No matter what age, we will always fear the monster under the bed. As an adult, the monster takes on a 1000 different forms in our professional lives – from a presentation we need to give, a skill we don’t possess, a conflict we need to deal with, a new role we are unfamiliar with, and many more.
However, just as you can’t fall asleep until you are certain there is nothing lurking under your bed, you can only truly reach success if you are able to face your fears. Growth and development rarely occur without this step.
Fear is a powerful roadblock leaders need to be aware of for themselves and teams. Fear can have debilitating effects on performance. Fear works by fostering inaction in people which then causes them to miss out on experiences that would bring them further knowledge and information which fuels ignorance. This lack of information then breeds more fear and the cycle continues.
Fear can come in many forms, but usually has its root in one of four areas:
1. Fear of failure: What will happen to me if I can’t do it?
2. Fear of the unknown: It’s outside my comfort zone, I don’t know what it will be like
3. Fear of rejection: What if people don’t like me/think I’m good enough?
4. Fear of success: If I do it well, people will have more expectations of me or give me more responsibilities
Fear drains the energy from people and teams. It is a leader’s job to acknowledge when fear may be holding people back and help alleviate it within their team and guide people through it.
Once fear is acknowledged and put out in the open for what it is, it is much easier for people to see the steps they need to take to overcome it.
Go ahead and shine a light under the bed.