In a position of leadership, often the greatest struggle of power you may run into is the struggle within yourself.
Even with years of experience, a supportive team and an industry that you know, being in a position of leadership can be intimidating and overwhelming.
Have you ever had doubts about your capabilities as a leader?
In the midst of a difficult situation or crisis, how do you react?
Our natural instinct when we encounter fear or a threat to our “safety” in any context is fight or flight mode.
Doubt manifests in each and every one of us. But as a leader it can make the difference between how your team perceives, respects and acknowledges your position of authority and guidance.
Learn how to overcome self-doubt as it relates to your position as a leader, with these pointed tips.
Pinpoint the Source of Your Fears.
Fear and doubt are often products of more all-encompassing, internalized emotions such as anger, frustration, confusion or even pride.
Ask Yourself: What Is the Root Cause of Your Fears?
Are you afraid your team won’t respect you?
Are you afraid of being replaced?
Is your own performance suffering due to some extraneous situation, perhaps in your personal life?
To overcome the obstacle of fear, you need to first understand the specific root cause.
Accept Your Doubt and Learn How to Manage It.
You will always have some fear and some doubt in your life.
In fact, they are actually good to have around because they keep you on your toes, keep you alert, and producing your best work. A healthy dose of fear can be a great motivator.
But you need to learn how to manage it, to work in your favor.
For example, can you remember back to your college days, when you had a paper due, but you kept putting it off until the anxiety of an impending deadline forced you into action?
The fear created around the paper well surpassed the actual magnitude of the project.
Take that same logic and apply it to your workplace doubts — is your fear pushing you towards action or paralyzing you till the last possible moment, when you’re forced to make a decision or take action?
Choose How You Respond to Fear.
Every day we make a series of choices, big and small that shape our lives. Even when a difficult situation arises, you have the opportunity to choose how you respond.
Remind yourself of your values, your goals and your mission.
Are your actions and reactions aligned with those objectives?
While it may not always be easy, committing to the things and ideas that you value most is the best antidote to fear.
Be Ready to Struggle.
Being a leader is seldom a walk in the park — there will always be ups, in addition to the downs. If you have the mindset that everything will always be smooth-sailing, you will constantly be let down.
Sometimes making hard decisions, suffering, and living in fear or doubt are part of the job. With an understanding and willingness to put yourself in those difficult positions, you are better able to mitigate your fears and deal with them.
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