Faith In Self: The Leader’s Answer to Worry

“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”  ~ Saint Augustine

"Can any of you through worry, add a single hour to your life?" ~ Matthew 6:27

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.

"Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe." ~ Voltaire

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.”

"You can have all the tools in the world but if you don't genuinely believe in yourself, it's useless." ~ Ken Jeong

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,


Larysa Slobodian

L4 Leadership LLC


  1. AUM March 23, 2015 at 11:00 pm #

    This is interesting advice for people who are already leaders (of people).
    How about giving advice to people who want to be (promoted) a leader.

  2. Lisa March 23, 2015 at 11:05 pm #

    Thanks, Larysa. I was very impacted by this article, and I think it was your best yet. I have seen myself many times as the spinning top you reference. Afraid to stop, absorb, endure and face a problem or conflict head on. Yet the worryful spinning certainly provided no solace, let alone resolution. I consider myself a self assured person, but I have been whipped up like a spinning cyclone on far too many occasions. I see now that my spinning was more of a fear of relying on myself. Why don’t I trust me to take the risks or take the lead? I need to rethink my faith in myself – my actual faith in me – and learn to trust myself more. Perhaps this is all happening exactly as it should…

  3. Sonia March 24, 2015 at 12:26 am #

    Love this description of faith. It’s so easy to forget to have faith in ourselves, our teams, and our experiences and have the confidence that they will see us through tough problems. Worry is the least productive thing ever! If you think you are keeping worry to yourself, you are not. Other people can see and sense when we go into worry/anxiety mode, and that makes the leadership role even tougher. Your team has faith in you, even in the moments when you don’t have faith in yourself – feed off of that and don’t blow it!

  4. Bill March 24, 2015 at 6:01 am #

    Good one, Larysa! I really like “Worry is the army that is sent in by its good friend – fear”. For me, worry is a like a weed. It needs constant work because it’s a habit.
    I’ve taken to combating worry by upping my exercise or getting out of my normal routine. Nothing like a walk with the dog to change one’s perspective!

  5. Larysa Slobodian March 24, 2015 at 7:23 am #

    Thank you Sonia for reading and for your comment. Keep the faith.

    Larysa Slobodian
  6. Larysa Slobodian March 24, 2015 at 7:25 am #

    Beautiful comment Lisa. Thank you so much for reading and for sharing. Keep practicing faith and trust in yourself.

    Larysa Slobodian
  7. Larysa Slobodian March 24, 2015 at 7:28 am #

    Bill, I appreciate your comparison of worry to a weed. Fantastic! We all need to weed out mental garden of worry. Thank you so much for reading and sharing.

    Larysa Slobodian
  8. Larysa Slobodian March 24, 2015 at 7:34 am #

    Al, we can all be leaders. Leadership is not just about position or title. We all can be the change we want to see and model the behaviors we want. We impact those around us no matter where we are or our position in an organization. Keep leading!

    Larysa Slobodian
  9. Boomer's buddy March 24, 2015 at 8:11 am #

    Thank you for writing and sharing Larysa!

    Worry as you say has its root in Fear. And Fear has its root in Death. Acceptance of death is hard – even imagining that there’s probably ‘nothing’ that persists when the rhythmic breath stops – not even a sliver of ‘me’ is super hard. In my meditations the hardest leap was that of non-existence.

    ‘Worry is worse than being by fire’ – while much is lost in translation here, it is a poignant reminder to bring oneself to the present – the here and now, be grateful for what’s good & blessed in one’s existence and focus thoughts & actions on viable futures that are authentically aligned with one’s purpose and values.

  10. Larysa Slobodian March 24, 2015 at 8:29 am #

    Thank you Boomer’s buddy. I appreciate your comment. Although hard, there is something freeing about acceptance of death. All we have is now. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    Larysa Slobodian
  11. Valerie April 3, 2015 at 7:51 am #

    My best strategy is something I call Worry Once Well. I allow a finite amount of time to generate all the catastrophic fantasies I can imagine and then systematically work through them asking, ” And what would I do if that happens?” I realize quickly that I’m equipped (with support of family and friends) to deal with any outcome and rarely make it through the list. It helps me – and my clients – get out of being really stuck in worry. I love the Sophocles quote “To him who is in fear, everything rustles.”

  12. Larysa Slobodian April 5, 2015 at 11:21 am #

    I love the strategy Valerie! Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    Larysa Slobodian

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