Bridging Leadership Lessons from the Workplace and Those Experiences Shaping Today's Youth and Tomorrow's Leaders
“Fear and faith have one thing in common- they both believe in a future that hasn't happened. Fear believes in a negative future. Faith believes in a positive future.”
A few months ago, I received feedback from a coworker on one of my blogs. In Who is On Your Team I discussed the dynamics of sibling relationships. He pointed out that he was a middle child and he found it enlightening to see that I was the baby of the family. He wrote “this helps explain a lot of things…” he included some laughing emojis in the note along with a winky face.
We went on to discuss the roles people play, whether on teams or in families, and how that can change over time or even situation to situation. He then paid me a compliment by saying, “I have seen the youngest also be completely fearless and able to succeed in any situation like yourself.”
I was taken aback. I immediately responded with “fearless? Not even close!” I went on to explain that I am a walking panic attack waiting to happen. I spend my time bouncing between excitement of the opportunity in front of me and the feeling of being frozen, unable to make a move in fear of an attack ready to swell up inside my chest. I told him that the fact I can hide it up from those around me probably explains the heart attack!
His response was kind, thoughtful and encouraging, “I think you are fearless in your willingness to try. Maybe being fearless, and being fearful, are two different things.” It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by John Wayne, “Courage is being scared to death – but saddling up anyway.” The 1st Pillar of Impact is the Courage to Challenge talks about even when things are not comfortable for you, you still need to put aside the fear and do what is necessary.
A site I follow called, the Winning Difference, tweeted out an excerpt from a Will Smith movie called After Earth. “Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. Fear is a choice.” They concluded the post with “Fear and doubt have ended more dreams than talent ever has.”
What a great message. Fear is a normal response in life. The key is to manage it and recognizing that it is a feeling and not a roadblock. Then, you can visualize your fear as an obstacle to overcome and focus on that desired outcome. The fear of the miss can prevent a stellar basketball player from taking the winning shot. Hall of Fame basketball player, Charles Barkley, said “If you’re afraid of failure, you don’t deserve to be successful.”
Fear doesn’t need to be suppressed but instead acknowledged for what it is, a feeling of negativity and doubt. By recognizing the fearful feeling, we can choose the fearless actions that enable us to move forward. To move past our fears and fearlessly move forward Beyond Today.
Tom Brown - a husband and a father who is simply trying to make a difference. Using my experience as a Manufacturing Executive to connect leadership from the boardroom to the hardwood to help teams grow and develop to make a difference in the lives of others.