Calling Myself Out
Worry is nothing more than thinking about a future event and predicting a bad outcome. It is a choice. There is no reason to predict that bad outcome. We do not know what is going to come in the future. It is better we think of a future event and predict a successful and rewarding outcome.
Fear of the Future
I preach those words to others, constantly. If you come to me concerned about the future that is one of the exercises I take you through. You cannot let the fear of the future hobble the prospects of the present.
But that is exactly the circumstance I am now facing.
Some background first.
I am a leadership expert. I am an unquestioned leader in almost any organization I join. It is not something I can explain. It is not something I take credit for. It is just something that happens. I have been blessed with a certain quality that makes people look to me for answers.
I accept that. It took me years to accept it. But the evidence is overwhelming. As a result I feel the obligation to help develop emerging leaders. Good, solid, confident leadership is necessary for an organization, no matter the size, to strive. Leadership skills help any individual in any stage of their life.
I am going through what I call an existential crisis right now. The only way I can resolve it is to apply my own teaching and counselling to me. That is hard.
It is also very enlightening.
In my writings, coaching and speaking I point out that the first benefit of what I am teaching is learning how to recognize when one of the roadblocks, or “energy blocks” as they are sometimes called, is impacting your decisions, actions or inaction. If you learn these well enough they will make themselves immediately evident when you are confronted with a problem about how to proceed.
Live Beyond Fear
When I joined the National Speakers Association I was going to talk about overcoming fear. I developed a program and a website called “live beyond fear.” The name was suggested by someone who was trying to help me develop a brand. It was a good idea. But with my A.D.D and my need for more rapid results, I went off in another direction, then another. Finally it became clear that the leadership field was where I belonged. My message of overcoming fear was important for emerging leaders.
Fear has always been something I wanted to help others overcome. I was constrained by one fear or another most of my youth and into part of my adult life. I am not talking about fear of spiders or snakes. I mean fear of failure, ridicule, what others thought of me, fear of not being good enough. Fear of rejection. That should be enough for one person.
Friends and Haters
Maybe I overcompensated. I know that most people would say that I do not give one moment’s thought to what others think of me. That is only true on some levels. I spent years worrying about that very thing. I made many decisions in an effort to fulfill what I believed were the expectations others had for me. Of course those were ill-fated. Others were not living my life. They were only judging it. We cannot control what others think of us. We can control how we react to that. Our real friends like us despite what we do. Our haters don’t like us despite what we do. And most of the people in the world never think of us at all.
I do not believe we ever rid ourselves of our demons. We simply learn how to control them.
I learned how to fake my lack of fear. I put on a fearless face as I went out each day. Inside I trembled. Then one day a man I had known well for many years told me that I was the most fearless person he knew. It was like a huge high-five. It was like a friendly slap in the face. “I made it,” I thought.
At this moment in my life there is an issue about which I care very much. I was inspired by watching a documentary about it. I felt the urge to get involved. For a moment I found myself dealing with those same old energy blocks. “What would people say?” Would it hurt my business?” “Would I be ostracized?”
It was then that my training, kicked in. I immediately recognized that I was doing the very thing I counsel my coaching clients and speaking audiences to avoid.
That made the decision easy. Was what I wanted to do the right thing? The answer is “Yes.”
Personal development is a continuous undertaking. If you let your guard down, you can easily slip into old habits that work against your progress. Stay vigilant always.