When you step bravely out into the world, claiming your place as a leader, you also position yourself at the front-line of change and open the door to adversity. Serving your community, whichever circles you wish you lead, asks you to then be willing to face challenges on behalf of those behind you. Stepping out forces you to uncover new depths of your own bravery and strength.
Leadership inherently breeds fear, simply because it requires you to tackle the new and uncertain, typically before anyone else has had the chance to chart a course. Trailblazers are those who have developed a healthy relationship with their role in approaching the unknown. True leaders are those who have garnered a deep respect the ways they choose to welcome fear into their lives.
Fear is a powerful, yet necessary tool in any leader’s toolkit. However, to use it properly you first must come to terms with how you face that which makes you anxious, doubtful, and afraid. There are endless benefits to understanding your personal triggers, as well as your instinctual responses to external or perceived threats.
How has fear shaped your life up until now? What are your triggers from the past? How do you react to unexpected adversity? What would help to improve your ability to respond with courage, grace, and wisdom?
A mature leader is someone who has mastered their underlying reactions to moments of vulnerability and has worked to build an intimate rapport with their own capacity for facing uncertainty.
Harnessing the fierceness of Feminine Power
All women are natural born leaders. Regardless of the space which we choose to lead in, our ingrained nature is to support our surroundings through nurturing, organizing, and fostering a healthy success for those we care about.
As maternal creatures, we are designed to lift others up through rebirth and regeneration. Our leadership predispositions originate from a place of love, wisdom, compassion, and connection. This inherent arc which fuels our role in moving people forward, also then opens us up to threats which tend to mirror the light with darkness. When we lead from a place of wise compassion, we attract conflicts motivated by ignorant disregard. When we speak a message of loving connection, we are challenged by that which represents hateful separation.
We attract our mirror equals. The larger we build ourselves, the larger we build our opposition.
When facing adversity, we’ll notice that the source of fear can come from voices outside of us, as well as the voice within. We can attract people who use our stance as a challenge for direct conflict. However, we also then open ourselves up to the insecurities we hold deep within, questioning our own abilities and worthiness. Fear has many sources, but all kinds must be faced along this road.
As threats emerge, it then becomes our charge to find the capacity to tackle them. Regardless of whether the pressures are coming from our own doubts, the doubts of others, or the intimidations of something larger, the process of overcoming our fears is all the same. We must fully understand our own triggers, weaknesses, and capabilities.
Ironically, it is often easier to grow an ability to face external threats, since those challenges can be clearly defined and witnessed. However, the adversity harbored within, is an opposition far more difficult to understand and describe. We tend to minimize the power of a doubt or insecurity, although those fears can plague us far more than the visible pressures around us.
When we give a personal fear the power to hold us back, then we hand it the strength of our most worthy adversary. A single doubt can bring down the greatest of leaders.
What doubts continue to plague you? What fears live within and around your work that make it harder to take next steps? How can you use those threats as a catalyst to become better, instead of as a crippling force or a crutch?
Some of the most common fears that provide a sturdy shelter to hide behind come in the forms of:
- “I’m not ready.” OR “I’m not good/smart/strong enough.”
- “My work isn’t ready.” OR “I’m afraid that no one will like it.”
- “The team isn’t ready.” OR “I don’t know if I can lead.”
- “What if I make a mistake?” OR “I can’t handle rejection.”
- “What if I’m not meant for this?” OR “I’m terrified of failing.”
Every fear and threat that presents itself, brings with it the rare opportunity to improve your ability to serve. Overcoming doubts and opposition is the currency of leadership. If you wish to open doors, you also commit to being the first to walk through the doorway, regardless of what waits on the other side.
You have the ability to use fear as blessing, if you choose for it to aid as a catalyst instead of a crutch. Let it awaken the strength within. Rise to the challenge, discover the lessons, expand your ability to serve.