Nothing can cripple a leader’s ability to make decisions and take action more than fear. What will people think? What happens if I make the wrong decision? What if I fail? These are the kinds of questions that can invade the leader’s mind when faced with fear. When these questions start to linger, leaders end up putting off the tough decisions and difficult conversations. As a result, they abdicate their responsibility as a leader.
Fear is a natural emotion for all of us, but how we handle fear determines whether or not we will let it influence our decisions and actions. Winston Churchill famously said, “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” Unfortunately, leaders often allow fear of failing to discourage them from taking action because they believe that playing it safe is easier and more comfortable.
If you are a leader, then you need to learn quickly (if you haven’t already) that leadership is not easy, especially if you are a person of integrity who believes in standing on principles and core values. There will come a time when you are faced with some tough decisions that will impact your organization, employees, and customers. The question is, will you take the easy way out by avoiding that tough conversation or difficult decision so that you can avoid some discomfort? If so, that’s not leadership.
Leadership requires decisiveness. It requires courage. It requires risk. It’s not always easy and comfortable. If it was, everyone would want to be a leader! But not everyone wants to be a leader, because they do not want the responsibility that comes along with it. Leaders must be willing to confront fear head-on, knowing that they will have to make some tough choices, take some risks, and have some challenging conversations.
- How is fear you holding back today?
- Are you putting off a decision or conversation that needs to be addressed?
- Have you become stagnant because you will not take a leap of faith?
- Are you afraid of what others will think if you make a certain decision?
- Is there a dream that you are holding on to and will not share with anyone else?
- Are you simply afraid that you will fail?
These are some important questions to ponder as you seek to grow your leadership ability. If you continue playing it safe, you will never truly have the impact that you desire unless you confront the fear that is holding you back. It’s through this process that you will become a leader that others respect and want to follow.
More Quotes on Fear:
“I have lived a long life and had many troubles, most of which never happened.” – Mark Twain
“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” – Babe Ruth
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt