How to defeat fear: The power of confrontation
Notice what your reaction is when you hear or see the word : confront
For most people it’s not a great association. It sparks images of conflict or brings up memories of uncomfortable conversations from the past, and your gut churns as you remember how awkward and weird it felt in the moment.
For me, it’s a powerful distinction, and if you’re up for a new look at it, can be one of your greatest tools as a leader.
Confront simply means to squarely face. That’s it.
Some of the common ways we deal with the tough issues in our business are:
- obliquely – from the side, taking glancing blows at the problem.
- not at all – the ostrich strategy, hoping it’ll go away on its own.
- dipsy doodling – dancing around an issue without taking any meaningful action.
- ten foot pole – trying to handle it from too far away to be effective.
Rarely do any of those strategies work.
What does work is to turn and squarely face the issue at hand. Get clear on what you want the successful outcome to be and dive right in. Take what you get and then make your next move from there.
So why don’t we do it? It’s always some fear of an imagined negative consequence on the back side of it. But if you notice, things rarely get better by waiting. They just become a bigger problem where you end up paying IRS money – that means you pay with penalties and interest.
When you get in your bones you can handle any result that comes out of your willingness to squarely face an issue, it’s empowering. You might even still be scared of what the future consequences could be but it won’t stop you from taking action and it’s always better than waiting and hoping.
This weeks challenge:
Choose a specific issue, that if you picked it up and dealt with it head on, would alter the trajectory of a result you were committed to. Have a bold and honest conversation with the people involved to create a new possibility.
For more on what the Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron has to say on “How to Defeat fear” click here.