The most common question in relation to courage at work
"How do I stop worrying so much about what other people think?"
I've been blessed to work with amazing clients over the years.
They normally arrive frustrated. They know they're in a comfort zone that's uncomfortable. They're capable of more but they're stuck in a familiar groove. They want to play big but they just keep self sabotaging.
One common way they do this at work is to hold back their opinions. They go along with the status quo because the alternative feels like potential career suicide.
They tell me stories of power and status, how the MD holds court, how too much is already invested in the chosen direction and no one will listen. They've often got a personal history where they've seen bad things happen to people that speak their mind. They've also got a need for safety - they're responsible home owners, parents and partners. They've spent a long time building up their life and don't want to jeopardise that.
At some point along the way they've made a commitment to their fear. They've chosen to live inside a story where they're the victim in a system - that's just the way it is. This is what is frustrating them the most.
I get it. In the past I've taken that route. I've believed that I had no power to speak up. I've chosen beige and put on a mask of avoidance and approval seeking. I've made up that people can't handle my truth. But it was an excuse created out of my own fear that I'm not enough, too much, out of place, wrong, or whatever story I created at the time.
I was told the fear of worrying what others think would get better with age. I'd reach a f*^&k it moment in my forties. I think that's another myth. I don't believe it's age related. I do believe it's about learning to deeply accept yourself. It's about naming the games that you play and knowing the difference between a reaction, a leadership urge, a complaint and a powerful request. It's about being able to hold courageous conversations without being attached to the outcome. And above all it's allowing people to have their response without personalising everything.
Do you mask your fears? If you're not sure, check out my free quiz. You'll discover your fear mask and receive a free report to help you prioritise what you really need to take charge of to create more courage at work.