Swing the bat…

“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”

Babe Ruth

Fear leads to hesitation and when you hesitate you miss the opportunities that come your way (like a hanging curve ball). When you miss the opportunities that is when you really strike out.

Swing the bat. You might strike out, but at least you are swinging…

Face your fears…

“Being aware of your fear is smart. Overcoming it is the mark of a successful person.”

Seth Godin

What are the things that scare you? Do you run from them? Have your fears paralyzed you or motivated you?

If you don’t face your fears, they will own you. Do you want fear to control you? Or would you rather face the fear and win?

Sometimes you just need to build some momentum. Face a fear, and win. Then do it again. And again. And again…

Scared is good!

“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.”

Seth Godin

What really scares you? I know at one time in my life I HATED public speaking. I am not alone in having had that phobia, it is a common fear. I heard once that people actually ranked public speaking ahead of dying as something they were afraid of! Today speaking still makes my pulse race and makes my palms sweat a bit. I love that it scares me. It makes me push harder, prepare harder, think through what I want to say and how I want to say it. If it didn’t scare me, I don’t believe I could do my audience justice and make it worth their time and attention to listen to something I am saying.

I no longer hate speaking, in fact, I love it, but it still scares me. But I wouldn’t trade away the feeling I get, and the benefits I believe come that from, being scared. Having a fear that I must overcome forces me to be better, to grow and improve. Besides, how do you know you are alive if you aren’t scared on occasion?

Doer vs. thinker…

“We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action.”

Dr. Henry Link

What are you afraid of? What fears cloud your mind when you are sitting back thinking? How do you turn this into action and put those fears to rest?

Taking action always makes a challenge a little less formidable. Just the sheer act of expending energy towards a solution makes the thing, however daunting it might be, something that isn’t as scary and out of reach. All the planning and thinking in the world doesn’t give me the same relief as the first action towards something. Being a great “doer” is far more rewarding than being a great “thinker.”

Be afraid…

“If it scares you it might be a good thing to try.”

Seth Godin

Fear can either motivate or paralyze. How do you respond to what scares you? Do you lean in or lean back?

If we never try anything that stretches us past the point of fear we could never achieve to the level of our capability. How can you know what you are capable of if you don’t stretch?

Fear not…

“Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

Corrie Ten Boom

Thinking things through is a great skill and one that will pay dividends when things don’t go exactly as you planned (and that will happen to all of us sooner or later). But worrying, obsessing, getting lost in the fear of “what if” or “why me” doesn’t help improve our chances of success.

There is a big difference between preparing and worrying. How we handle this difference makes such an impact on our lives and the lives of those around us. Planning is proactive and positive. Worry is negative and emotionally draining.

There are so many good bible verses on worry but here are two of my absolute favorites that I go to whenever I cross the chasm between planning and worry.

“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?” Luke 12:25-26

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Do not be afraid…

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

Rosa Parks

The minute that you let the fear of being wrong, of failing, or of making a mistake paralyze you you have already lost.  You will make bad decisions when you are trying not to lose or if your decisions come from a place of fear and doubt.

Taking action is what allows you to break free from fear.  You don’t have time to focus on being afraid if you are making decisions and implementing those actions.  So what if you make the wrong decision?  What if it gets worse?  That’s okay, if you have a bias towards making decisions and taking action you can make another decision, you can learn and get better.

Did you know that “Do not be afraid” or “do not fear” is written in the Bible 365 times?  One of my favorite verses (any many others folks I am sure) is Psalms 23:4. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Make up your mind to make up your mind.  Decide to address whatever it is that makes you fearful and take action.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

What are you afraid of?

“Teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.”

Patrick Lencioni

Merriam-Webster defines “invulnerable” as “impossible to harm, damage or defeat.”  We are taught at a young age that we have to be tough, that we have to win, that showing any vulnerability is a sign of weakness and frailty.  So we carry that defensive nature into our lives and relationships, both at work and at home.  Instead of accepting that we are all vulnerable we seek to be invulnerable with those around us.  

Perhaps this is changing?  The usage of the word “vulnerable” has certainly become more prevalent over the past few decades. Not bad for a word that has it’s root origination in the Latin noun “vulnus” meaning “wound.”  (Finally all my college Latin courses are paying off!!)

 

vulnerable

Usage of “vulnerable”

 

But lets contrast “invulnerability” with “trust” which is defined as “allow someone to have, use, or look after (someone or something of importance or value) with confidence.” 

How do you know when you trust someone?  What does it feel like? For me it is the feeling of safety.  That it is okay if I’m not perfect and it is safe to expose my vulnerabilities for the purpose of achieving a greater good.  When I trust my teammates I am confident that they care, first and foremost, about achieving our shared goals and purpose.

Hmm, now that I think about it maybe “invulnerability” isn’t such a bad thing.  If a team has a high degree of trust with each other I think they just might be a team that is “impossible to harm, damage or defeat…”  

 

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