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Fear and Possibility Travel Together

You’ve probably heard the saying “with great power comes great responsibility.”  In a similar vein, consider this: “with great possibility comes great fear.”

Ugh… does that feel like a bummer? Do you sometimes wish for a way to release and rid yourself of fear?  You may be surprised to hear, it's not actually a good thing to be entirely "fearless." Conscious fear serves us; it wakes us up and tells us something significant needs to be attended to and it can embolden us for important actions. On the other hand, unconscious, toxic fear about an imagined future state that is disconnected from the present is not your friend.

We are wired to experience some fear on an automatic, split-second, neuro-biological level; the brain’s primary job is to seek safety, connection and respect. When any of these are potentially threatened, fear kicks in and we hunker down psychologically, physically and even spiritually to reduce potential harm....

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12 Ways to Ignite Your Confidence

Having self-confidence is beneficial in all areas of our lives, and developing confidence is an important part of personal and professional growth. We intuitively understand that lack of confidence can hold us back from achieving all we want and being who we want to be. The experience of fear, insecurity or nervousness can be debilitating if we don’t understand ways to build confidence. I hear so many people share the desire “I need more confidence” or the lament “I’m not a confident person.”

Let’s talk about this.

A common misunderstanding I see when working with people who want to become more confident is the false belief that having confidence means NOT experiencing nervousness, insecurity or fear. While it’s true that someone with high confidence may experience less nervousness or insecurity, it’s a false belief that to be more confident you must first rid yourself of nervousness, insecurity and fear. Also inaccurate is the...

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Replace “fake it 'til you make it,” with “fire it 'til you wire it.”

In a recent conversation with a friend about facing difficult work situations, she used the ubiquitous saying "fake it 'til you make it."

Listen up y'all...

it’s time for this saying to be officially and permanently retired! 

When we lovingly advise each other or ourselves to “fake it 'til you make it” we are, inadvertently, reinforcing a negative internal dialog that undercuts our progress. Although intended to send the positive, uplifting message of “just take action until you gain confidence and competence,” this phrase includes a subtle, not-very-empowering message that needs examination.  I understand telling ourselves to “fake it” allows us to move forward when we may not yet believe in ourselves, but language is powerful, so let’s use language that describes what’s actually happening.

To better express the dynamic that occurs when we take an action, change our nonverbal pose, smile even if we don’t feel...

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Daily Courage Can Move Mountains

Courage is a much-admired trait espoused for success in life and as a leader. We hear news of the incredible courage of essential workers caring for the sick, sexual assault survivors stepping up to tell their stories, humanitarians facing danger to selflessly act on behalf of others, and mythic stories of heroes and heroines conquering all manner of challenges. These all serve as inspiration and aspiration to develop our own courage, yet most of us need courage not for momentous, mythic undertakings, but for simple acts in our daily lives. We need courage to take or leave a job, courage to express our true feelings in a new (or old) relationship, courage to stand up for ourselves or others or even just to start over after a difficult, disappointing day. Right now, it seems we all need courage to stay optimistic about the future as we navigate a very challenging world.

Daily we face challenges, changes or difficult tasks that may make us feel fearful, unsure or hesitant to move...

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Resilience: Don’t Wait to Bounce Back

With all the collective struggles we are facing - pandemic, economic and political upheaval, remote work, unemployment - there is more need than ever to be able to respond with resilience.

But, most of us want not only to survive - we want to thrive. There is a shared understanding that resilience is having the strength to endure challenges and overcome adversity, and I think you’ll agree that resilience is a positive trait to possess. When I ask workshop participants to tell me what resilience is, the most common answer is “resilience is the ability to bounce back after difficulty.” 

I have heard this in 100% of the resilience workshops I have facilitated.

It’s not wrong, but...it’s not enough.

While “bouncing back” after failure, disappointment or difficulty is certainly good, it already implies a “reactive” tone - it asserts that we bounce back after something happens. And while that may be when resilience shows itself,...

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