Let’s go to the Whiteboard: It’s okay to be afraid.

You’ve probably seen this before:


The idea here is that if you are always comfortable you aren’t really learning. But there is a line out there that you shouldn’t step over, or you’ll be panic and stressed.

But here’s the thing, that line between learning and panic? It doesn’t exist. You aren’t going to know if you’re just uncomfortable and okay, or if things are really bad.Untitled

The moment you step outside of what you’ve currently got a handle on (Comfort Zone), your fear and anxiety are going to increase, but you are going to start learning.

And the more you are learning, the less you’ll know what you are doing, and the more fear you will experience.

So, if you want to learn rapidly and advance quickly, get used to feelings of uncertainty. Get okay with the inevitable failure of some of your endeavors because you’ve strayed too far from what you know. That’s where you learn.

You’ll see your peers less stressed, and they’ll seem to have an easy go of it. That’s okay. You didn’t sign up for this because it was easy. All the fun stuff is happening outside of what you’ve already mastered. It won’t be long before you’ve got a few failures and many successes under your belt and you will have outpaced them.

The better you can manage your fear, the farther you can go.

Tips for Managing Fear:2018-09-20_10h36_46

1 – Realize you are going to be afraid. It’s not going to go away.

2- Know the purpose of your fear. Your fear is trying to protect you from harm. Your fear is like an overprotective parent. It has your best interest in mind but doesn’t know what you are capable of.

3 – Self-talk: Tell your fear, “I know you are trying to help me, but its okay, I got this.”

4 – Tell yourself often, “If I’m afraid of it, I should probably do it.”

5 – Whatever you are afraid of, do it anyway.

That last one is so important. The first time you deliver a presentation, you will be terrified. The 100th time, it will just be a random Tuesday. Humans have a great capacity for habituation. Habituation is the reduction of emotional response to something that happens frequently. Remember the first time you drove a car? Sheer terror. Did you even think about your drive into work today?

Leaders manage their fear and operate well outside their comfort zone.

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