“Those who won our independence . . . valued liberty as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.”
– Lois D. Brandeis
What do you think of the 4th of July? I’m a history nerd and wars fascinate me. It isn’t the strategy or gruesomeness but the stories of courage that I find intriguing. I reference these types of stories a lot in my coaching business. For a person to voluntarily step onto the battlefield and face an unknown enemy….that is a form of courage I’m not sure I possess. But it’s definitely something we can all learn from.
I can’t imagine the fear that must be faced on a battlefield. But I understand the courage it takes to get past fear. And the freedom that comes from having moved past it.
Coming from an executive coach and consultant, this might surprise you. But, for a long time, I avoided fear. If something was hard or scary I went in the other direction. That often resulted in me being angry at others because I wasn’t getting what I wanted. I focused on making others happy and hoped that somehow my contentment would magically appear.
When I finally stopped avoiding my fear, I started on a journey toward understanding it. Instead of running away, I decided to sit with it. That transformed how I dealt with conflict and led me on a path to finding true contentment and happiness. It’s what led me to find my true life’s work as an executive coach and consultant in Omaha, Nebraska.
My fear morphed from being a big scary fire-breathing monster into a giant wall. It became less scary. I saw it as just an obstacle blocking my path.
I was on one side of this imaginary wall and everyone else was on the other side enjoying life. Even though it still didn’t feel great to be facing this wall with no way around it, at least now I was facing it head-on without running away.
Even though the wall made me feel isolated, I eventually worked harder to face my fears. The more I stared down what was holding me back, the more I could see possibilities unfolding. The more I explored fear, the easier it was to find ways to move past it.
I found the wall held a second gift.
On the other side was what I wanted and where I wanted to be. This wall helped me identify what held passion and meaning for me. I was willing to face my fears to get to where I wanted to go. And this is what my clients face as they discover where they want their businesses to go. It’s not easy but necessary in order to achieve success. And I’m passionate about supporting them as they face these fears and forge a new path forward.
Now, when my wall of fear shows up, I’m grateful. It means I’m on the path I want to be traveling. It means I will find a way forward if I simply explore how my thoughts and fears are holding me back. And it allows me to help others walk this same path. I can spot when business owners and executives are tripping themselves up and making choices out of fear.
I think that’s why I like the stories of courage. It helps to know others face fear as well. And others have persevered and found ways past it. There is always a way to the other side.
I’m always grateful on the 4th of July to all those who have fought for our freedom and those who continue to serve to protect it. I’m inspired by their stories of courage and strength and their willingness to persevere in the face of unimaginable danger.
It makes the journey of fear just a bit easier knowing so many others have faced and overcome so much….so that I have the freedom to live into my dreams. And I encourage the small business owners I work with to do the same.
Imagine what it would feel like to be on the other side of fear. Pretty liberating, right?
Are you willing to explore your own fears to get to what you want?
Stepping back to gain perspective is one way to conquer fear. By looking at the bigger picture, new ways of thinking unfold and you create space for options you didn’t see before.
Research shows that the most effective leaders practice mindfulness regularly.
Mindfulness is pausing, elevating, and connecting to what matters most to you. My E-course, Elevating Your View, helps you develop your own unique practice of mindfulness. I’ll take you through the benefits of mindfulness so you can create techniques for find clarity so you can reach your goals.
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