Do you feel a pull towards something particular in your life? No matter what you do, that thing, that desire, keeps reappearing.

Maybe it’s the hobby that is way too expensive, or your partner doesn’t enjoy it, so you already talked yourself out of it a few times. Perhaps it is a particular place on earth you desire to visit. Or maybe it is one of your talents that you keep burying under pillows of self-dissuasion as it is not needed or even causes trouble in your current role.

No matter what it is, it keeps stubbornly reappearing as the little rubber ducky my 3-year-old daughter pushes under the water in the tub.

She pushes it down, lets go, and it bobs back up again. Over and over.

One of my clients, an extremely talented, dedicated, and intellectually brilliant international leader, has worked for most of her career towards a goal: the desire to be heard and seen as the senior executive she feels she is. She nurtured the fire burning in her, put a lot of hard work and wit in, which didn’t go unnoticed.

She received a unique opportunity. It felt so exciting and right to her! She accepted.

My client is a fan of self-development. She’s unusually efficient in leveraging all the development tools available that help her succeed. No one doubted she was ready and would be successful.

But, something just wasn’t okay.

Despite all efforts, she felt undervalued by her colleagues. She found herself responding to them defensively. She felt stuck, always needing to fulfill everyone else’s requirements.

Why?

Two-three conversations later, she had a sudden moment of clarity: self-sabotage.

Reason: a deep-seated fear of high visibility.

How could she stand in the spotlight? Was she good enough?

Result?

Out of a hidden and profound fear, my client didn’t show up as the leader she is. She didn’t let go of some behaviors and habits that didn’t serve her anymore.

She was potentially on the way to undermining all her accomplishments.

Photo by Thomas Despeyroux on Unsplash

Frequently, we fear precisely what we deeply desire. We fear our own success.

It’s how our brains try to keep us safe.

It’s not comfortable to follow your desires, your ultimate self-expression or – as Simon Sinek’s fans will appreciate – your personal WHY. But you can do it. You can rely on your beliefs, ability to adapt, and your choice to show up and do the best you can. This is how authentic leaders face their fears  and turn them into their biggest drivers.

So, if you feel that pull, that deep desire to express or experience a part of you that hasn’t yet had the chance to come to full expression, you might appreciate what my courageous authentic clients and my daughter’s rubber duckie taught me:

  • Don’t let fear stop you from following what you desire. Take the leap! It’s better on the other side.
  • Rely on yourself, let the future unfold and trust that whatever happens, you can deal with it.
  • Prepare yourself to let go of your old ways (FULLY!) and nurture a frictionless mind.
  • Notice: does something not feel right? If yes, explore the cause of your discomfort. Is it something you can influence? If yes, go ahead. If not, let go.
  • Enjoy the process of growing into the new you that is surfacing.

 

And what about my client?

The fear of the spotlight lost its control over her once she recognized it. Noticing her self-sabotage gave her tremendous power to choose how she’d like to respond to situations that trigger the fear next time.

I have no doubt she will gracefully sail the waters she’s chosen for herself. She has everything it takes to succeed.

And so do you.

Do you also have a strong desire, but aren’t sure how to leap? Do you feel like something is holding you back, but you don’t know what and why? Do you have a hidden desire that keeps knocking on the door but hasn’t yet taken a concrete shape?

I’d love to hear from you and see if I can be of service.

 

 

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