“No other enemy is as powerful and destructive as the fear we create, feed, and foster in our own minds.”
We all have just one enemy. One. Fear. It exists because we created it and it lives because we feed it. And it thrives because we give it the most fertile land on which to grow – our minds. And much like a weed, or cheap cologne for that matter, it rapaciously overwhelms everything in its path, transforming what was once familiar, into a menacing, twisted, knotted, disfiguring mass that obscures the path home.
We are not only our worst enemy. We are our only enemy. Because there is no greater pain, loneliness, or hurt we can experience than when we abandon, mutilate, and pepper ourselves with wounds self-inflicted and profound. It’s not the words of others that hurt and damage us. No, what hurts and scars us most is when we believe these “people” might be right.
Your mind, weakened by fear, is then susceptible to other viruses– they appear in the form of thought, destructive patterns of thinking, anxiety, and phobias that urge us to crouch and seek false shelter under the shade of weeds.
But as it is with most living things, perpetual shade only deteriorates and weakens. Our neural pathways crack and splinter like weathered wood and abandoned homes.
No, it is only when we live out loud, in the full glory and in total acceptance of our flaws and imperfections that we truly allow ourselves to be free.
And through our example, we free others to do the same.
As managers, we free our team to be human, to express doubts, to share their true concerns and worries. We understand that confronting and moving through barriers is truly the path to building strength, competency, resilience, and dare I say it…. greatness. All marks of a strong leader.
As partners, we refrain from placing our beloveds on suffocating pedestals that topple when our fantastical expectations are not met. How freeing and empowering would it be to feel that our partners identify and cultivate our strengths in spite of our inevitable weaknesses?
As entrepreneurs, we can maintain our passion and focus, without wearing ourselves down with stress, worry, and a foolish search for perfection. At the end of the day, as leaders, we serve as models for our team as the company grows. It’s important to think about what kind of culture you want to create at the outset. And it starts with how you communicate, deal, and manage challenges from Day 1.
And most importantly, as people, we can show up as we truly are, where friends and family love us for our idiosyncrasies and for our willingness to show vulnerability. An effective leader knows how to connect, inspire, and build rapport. And the easiest way to do this is by simply showing others that NOT being perfect is exactly what makes you loveable, remarkable, and ultimately an effective leader.
So tell me, what places, spaces, situations, or people make it difficult or “scary” to speak-up or show up like the unadulterated you? What would you need from your friends, bosses, company, or family to have the confidence to do so?