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How to deal with your fears ?

Last week, I had an interesting coaching conversation with one of my clients

He is a highly successful and ambitious senior executive, part of my Compass Leadership Program

In that session, we wanted to explore some of his fears and limiting beliefs which might be holding him back

Of this is not easy – this is deep coaching and you have to be truly vulnerable

More importantly, you have to be really courageous to look inside

He was hesitant in the beginning as we started the session

But as we progressed, he came forward and said “I fear collapsing someday from overwork & stress”

Now this is not the first time I have heard business leaders being afraid of something

Deep down, you usually know what you are afraid of, though you may have not spoken about it

Most people try find ways to overcome their fears

And that’s probably the biggest mistake they make

Because….

The key to dealing with fear is NOT to try and overcome it

The key is to acknowledge it 

Accept it

And most importantly….

Find out the real reason behind it

There’s always a deeper reason behind all your fears

So I continued to dig deeper in this session

You know what the real reason behind his fear was ?

His inability to say NO

Despite being at the helm, he would end up taking on more than he could manage

“One extra hour at work won’t harm me” he would think

And that one hour would in most occasions, turn into several extra hours 

Because of which, he ended up feeling stretched and overwhelmed

This gave birth to his fears

But the fact that he was finally ready to accept it and do something about it was a sign of progress

You see….

Sometimes, we are not even aware of our own fears

Sometimes, we are aware, but we don’t want to acknowledge them 

We don’t want to face them. We tend to run away

But, the more you run away, the more you fuel your fears

I call this the paradox of fear

And in most occasions, you are not aware of the real reason behind your fears

But when you accept your fears, it gives you the ability to do something about it

It gives you a choice and we all know that life is all about choices

This is an important aspect of self-awareness as a leader as well as an individual

In this case, my client was now aware that his challenge was his inability to say NO, so for the remainder session, we worked in this space and created a small action plan of things he can start doing immediately

So here’s a reflective exercise for you. Take some time out and answer the following questions

  1. What is your greatest fear ?
  2. How is it impacting you and people around you ? How is it holding you back ? This is important, because in many cases, we are not fully aware of the price we are paying by letting fears dictate our decisions
  3. What is the real reason behind your fear ? Now this is not straight forward and may need some help with a colleague or your partner. Sometimes, this could take you way back in time
  4. Despite your fear, what is the smallest action you can take TODAY ?

Complete these following sentences as you reflect 

My greatest fear is that_____________________

This prevents me from______________________ 

When I dig deeper, the real reason for my fear is ________________________

Today, I am accepting and acknowledging my fears. I will ( smallest action you can take )_________________

 

PLUS, whenever you are ready to confront your fears and move courageously ahead, you can book a short exploratory call

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