Look to What You Are Afraid of

You have a meeting coming up with a difficult employee. When you think about it, you get a little knot of apprehension in your solar plexus. You’re the boss, you have the authority, you know that you should hold the higher ground. But you still have a little fear about confronting them on some unacceptable behavior.


While at first glimpse this discomfort can seem unwanted, there is a silver lining to fear (or whatever word you might use to describe the feeling).  Your body is sending you a message that something is off; and the body never lies. If you are someone who wants to strengthen and expand your personal awareness and positive power, this kind of uncomfortable experience is a perfect entry point into clearing out some internal barriers. We all have old stuff hanging around from our earlier days; times that were hard when we had too few tools to handle deftly. But we can bring our internal capabilities up to date. You can mature your responses and strategies.


What to do? Crazy as it may sound, have a conversation with your little knot of fear (whether it arises in anticipation of a difficult conversation or prompted by any of all sorts of uncomfortable circumstances). While your first impulse may be to push it away, as we’ve written before, that is like sweeping crumbs under the carpet; all you get is a lumpy carpet. No, get cozy with the feeling of fear. Ask it questions. The inquiry could be something like:"Hello fear. Tell me what’s going on". Or, "Mmmm, I feel you trying to tell me something. What thoughts did I have about…that got you stirred up?"


At first you may feel silly doing this. That’s just the judger mind poking its nose in. Simply feel that; neutrally acknowledge it. But no need to let the feeling stop you. Just keep going. And when you first try this simple conversational technique, you may not hear the answer. That’s probably just because you aren’t yet used to tuning in to this method of receiving information. But there’s no harm in trying it again a few times as these little bouts of fear tend to be common for most of us. Be assured that more opportunities will come your way for further practice with internal investigation. Once you get the feel for it, you will certainly start to get answers as to why any particular fear is present. And with that valuable information, you can begin to address  the internal issues (that we all have) and find answers and strengths for next difficult situations to come. This is helpful both for building courage and actually coming to more powerful peacefulness about what you used to think of as undesirable circumstances. Stick with the process. It gets easier and easier; like talking with an old, wise friend.

Learn more about resilience and leadership by visiting www.resilienceinstitute.com and www.managementtraininginstitute.com


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