The fear of failure is a strong underlying motivator that drives many successful leaders. Failure is defined by you, as an individual, and unfortunately, as a people group, we are much harder on ourselves than anyone else in our sphere of influence. Just as I was reflecting on week 39 of Clarity: Focusing on What Matters, my friend Dave Kraft shared the following post on his blog. If you recall, I wrote about courage just a few weeks ago and yet I love the way that Brad brings all the concepts of this week’s reading home. Plus he is scared of jellyfish – readers of Clarity will be humored by that!
Originally posted by Brad Lomenick on December 2, 2013
What are you afraid of? What are you scared of? What frightens you?
Let’s face it. We are all scared of something. And all of us need a dose of courage to confront what currently is making us afraid.
Courage is facing up to something that frightens you. Looking at it straight on and dealing with it, straight up.
Reality is, we all need courage. Especially leaders. Courage to overcome. Courage to break through barriers. Courage to charge and climb the next hill. Courage to face fears. Courage to conquer and control fears. Fears. Yep.
Many times what holds us back is fear. Being scared. Living scared. Leading scared.
But take courage. Be FEARLESS, not fearful.
Boldly step into all God has created you to be.
Today, what are you scared of? What is holding you back from all that God has created you to be?
For me, my biggest fear is failure. Occasionally it creates some very unhealthy leadership landmines and roadblocks that I have to work through. And is paralyzing, because when a leader is afraid to fail, taking risks then gets moved to the side, and maintaining status quo is the focus. Reality is, for many type A leaders, we are scared to death of failing. Afraid of what our friends will say, what our families will say, and how it will impact our next career season. And afraid of potentially losing what we “feel” like we’ve helped build or create.
And many of us incorrectly assume that in failure, the leader should take all the blame and is responsible no matter what. Not true, but something that still evokes fear.
Fear and failure don’t have to go together. Failure is not something to be scared of. We should respect failure, but not fear it.
Take a bold step. Today.
Bonus: here are some random things I’m been scared of over the course of my life:
1. Storms- up until I was 13 or 14, I was absolutely petrified of storms. I mean scared out of my mind. If there were clouds in the sky in the morning with a chance of storms, I would get physically sick I was so scared. And have to stay home from school. Literally petrified. And in Oklahoma, storms are for real. Tornadoes all the time.
2. Certain Dogs. This one still haunts me because of being bit by a pit bull when I was 5 or 6 years old. Still have the scar on my shin to prove it.
3. Bugs and Snakes. Not a fan at all of spiders or snakes. Actually, pretty much all small bugs shake me up a bit. Bees and wasps as well. I’m sweating just thinking about it…..
4. The Elevator in the St. Louis Gateway Arch. If you’ve been, you know what I’m talking about!!
5. Jellyfish. Hello. Who’s with me?