How to get unstuck when you're scared
We're officially facing global pandemic, how do you feel about your ability to lead? It can be easy to let uncertainty, anxiety, and fear get in your way. Fear can make you feel stuck, afraid, constantly worrying, or avoiding life. I want to encourage you to shift your thinking and embrace the opportunity to lead during uncertainty so I compiled my best tips for you.
The truth is, fear is not all bad. Most leaders you admire have overcome their fear of failure and imposter syndrome during situations out of their control. Facing your anxiety can help you make better choices. Fear can mean that you are fully present and aware of the risk meaning you'll take longer to consider all angles and possibly apply better thinking.
You might be thinking, "Meredith, if fear can be good, what's the problem with staying scared?" Listen, I spent a good amount of my life afraid. When I started working in management communications on global issues from the environment, education, human trafficking, women's rights, to disaster relief efforts, I always worried about the safety of people I loved and never met. When my fear and anxiety get overwhelming, I coach myself with breakthrough questions, and I'm sharing them with you as you adapt.
When I'm feeling anxious about the future, I ask myself, what experience have you had to validate that fear? The problem when fear keeps you from acting on what you know you must do as a leader.
Here is my Guide to leading through fear:
1. Get above the clouds. You can't control everything, learning to stop anxiety from paralyzing you will change your life. In uncertain times it can be easy to fear the unknown. Fear is temporary. Leaders know fear is not who they are; it's a feeling in a moment in time. They don't lose sight of their strengths and start to think that fear is a permanent condition. Fear is like turbulence on a plane. You have to get through it to experience the blue skies on the other side.