I was thinking about how “fear” can hold us back from so much, both personally and professionally. Fear paralyzes us from taking action, from taking a risk, from love…
In wonderful passage in A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, she writes:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Please read this passage again, feel what touches you today. There will be a moment today when you hesitate because of this four letter word F-E-A-R. Think of it as the “f-word”!
There are 3 reasons we don’t take action:
1. A Missing Skill (example: I don’t know how to use this new software)
2. Out of My Control (example: I am working on a project with 3 other people, I have finished my part and the project is sitting on someone else’s desk… stuck!)
3. Psychological Block (example: fear of failure, fear of injury, fear of success, fear of judgment, etc)
How do you handle these challenges in the workplace?
1. Missing Skill is easy to handle: take a class, talk to someone who is an expert, or do the necessary research to educate yourself.
2. Out of My Control could be a bit more challenging because it may involve a crucial conversation with someone: Pick up the phone or go visit the person who has the project sitting on their desk and ask, “Help me to understand what has caused this project to come to a standstill?” You could ask 3 powerful questions:
- Is there a missing skill? Something you don’t understand?
- Is there something out of your control preventing you from working on this project?
- What concerns do you have about working on this project? (Digging for the fear!)
3. Psychological Block is actually the most common reason we do not take action! It is also the most avoided conversation to have with others! A simple question like: “What is preventing you from moving forward on this project?” This type of question asked a couple of times in a row to the same person can sometimes reveal the fear.
Apply This to Others
These questions can lead to the root of team members not taking action. They can also lead to power conversations where you will actually help someone remove a block or barrier! You can also ask yourself these same questions when you are stuck and not taking action when you know you should!
Reread the passage above from Marianne Williamson, keep it in your heart today and look for where you and others may be stuck and use the 3 questions to get moving! “…Be powerful beyond measure! Let your own light shine… As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.”