“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” ~ Saint Augustine
Leadership is a great privilege. The ability to lead others, to set the tone, to model behaviors for those who depend on us can offer tremendous rewards. Leadership does not come without hard work, challenge and also great risk. As we lead more, the risks also increase and the stakes get even higher. Of course, with great risks comes the potential for great rewards whether you are risking failure, pain, money, comfort or your heart. In order to innovate, the best leaders make big bets. Even though leadership requires doing our research, setting a vision and creating a plan, there is no possible way to have every detail worked out or know how things will go. If you want results that you’ve never had, you have to be willing to do things that you’ve never done. Hence – the risk. Every time we head into unknown waters we risk getting lost, looking foolish, getting hurt and of course, failure. On the other side, if we get attached to a particular outcome, then our anxiety can shoot to the stars as we begin to focus on all the things that could possibly go wrong along the way. What if I fail? Lose? Things go wrong? What if the plan fails? What if I get fired, lose a client, or look foolish? All these concerns can quickly lead to worry.
Worry is a powerful addiction. Worry is the army that is sent in by its good friend – fear.
Remember fear has a specific goal and that is to keep you the same by keeping you safe from risk, pain, hurt and ultimately – growth. Worry can also disguise itself as concern or even planning. But do not confuse planning or even concern with worry. When we worry, we spin around a problem like a top, keeping us stuck in a whirlwind of negative thoughts and negative energy. We cannot create, lead, grow or flourish under a cloud of negativity and worry.
So do we just stop it? Do we just master our worry and never do it again? I don’t know if that is possible, however, there is one key item for you as a leader, that will support your success, your growth and the growth of the people around you: FAITH. I am not referring to spiritual faith or blind hope or cross your fingers and toes kind of belief. By faith I mean having a belief in yourself, your skills, your abilities, resilience and strength. Believe that no matter what happens in the future, that you can and will manage the issue and yourself, even without all the data or proof that things will for sure work out in a set way. Have faith in YOU!
Believe that you as a leader will make the best decisions and adjust as best as you can no matter what the future holds. If you’re not sure if a project will work, then have faith that you will notice warning signals and adjust. If things go sideways, have faith that you have the skills and relationships in place to shift. If something happens and a priority changes, have faith that you will set a new course. If life changes for you, then have faith that you will manage yourself through it and come out stronger for it. The road to growth often travels through great risk, uncertainty, pain, failure, reflection and learning. On the other side of that challenge lies beauty, peace, learning, courage and strength. Notice when you are worrying and then tell yourself “I’m wasting time in worry. I will have faith in myself instead.”
I have a personal mantra that I want to share with you and that is “Everything is happening exactly as it should.” I use the mantra to intercept and interrupt self worry or even blaming myself for my circumstance. I invite you to use it to intervene with your self worry and shift from blame to possibility. When things are hard, difficult, frustrating or maybe even great, tell yourself “Everything is happening exactly as it should.” THEN ask yourself, “What opportunity do I have here? What can I create from this circumstance? What can I learn? What would I like to make of this situation?” Without asking ourselves these questions, we can easily go into victim land and when we go to victim land, we do nothing.
Trust that there will always be an opportunity in any possible outcome: opportunity to grow, to teach, to try an alternative, to learn what didn’t work or to learn what does work. Have faith that you can and will not only handle what happens, but find the opportunity in all of what happens.
Thank you for reading and for sharing your thoughts, feelings and comments. I am sending you positive energy, support and wishes for all the success that you can handle on your leadership journey.
Your coach, fan and friend,
L4 Leadership LLC