Since my job is to help people in organizations let go of the past and move through ambiguity, I need to show I can myself keep moving despite fear. Sometimes not so easy!
Because of my (irrational) fear of being struck by lightening while flying in my single-engine airplane, I (unnecessarily) avoided flying in weather that most pilots would find completely safe. Knowing that my aircraft was designed to handle lightening didn’t help. Intellectual and emotional knowing are vastly different. Irrational fears (such as those borne by so many in today’s workplace) aren’t evaporated by just words.
getting-to-camp-okavango-lions-on-runwayThis is the day that fear removed its headlock on my lightening anxiety. One afternoon a few years back, I was flying through Namibia, Africa in a small rented Cessna 172 on a clear, bright day. Suddenly, black storm clouds developed from nowhere and completely encircled me. I thought: “Well, this is it.” I had seen Harry Potter, I knew how this was going to end.
I was jolted by lightening three times. Three fairly mild ‘thumps.’ The storm passed as quickly as it came. I assessed the damage. None of the avionics had worked well before, so there wasn’t any damage.
I was forced to experience what I’d been avoiding. If I hadn’t been forced to experience the thing that I feared the most, I would still have to hold that energy around the fear. Having taken inadvertent action into the fear, I was able let it go. I don’t enjoy lightening. I don’t fly through thunderstorms. I don’t wrap myself up in tin foil and climb to the highest peak during an electrical storm. But fear doesn’t hold a space that should be reserved for positive life action.
Do you have a list of things you can’t do? In many companies, so often I hear, “I could not EVER do that” regarding making a suggestion, asking for a transfer, getting the person next to you to stop cracking his gum.
I share courage with you to help you work through the list of ‘things you cannot do.’ There’s no easy way. Just put it at the top of the list on a given day, take a deep breath and make it happen. Only then do you get the emotional charge you need to make the ‘head’ knowing into ‘gut’ knowing. The chemical in your body get notice to switch for fear to excitement, and you’re on a roll.
Nothing stopping you now!
Here’s free card for your desk: