Have you ever found yourself feeling stuck, your hands seemingly tied until decisions are made elsewhere? Is it compromising your ability to share your gifts and fully express yourself?
Feeling stuck is a frustrating place to be. Perhaps situations seem completely out of your control. Perhaps you’re reluctant to speak up and make demands upon people.
Heaven knows you wouldn’t want to appear pushy!
So, what do you do? Do you ride out the situation? Do you kick up a fuss? Do you walk away with head buried in hands?
You could do all of those things. People have responded to business impasses in these ways before, and it’s completely understandable. Familiar even. But, will it accomplish what needs to be accomplished?
No, and here’s why. Each of these strategies is based on fear. Yes, fear.
It’s a common misconception that fear is always an intense feeling. If you’re walking down a dark, deserted alley alone late at night, you’ll feel fear at its most potent, including the physiological symptoms associated with the release of adrenaline.
If you’ve ever had a racing heart and sweaty palms, you’ll know what I mean.
What’s not so common is the understanding that any thinking that limits you is based in fear. Your body may not react strongly to your fear-based thoughts. In fact, you may be able to rationalise these thoughts so convincingly that they seem the most obvious course of action.
And yet, you remain stuck.
To move things forward, it is important to recognise the role fear is playing with your thoughts. This will empower you to determine fear’s validity in a situation.
Let me share with you how this works in practice.
I worked with a team at a not-for-profit organisation. The organisation was undergoing a corporate restructure. This created considerable uncertainty for the employees at ground level. Lack of clarity and sporadic, unreliable communication from head office exacerbated the situation, leaving people concerned for themselves, their volunteers and their service users.
Understandably, employees felt concerned about the lack of decision-making, which threatened to undermine their ability to serve the community. A fatalistic mindset crept in. Frustration and anger were rife, and these feelings competed with compassion for the pressure the folks in head office were under to resolve the situation.
They were stuck between a rock and a hard place, so to speak, and no one knew what to do.
We explored what was REALLY going on under the surface. Fears of being judged, of being out of control, of appearing pushy and of looking stupid for asking for help rose to the surface.
Interestingly, not a single person hyperventilated as they expressed these fears. What was even more revealing is that each person could see how their own unfounded fear stopped them from taking action.
It was fear that kept them in a place of stalemate as they waited for someone in head office to resolve the situation.
Here’s the good news. As soon as they brought their fears to the surface and assessed them logically, they were able to acknowledge the irrationality of their fears.
This one small act, of acknowledging what was at the base of their inaction, opened up new avenues of possibility for them.
They worked together to come up with solutions to the stalemate, seeing that their ideas could support the whole charity experiencing the same frustrations.
In less than an hour, the team moved from being stuck to feeling empowered to resolve the situation themselves, creating a list of actions they each could take to smooth the transition.
Flow returned. Possibilities for making things work presented themselves, in and out of the office. The atmosphere lightened up.
The team found their spark again, but they found more than that. They got in touch with the source of their power to make things happen. They realised that it wasn’t necessary to wait for orders. They could take initiative, be pro-active and resolve the situation not just for themselves, but for the organisation.
How did they achieve this? They achieved this by:
Did they produce results? They did indeed! In fact, one of the participants sent me a message a few months later to say that she had created the PERFECT role for herself. She was amazed by her own power.
How did she do it? She stepped out of the fear that kept her quiet and she asked for what she wanted. And she got it.
When things are going well, it’s easy to roll with the tide. When things aren’t going to plan, it’s very easy to slide into limited thinking.
In these moments, courageous leadership is what organisations need. To do that, a leader must be able to transcend his or her own limited thinking, all of which is rooted in fear.
Courage is the willingness to act in spite of fear being present. Acting courageously when times are tough generates inspired decision-making. This, in turn, inspires others to act above and beyond the call of duty.
Courage is the fuel that fires authentic leadership brilliance. And courage is infectious. It ignites the flames of leadership and brilliance in others.
How will you express courageous brilliance today? How will you inspire others to be courageous?
Let’s start a revolution of courageous brilliance. Share what’s possible. Gotta start some time and somewhere. It may as well be right here, right now.
For more information, contact:
Lori West, Managing Director
Business Brilliance™ Professional Development Ltd