To avoid failure, acknowledge and compensate for your weaknesses. To achieve great success, discover and build on your strengths.
What are your powers? Few of us are focused on what our powers are, let alone practicing or leading from those aspects of ourselves. Most of us lead by overcompensating for our perceived weaknesses. Leading from insecurity makes us work harder but not necessarily smarter or with any sense of joy. In overcompensating for our perceived insecurities, we hit burnout quicker, are more anxious and find work more taxing. Everything in life has threads of fear, so we may as well learn to find the strengths that lay beneath them.
Knowledge is the strength underneath the fear of not having confidence. Knowledge is power. It is difficult to feel comfortable when we lack the knowledge necessary to make us versatile and flexible in our daily challenges. Without knowledge, we function from a weaker position, especially when in the throes of conflict or negotiation.
When in fear of insecurity, gather the knowledge necessary to lead from a place of power.
Openness is the strength below our fears of change. Having knowledge is essential for success, but we must not allow ourselves to become so fixed or rigid in our thinking that we come to view our knowledge as the only correct knowledge. Being open is a strength that makes us more likable and approachable to others. When we are open, we are perceived as easier to work with. Rigid thinking and its subsequent limits overcompensate for our fears of change. We falsely believe that we are somehow impermeable if we know it all.
When facing fears of change, lead from the strength of open curiosity.
Patience is the strength that lies beneath the fear of the unknown. Impatience is a reaction to living in the grey area of uncertain results. To overcompensate for this fear, we tend to become reactive, causing us to make less than stellar decisions. These impulsive decisions most often push our desired results further away from us. In practicing patience, we develop the strength and emotional resilience to let things take their natural course. Being patient makes us smarter.
When facing fears of uncertainty, lead from the strength of choosing to wait well.
Boldness is the strength that lies beneath the fear of conflict. Many of us cower under conflict. When under siege, we hear our instincts telling us what to do, but because we become overwhelmed with the projected negative consequences acting strongly could bring, we don’t allow ourselves to step into our boldness. We can choose to be bold, fair, in our power, and to trust that the consequences of our actions will only help propel our success forward and deepen our sense of self-confidence. A simple fact; unless we say what we want, we won’t get what we want.
When in fear of conflict, lead from the strength to rise to the occasion.
Allowing is the strength that lies beneath the fear of not having control. Often times we’re so fear-based that we overcompensate for this fear with being controlling. To find a more profound sense of strength, allow people to be who they are, allow situations to be what they are, and allow yourself to be who you are without self-recrimination. Allowing is a tremendous power because it keeps the flow of things open and resistance at bay. It is incredible what develops when we allow things to manifest in their own way and own timing. When we allow the process of success to have its own life, we make succeeding look easy.
When consumed with the fear of not having control, lead from the strength of dropping the rope.
Courage is the strength that lives below our fears of failure. Courage trumps fear. Whenever we feel paralyzed with fear, courage is about the last thing we believe we can tune into or utilize. Courage isn’t something we have. It is something we do. Believe it or not, we often perform best when under pressure.
When in fear of failing, lead from the courage to take action.
Quiet is the power beneath the fear of not being good enough. When we feel nervous, the natural tendency is to talk too much. When we are quiet, we present as attentive and calm. People want and need to be heard and understood, so when facing insecurities of not being good enough, learn to listen. When people feel heard, they become interested in the listener. Security doesn’t need volume; it speaks for itself.
When facing fears of not feeling good enough, lead from the strength of being quiet.
Mindfulness is the strength that lies below feelings of emergency. Fear is a power all unto itself because fear is fuel. Whenever we’re in fear, we move into action to remove the fear as quickly as possible. The reason fear causes so many problems is because it makes us reactive. To make fear our greatest strength, we must use it to practice mindfulness.
When under the fear of a pressured situation, lead from the strength of attunement to the moment.
When we lead from our strengths, we become more confident and successful. We are able to move with a certain grace through our troubles where we are impacted by them but not flattened by them. To lead from our strengths, we must use challenges as tests of our character. We can choose to rise to our occasions and go against our biological programming to naturally regress under stress.