Date Added: May 2015
This is the second of three articles focused on facing your fears. Facing your fears is a choice by you and there is no magic wand to accomplish this other than understanding it is a continual journey.
Previously discussed, the first step to facing fears is to acknowledge you have fears; and understand why they are fears. This takes deep reflection and honest recognition of your fears.
The second step is understanding what your fears are and when they occur. Once acknowledgement occurs, you have to look in the mirror to understand what is a fear and what is not (if you are avoiding something, you probably have a fear); and discern when it occurs so you can address it.
An example of not understanding fears relates to those who are enablers or “people pleasers.” Enablers believe they have no fears because they will take on others’ problems, thereby enabling others to continue unproductive behaviors. This is fear avoidance because enablers are still not addressing fears.
People pleasers are similar by believing they are simply helping others; however, they may also not be facing fears by avoidance as well. Both need to understand these are fears, and when enabling or “people pleasing” they can stop this actively and face their fear.
One of my fears used to be crying because I thought it was a sign of vulnerability. I overcame this fear only to have someone say, “It seems like you cry a lot;” causing my fear to return. I re-acknowledged this fear, realized it didn’t matter what others thought as this was my personal display of emotion, and faced the fear when it occurred by showing my emotion nonetheless.
Someone once told me he prefers to avoid conflict with others. This person ultimately fears being judged, so he avoids being direct with others. Another once told me, “I would prefer everyone likes me as a leader.” This person has a fear of people disliking her, preferring to be a people pleaser.
Facing fears requires an understanding and courage to face the fear head-on. While short-term concerns may increase; long-term, this is the way to effectively addressing fears.
David Yeghiaian is committed to leading people on a life-changing journey to being great leaders. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.