Embracing Truth and Overcoming Fear In the Workplace
Today's guest post is from Kirtsty Spraggon, International Motivational Keynote Speaker, Talk Show Host and Executive Producer of KirstyTV. Kirsty is a deep, substantial and impactful speaker whose belief in others is infectious. On stage she becomes your people's biggest cheerleader. This results in an experience that deeply moves your people to action and makes a lasting impact on your organization. We love her...and we encourage you to check her out. We recently recorded an episode of the Culture Chat Podcast with Kirsty, which you can listen to here.
It may seem counterintuitive, but to be truly successful, we must start with being vulnerable. If that statement makes you uncomfortable, then I’m talking to you! Many of us believe that we can be two different people at work and at home. Unfortunately, we can't leave our insecurities and vulnerabilities at the door. They come with us wherever we go. They are a part of who we are.
Fear in the workplace is different now than it was 10 or even 20 years ago. As humans, we've evolved to become more in touch with our feelings and separating "career work" from "inner work." Inner work feeds career work. Take the time daily or even hourly to check your inner self. Why are you not making that phone call or speaking up in that meeting or taking a risk on a new idea? What about your inner self is keeping you from giving your career work 100%? Self reflection offers the greatest opportunity to change and overcome fear in the workplace. Of course, overcoming fear begins with recognizing the power of truth.
In this video of my recent speaking engagement to top leaders and VP’s of Fortune 500 companies such as WD40, Zappos and Davita, I speak of the transformational power of truth, and 3 ways we can embrace it in our lives:
1. Take the Leap. It will never get any easier. Fear doesn’t go away, so you need to be willing to move forward with it by your side. Your desire to heal has to be greater than your fear. If you don’t know how to get started, watch this video and hear how I began by taking one small step. Your best life is on the other side of fear.
2. Become Fear’s BFF. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. We must acknowledge and value the important role that pain, fear, and discomfort has in our journey to healing. If you ever want to be fully free, you must embrace fear and see it as your best friend.
3. Connections Deepen Rather Than Weaken. One of the greatest fears leaders have, is what other people will think of them. They are afraid if people knew who they really were, they would reject them. However, the opposite is true. When we are willing to be vulnerable with others, it actually deepens our connections rather than weakening them.
Embracing our truth affects the way we interact with others personally and professionally. We become more self-aware, confident, approachable, creative, collaborative and productive as stress and anxiety lessen. Fear only paralyzes us into a place of mediocrity.
Research shows that shame is directly correlated to fear, anger, depression, addiction, eating disorders, and bullying to name a few. These symptoms can show up when we least expect them. Although we try our best, we simply can't turn them off in the workplace. The shame associated with hiding our truth affects how we interact with others, how we interpret information and how we handle stress. It’s that nagging voice in your head that gets louder and louder the longer it’s ignored.
Unfortunately, our culture’s antidote to these uncomfortable feelings is to numb them. Turning to drugs, food, alcohol, entertainment and other numbing methods, we attempt to cover up the real issues, but hiding them only leads us deeper into the pit of shame.
In my conversation with Psychotherapist, Dr. Foojan Zeine, she shared that the problem with numbing our emotions is that we can’t pick and choose which ones we numb. For example, when we attempt to numb negative feelings like pain, we simultaneously numb good emotions such as joy. This leaves us with the inability to feel much of anything. I don’t know about you, but I would rather feel something, than nothing at all.
To take control of your life, you must face your fears head on. You have to allow yourself to feel your fear in order to overcome it.
In his research, Matthew Vess, a professor from Montana State University, states that you can greatly reduce the shame you feel by simply being yourself. Of course, that is easier said than done, believe me I know. I understand better than anyone how hard it is to lay your truth bare, but the transformation and freedom I have received in exchange makes it all worth it. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and live authentically, it lessens the grip of shame on our lives.
Everything we dream and hope for is on the other side of fear, but you have to be willing to go through it to get to it. Your best life is waiting for you, are you willing to do what it takes to get there?
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/arte-padova/