To The Future Leaders: Face Your Weaknesses And Fears

Leadership Lesson: You can’t work past a weakness or fear that is holding you back or paralyzing you without turning into it, analyzing it, and breaking it down.

In this previous post, I introduced this current series which covers a top-ten list of ideas I had provided to students at Quest 2017, a one-day summit hosted at Southern Connecticut State University by Connecticut’s Chapter of Prospanica, in partnership with its community and corporate partners. The annual event is filled with motivational presentations, speakers, and workshops providing students with tools for the next chapter in their lives.

The list is made up of tips students should consider as they continue on in their life, work, and careers and is made up of some of the top items on The Self 60.

While the items on The Self 60 tend to be more specific, these items allow for the lesson to be broadened and more encompassing.

In each post I provide general information about the item and a breakdown of what it is, why it’s important, where to get it, and why the item made this top-ten list.

In this post, the item I’ll be breaking down is…

Face Your Weaknesses and Fears

General Info / What it is…

This tip reflects the need to deal with our weaknesses and fears. It may seem more intuitive and natural to not have to face these negative feelings. It may seem easier to deny they exist, to turn away, ignore or avoid them. And society seems to have programmed us to feel and/or believe that it is more admirable to appear strong and sure rather that susceptible to any type of vulnerability or level of insecurity.

Much like the challenges we face or obstacles we come across, weaknesses and fears need to be analyzed and our resources optimized, in order to overcome the obstacle itself. Much in the same way we look at our goals and take stock of our resources to tackle them, we need to address our weaknesses and fears.

Preparation is key.

Related: The Monthly Leader Newsletter on Fear

Why it’s important…

This item is important because weaknesses and fears lean toward the liabilities side of who we are rather than our assets side. And it isn’t the weakness or fear that is the liability. There’s no shame in having them. They are liabilities because resources that could go toward building and developing our assets are instead utilized to ignore or try to suppress those weaknesses and fears. It’s about where we’re placing our energy — or, actually, where we’re not.

So, instead of ignoring weaknesses and fears to get to our to-do/priority list, tackling weaknesses and fears should be on our to-do/priority list.

Weaknesses and fears should have their stigma lifted and challenges met. The alternative — suppressing these insecurities, or acting as if they don’t exist and not addressing them –- can prove more costly and detrimental.

Where to get it…

Self-realization is key here. We need to be honest with ourselves. We view working toward our goals as stretching, right? We should see dealing with weakness and fear the same way. Much in the same way we work incrementally toward goals, there’s nothing wrong with merely chipping away at fears and weaknesses, whether those small steps forward entail empowering the positive or neutralizing the negative.

And partners are always key in this area. To have a trusted partner, with whom we can share our biggest fears and weaknesses, is key. They can provide outside perspective and guidance, which may clear our minds and put us further at ease as we work to relieve ourselves of those negative metaphorical anchors.

Why it’s a Top 10 off The Self 60…

We can’t move forward to the best of our ability if we have those anchors of weakness and fear wrapped around our neck. As mentioned above, merely fighting off those feelings robs us of the energy we can use to move forward toward our goals.

Again, being able to express these concerns is vital to human and professional development. Being able to articulate what it is that is holding us back and what we are thinking can fuel an empowerment process.

Most items on The Self 60 can’t happen effectively if we don’t deal with the negative forces that are holding us back. The less we deal with them, the more they hold us down, and the lower the likelihood we can achieve our goals.

The ability to articulate our weaknesses and fears in an honest manner contributes to our resilience and effectiveness.

Our resilience is improved because we recognize we’re a work in progress and most obstacles can be conquered with a great amount of work and commitment.

Our effectiveness is improved because we’re being more honest about our concerns. The more we become comfortable with this honesty, the quicker we can address shortfalls and shortcomings of any nature, and the sooner we can work toward a resolution.

Both resilience and effectiveness benefit us as an individual, as we evolve and cause a ripple effect of honest assessment throughout any of our environments, endeavors, or organizations.

Related: The Monthly Leaders Newsletter on Resilience

Let resilience and effectiveness be your drivers, and work to neutralize the anchors that are your weaknesses and fears.

You can’t conquer what you fear without delving into it.

The Top Ten (in no particular order)

  1. Find your Driver(s) & Motivation(s)
  2. All Your Experiences Structure Your Path Forward
  3. Get An Accountability Partner
  4. Position Yourself For Your Success
  5. Your Worth & Value – Know It / Build It / Provide It / Live It
  6. Face Your Weaknesses & Fears
  7. Always Keep Learning
  8. Develop Your Awareness – Of Self & Others
  9. Be Part Of & Contribute To Your Community
  10. Do Not Wait For Life To Come To You

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