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what we 're thinking about


You're afraid? Yeah me too (said every leader ever)!

Behind every single one of us - EVEN the most 'successful' - is a FEAR. Trust me!

I'm falling more and more in love with my mahi every day.  Recently I've been working with an organisation with some of the most 'professionally' successful people I know.  And we've been unpacking what is beneath the 'iceberg' for each of us. 

It's both inspiring, and sadly thought provoking.

Inspiring because it reminds us, how we are all, every single one of us, so similar and connected. We all want the same things in life really.  Connection, belonging, purpose, respect, calm, contentment.... to be free from pain and suffering.

But sad too.  Because of the way in which we attempt to mask our imperfections and the reality of how we feel about ourselves, our situations and our relationships with such bravado.

Let me walk you through a scenario. 10 people in a room.  As I said highly successful and very good at what they do. Now, if I asked anyone who worked with these people about their confidence, there would be a pretty quick and consistent response:

'They're super confident, they definitely know their stuff, they know what needs to be done and they get it done, such a confident leader...'.  And so on.

I asked these 10 people three questions:
what automatically triggers you into a stressed state?
what happened to you to create this trigger?
what is the fear underlying this.... ?
Their answers proved that our 'quick fire' assumptions/guesses about their self confidence couldn't be further from the truth.Let's share a sample:
Fear of being judged
Fear of becoming lazy
Fear of not being liked
Fear of being taken advantage of
Fear of not meeting others' expectations
Fear of failure as a parent
Fear of not having enough time
Fear of not being good enough, or perfect
Fear of being found out (imposter syndrome)
Fear of not being present enough with family (workaholic tendencies)
We all have fears. We just don't all share them. Instead we guard them (that's if we're even aware of them underneath our own iceberg).

I was reminded that we're all struggling with our own demons or self saboteurs when listening to a podcast this morning.  Shirzad Chamine (author of Positive Intelligence - highly recommend).  Shirzad relayed the story of having 100+ CEOs and the like in one room, all strutting their stuff, peacock like, giving off the impression that all is well in their world. 

Until Shirzad asked one question: (yes he got to the same result in 1 question, albeit anonymously)

Write down on a piece of paper HOW LIFE IS REALLY GOING FOR YOU.  No names.

How is life REALLY going for you?Here are a handful of answers from the podcast:
I'm terrified of failing as leader of my business
My air of confidence is false, I have no plan in life
I'm rarely at peace with myself, constantly looking for more and comparing myself with others
I'm self destructive and I don't know why
I have no idea of how to connect with my only son
I often feel like I'm a fraud
And so on....

What to do?It's simple: and sort of weakly poetic!  Haha!

Dare to get Aware and Share your Fear

To get aware means you can do something constructive about it.
To share means you can get support and build connection.

And that's it - reflection time?
Key message – even the most successful and the most brave have fears underneath their iceberg.  To make assumptions about the ease or confidence people have is to deny them the opportunity to be vulnerable and share, really share, what life is like for them, at the moment.

'Fine' is not an answer!


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