By Howard Stanten MPT, CPCC
Fear is one of the two most powerful emotions we have. The other is Love. When we are consumed by Fear, we fight, flee, or freeze. There is a heaviness, a closing down, a rejecting. When we are led by Love we tend towards “Being With.” There is a lightness, an openness, a welcoming.
We often consider these emotions to live in very different places within us. And, sometimes they are.
Unless, they’re not.
Art Shirk, an icon in the field of leadership development, passed away last week. With his passing, he challenged, and in so doing, anchored himself in all of us who are blessed to have known him
“In lieu of flowers, Art wants each person to do something you have been afraid of without worrying about success or failure.” His anchor and his challenge.
What if we looked at Fear as an ally of Love? What would be possible from that place? I’m not referring to the fear that saves our lives in the face of a real and present danger. Nor, am I referring to infatuation or longing masquerading as Love.
I am talking about the fear that stands between us and the impact we want to have in the world, the kind of life we really want to lead. And, I am talking about the kind of Love that is about fiercely connecting to where your heart is reaching and what your gut is telling you is the next right thing to do.
In this kind of space, the magic of life itself thrives, creates, and brings forth magnificence. Connecting here IS WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT. Art Shirk lived his life in this space. And, sometimes it was messy. And, sometimes it was divine. And, most often, I glean from his writings, it was both.
Avoiding a difficult conversation with a colleague, boss, friend? Not going after the business or clients you want because you fear you’re not good enough? Wanting yet unwilling to unleash the strength of vulnerability because you’re afraid you’ll be perceived as weak?
Where is fear standing between where you are and where you want to be?
Feel that fear…. stay with it…. don’t run, shut down, or fight it. Don’t greet fear with fear. Welcome it….be with it…. turn up the volume…. breathe deeply...Greet Fear with Love. And, allow fear to fiercely connect you to where your heart is reaching and what your gut is telling you is the next right thing to do.
So, Go there… TODAY…NOW. Follow your Fear. It’s the gateway to the only kind of success that matters. Success built on a foundation of what really matter. Success built on a foundation of Love.
Me? I love bringing folks together doing good work into conversations that matter. I’ve got some butterflies going right now. Fear is telling me to call the leader of a highly respected statewide organization that wants my help; not to wait for the yet to be received follow up email.
I’ve got a call to make…You?
Howard Stanten MPT,CPCC is an Executive Leadership and Professional