What Are You Afraid Of?

Terri* could easily picture the little girl sitting on the bench that she often saw in her dreams. She did not know the girl’s name but could clearly hear her voice reminding her of her shortcomings. She whispered that Terri was not smart enough, kind enough ,etc. As Terri and I discussed what this all meant during our session, she realized that the girl in the dream represented all the fears she had about not measuring up to the expectations of her father. She did not feel that she could ever be good enough for him. That fear was always just beneath the surface and affected her every waking moment. The amazing thing was that Terri was very successful in every single thing she attempted but she had always let the fear of possible failure loom over her like an ominous cloud. During our coaching partnership, she was able to face and manage her fears and stop letting them drive her life. The dreams about the little girl decreased and eventually stopped as she worked with her coach and a therapist to understand her fear and address it.

What are you afraid of? There are many ways to view fear. My favorite acronym for fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. We often allow fear to become a self fulfilling prophecy because we manufacture evidence to support what we think about ourselves.  Being fearful is a choice that does not allow you to be the best you that is possible. Worry is an ally of fear.

My Mother used to say that we worry about things before they happen, when they happen and after they happen. She said we should wait until they happen and make one worry do. She offered sage advice that we should consider. Here are a few ideas that might help you handle your fears.

  • Acknowledge your fears but don’t let them control you. A veteran coach friend of mine says, “It is ok to let fear go along for the ride, you just can’t let it drive.”
  • Separate fact from fear-induced fiction. You can tell yourself something for so long that we start to believe it is factual when it is either totally or partially a figment of our active imagination. What we make up about a situation is often just that…made up and not based on any factual evidence.
  • Practice looking for the positive about yourself and others. There is one line in the movie, Pretty Woman, where Julia Robert’s character says, “It is easier to believe the bad stuff.” We can overcome that syndrome with practice. The subconscious mind is a sponge that will believe whatever we feed it and will then help it to become true. Don’t feed it fear and failure or it believes that is what you want to be true  and it will help you achieve your goals.

This quote on fear is often attributed to Nelson Mandela but it was actually from a book by Marianne Williamson. Choose to focus on your light instead of your fears. You are enough already.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Acknowledge your fear, put it in the backseat and keep driving towards your God-given brilliance.

Beverley Wright PCC is an executive coach and leadership consultant. She is the CEO of Wright Choice Group LLC.  www.wrightchoicegroup.com

Managers And Leaders

It’s Monday morning and the weekend is over for most of us and it is time to go back to work. Are your employees looking forward to coming back to work for you? There is a quote that says, “People join companies and leave managers.” If you formally manage people as a part of your job responsibilities, this column may be of particular interest to you. I intended to write about something completely different for this issue but recently I have heard so many distressful stories about bosses that make the workplace more challenging than it has to be that I changed my focus. Let’s be clear, the purpose of any business is to generate profits. A business usually does that by filling a need that serves customers. Your employees service and touch your customers so it is in the best interest of a manager or business owner to have motivated, engaged and reasonably happy employees interacting with them. Have you gone to make a purchase and while the clerk is checking you out, they share their view of what a horrible place they work in and how they can’t wait to find an escape? Even worse, they ignore customers and spend their time sharing with their peers about their plight of working for uncaring bosses and companies that don’t expect much of them or invest in their training and development. Sound familiar? This is a symptom of workplace pain that has become too often the rule and not the exception. The antidote is to train managers and leaders to become effective in leading people. They might focus as much on the return on people (ROP) as they focus on the return on investment (ROI). The two things are very closely related. Extensive research has shown that the managers or leaders of organizations or companies create the environment, climate and culture. Managers can create a climate that encourages employees to offer ideas for new products, redefine processes that increase productivity and customer satisfaction and look for ways to grow company revenue. The climate can impact the bottom line profits of a company by a 28 percent factor…up or down. What company would not like to grow profit by even a fraction of that number?

What does it take to be a leader that creates a positive workplace climate? In their book, The Leadership Challenge, Kouzes and Posner identified four practices of exemplary leadership. They are:

  1. Model the Way
  2. Inspire a Shared Vision
  3. Challenge the Process
  4. Enable Other to Act

Locked Member Content #1

This content would be actually content that is a part of the membership. For example, a video. The notice below is not necessary.

Thank you for your interest in Wright Choice Group Leadership Coaching and Consulting.  You have clicked on our “Members Only” page that gives members access to training, tools and resources to support them in achieving their personal and professional goals.  Click here to learn how to become a member now and start being the leader of your life in a more focused and intentional way.  Investing in yourself can give you exponential return on your investment.