed? I mean after all, no one in my family has ever done anything so bold. It was more comforting at the time to dream in private and live my average life rather than to start a journey and have every one see me fail. Then I did something. More about this later.
The fear of possible failure is bad enough, but the problem compounds when those feelings revolve around fear's first cousin: shame. Losing a video game in private is fine, but leadership decisions are not private and making a decision that causes your entire team to lose brings shame.
Shame is the dream killer, because shame (or the possibility of shame) amplifies your fear of fear, keeps you from contributing and short circuits your willingness to explore. It’s one of the underlying drivers that hijack a leader's success.
As soon as you give it a name, though, as soon as you call it out, you can begin to move forward.
Fear of shame unspoken is fear of shame amplified.
Look at the results you are getting in your life. Could it be that the real culprit is fear of shame? Are you sticking to the average road because fear of shame squashes your bold dreams?
Having to navigate deep valleys in leadership is normal. This pandemic has certainly caused a panic. There are so many new adjustments every day. You may have experienced several failures since the start, but don't let fear of failure stop you from dreaming and exploring new ideas. The next solution is right around the corner.
Be afraid of significant failure if you can quantify the downsides. But call out fear of shame because it is a waste and a trap.
What did I do? I started. I failed, I learned, I kept moving forward. And last week I graduated from Law School. The journey took many dips and dives but because I refused to allow the fear of failure to stop me.... it didn't.
Don't let it stop you either. Now get up, dust yourself off, and go out and shake up your world.
Angela Decoteau (Deck-uh-toe)
Success Strategist, Awesome Activator
Encourage . Equip . Empower
Renowned Speaker and Business Coach Angela Decoteau.