How to be a Fearless Leader and Unleash Your Potential

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Do you feel you are currently living your full potential? I bet the answer to that is no. Do you feel you still have so much more of your potential to bring to the world? Deep down you know you do. It is amazing how fear stops us from taking action and moving us in the direction of our dreams in life, at the start of year when many people make new year resolutions to improve themselves and the quality of their life, I wanted to discuss how fear is often one of the things that gets in the way of us being all that we can be and provide you with some ideas on how to become fearless.

FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real

The horrors of war and the pressure of operating under life or death situations means that members of the armed forces are trained to be able to work with fear, to be able to function despite the fear of death. In fact, the physical and psychological effects of fear on soldiers and others who are regularly exposed to life threatening situations has been well documented. Our biological survival mechanism, the fight or flight response is designed to keep us alive when faced with real danger, for example the caveman or woman running away from a hungry saber tooth tiger. However, in our modern technologically advanced society, it is not the battleground or wild animals that most of us need to fear, so what are we scared of?
  • The fear of failure
  • The fear of rejection
  • The fear of public speaking and presentations
  • The fear of humiliation
  • The fear of saying no or yes
  • The fear of verbal confrontation
  • The fear of what others will think of you
  • The fear of speaking up and expressing your feelings
  • The fear of asking for something you want
  • The fear of your own success!
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The list of our modern day fears and anxieties is endless, and for most of us they do not involve life or death situations. Today, even a snotty toned email from a senior or work colleague can trigger us into our fight or flight response and we fear asking for a promotion or raise or starting that business venture as much as the saber tooth tiger!

BEYOND FEAR

The worst thing about fear is that it can have a paralysing effect on us and literally stop us from taking action. Fear can stop us from doing the things that move us in the direction of what we truly want. Everything that you want, everything that you dream is often placed on the other side of fear once we take steps to overcome fear, the world opens up and amazing things happen. I love the way, Will Smith talks about this when he describes his sky diving experience in Dubai. 

FEARLESS LEADERS

Don’t buy into fearmongering, whether that is about the economy, the future of the EU following Brexit or anything else, somebody is usually profiting from playing on your fears. To combat the leadership crisis in the world today, we need leaders who are fearless, leaders that can stand on their own two feet in times of uncertainty and change. In my new book, The Leadership Adventure – The Five Powerful Secrets Every Leader Should Know – I speak about how leaders can be certain in uncertainty and in my leadership coaching programme, I coach leaders to trust themselves and to examine their decisions that are guided by fear instead of what is actually best for their business an example could be cutting the training budget because profits are down, rather than investing in the training of the team to increase morale and productivity to drive the business and make more profit.

How to Be Fearless So You Can Live Life Without Limits and Actualize More of Your Potential

FEARLESSNESS 101

Most of our fears are like shadows and the thing about a shadow is that as soon as you shine a light on shadow, the shadow disappears! So how can you begin to develop fearlessness in your life…

  1. SELF-HONESTY – Be brutally honest with yourself and identify what you are scared of. Sometimes, we can mask our fears by making excuses and telling our selves stories that sound comfortable rather that admitting our fears. The starting point of any real and lasting transformation is self-honesty, remember you can try to fool and lie to the world but you can’t really lie to yourself, so admit your fears at least to yourself.
  2. ACTION ACTION ACTION – Once you have identified your fears the next step is to dive in and take some action in the direction of your fears. Sometimes the thing that you are most scared of doing is the thing that you must do first! When I speak about fearlessness, it does not mean the absence of fear, it means feeling fear and taking action despite experiencing fear. The amazing thing is that as soon as your mind and body is engaged in action, the fear reduces, there is no room for analysis paralysis, sitting on the fence on the contrary is where fear can take a hold of you.
  3. DAILY MEETING WITH FEAR - Daily meetings with your dear friend fear are highly recommended. What I mean by this is that everyday, you should do something that is outside of your comfort zone, something that is a little bit scary. This is about building up your fear resiliency so you get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I don’t mean you have to do some death defying stunt everyday but little acts, such as starting a conversation with someone you have never spoken to before or making a phone call you have been putting off because of fear can do wonders for your self-esteem and moving you into a state of fearless action.
  4. WORST CASE SCENARIO – Keep your fears in perspective and come to terms with the worst case scenario, usually when you confront your fear and it doesn’t quite go according to plan, what is the worst that can happen? Usually, the worst case scenario will not mean death, you will still be alive. If we learn to accept our mortality and accept the fact that one day our life will come to an end then it doesn’t make sense to live in fear! The Samurai warrior’s of old were taught to embrace life by keeping death in mind at all times. A strong and wise philosophical outlook on life can truly make us fearless unfortunately our schools don’t teach us to grow up as fearless philosophers but that is topic for another article!
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I think this quote really sums up the power of facing our fears. Fearlessness doesn’t mean not feeling fear, we are not robots of course we feel fear, of course we do, but fearlessness means doing the damn thing anyway, despite the fear and once we do then we open our lives up to limitless possibilities and our absolutely limitless potential. What fear are you committed to facing head on?

Wishing you a fearless and successful year ahead.

Something that I teach leaders to do on my Leadership Adventure Programme is to go deep within themselves and tackle fear, through meditation and breathing techniques that can help us to get control of our physiology as well as teaching the mindset of fearlessness allowing leaders to communicate and act from an authentic and rooted place.

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