Fear is one of the biggest saboteurs I see when working with leaders.
What could we accomplish without it? Who could we become if we could put fear up on the shelf and step into the person we want to be?
Psychologists have long been intrigued with neuroscience and how our brain functions when we are all revved up when we are afraid. Studies show we cannot function clearly. The amygdala begins to shut down non-vital functions of our body, such as logic, in order to pump blood quickly into our big muscle groups for fighting or for running. It clouds our reasoning and often we end up saying or doing something regrettable.
So what can we do? Eliminating fear is not possible. Humans are wired for it.
1) Build your awareness. When are you fearful? What is happening to make you afraid? How is your fear serving you? Getting in your way?
2) Manage your fear. What brings you back to the present? What tools do you use to calm down? Breathing, movement, a mantra, noticing beauty, may all be tools to calm your body. If your brain cannot calm down, lead with your body and your brain will follow.
3) Be grateful. Studies show the opposite of fear is gratitude. It is physically impossible for the brain to be in a state of fear and gratefulness at the same time. So the next time you find yourself nervous about something around the corner, think about something you are truly grateful for in your life to restore your leadership presence.