Fear is a natural, emotional response to distress. The evolution of humanity was dependent upon feeling and responding to fear. Unfortunately for some of us, fear is a stumbling block to unlocking our full potential and becoming great leaders. The good news is, courage is like a muscle and when you exercise courage often it becomes stronger and more natural. Here are a handful of ways to overcome fear, find courage and become a better leader.
Don’t lose your sense of direction
If you are struggling to lead in business or manage your employees, it is important to stay connected to your purpose for making the decisions you do. If you lose your sense of direction, the people you are leading may begin to question your ability and authority. When you are giving instructions to someone you are charged with leading, be specific about what needs to be done and why.
Visualize all of the possible outcomes
Visualizing a negative outcome may seem counter-intuitive to building courage, however, it is extremely beneficial in most situations to realize that the worst that could happen is not fatal. On the flipside, visualizing a positive and prosperous outcome can give you the bravery you need to occasionally make risky choices and stand behind them.
Be willing to do what other leaders won’t
If you are surrounded by leaders that continually play it safe but you are sensing a need to take the road less traveled and make a bold decision, be willing to do it! The fear of people around you disapproving of your choices can be crippling. But the sense of pride when you carefully calculate your options and make a bold choice that turns out well, will strengthen your sense of courage.
Carefully consider the opinions of people around you
You don’t need to allow yourself to be persuaded by the opinions of others in any way, but occasionally a fresh opinion from someone with less experience can breathe new life into your business. Don’t let your employee’s inexperience cause you to overlook the great ideas they may occasionally have. Be willing to bravely do things someone else’s way from time to time and your courage will certainly increase.
Make the hard decision and say “no”
As uncomfortable as it can be to shut down someone’s idea, it is absolutely necessary at times. Next time someone has an idea that you are completely uncomfortable with, simply respond by telling them no. Often, no explanation is better than a long explanation when you disagree with a person’s idea. As a leader, it is alright to go with your gut instinct and override decisions that you do not agree with. Saying no to bad ideas will increase your courage, and even the level of respect your employees have for you.
As you can see, building courage is not a complicated process. Building courage is simply taking a series of small steps in your daily life and choosing to be unapologetic about doing what you know is right. Many leaders struggle with feeling courageous regardless of how long they have been leading. If you are willing to commit to taking the above steps as a leader, you will soon find yourself becoming more confident in your decisions!