Fear and Mindfulness in Career - CCNJ Leadership Series 

Everyone is a leader - either by choice or by default. Whenever you interact with anyone else (and yourself) you are leading. So the question is not “Will you lead?”  It is “How well will you lead?”  I discovered this quotation as a coaching student while studying at the iPEC-coaching school.  I believe it means that minute-by-minute we have a choice about giving in to fear or transforming ourselves and moving towards fearlessness.  

             I coach people to be leaders in life and in career and to consciously and intentionally participate in their personal development.  Whether one is alone in meditation, helping children with homework, or leading a group of peers at work, we make leadership decisions throughout the day. 

             Whether we are searching for a job; creating a vision for our career; or deciding how to make a meaningful difference at work, to be successful demands a person face their fear and take bold and decisive action. 

             Many of us seek out material independence as a way to achieve freedom and diminish our fears.  Others prefer to find someone special to share their life with and enjoy real support from a significant other.  Regardless of how successful you are at those endeavors, and I wish you tremendous success, it is not possible to have a life free from fear.  My point is to aim for living a life as free from fear as possible.  In fact the more I personally experience the fearless life the more I understand that it defines what freedom is all about. 

             A talented executive may hold herself back from the recognition and material success she wants and deserves based on fear of taking a risk.  A job seeker may hold back from expressing himself authentically in the personal branding process based of fear of missing out on a nonexistent offer.  A salesperson may not make the important follow-up call to a key client for fear of rejection.  A man doesn’t ask a woman out on a date because of fear of rebuff. 

             Fear is created by the thoughts we generate in our mind.  The thoughts create feelings that can negatively influence our decisions; literally can make us ill; and distract us from using the common sense and intuition which are our best guides.  Ultimately there is no insurance policy or 100% guarantee that will prevent uncertainty, pain, and confusion in our life.  If someone is pointing a gun at you be scared and try to retain composure.  However, most of our fears don’t actually exist.  We create them ourselves.  We are masters at worry and projecting the worst possible outcome. 

 What to do now? 

             First of all, make a decision to play the game of life and career at the highest level possible.  Commit to step-by-step self-improvement and continuous learning.    

             Secondly, find a Mindfulness practice that you are comfortable routinely doing.  My definition of Mindfulness means calmly and quietly observing your thoughts, feelings, words, and behavior.  You’ll probably find that there is a lot of repetition in your thoughts.  Also, you may discover that many times throughout the day it’s easy to dwell on a handful of negative matters over and over again.  The Mindfulness process helps in seeing what your thoughts are, what you fear, and how often you repeat them day-after-day.  Remember the principle, “What you focus on expands.”  

             Thirdly, you’ll want to begin working on transforming those fearful thoughts into positive and constructive ones.  There are practical ways to do it. 

             Some of my clients participate in Mindfulness exercises that include breathing, contemplation, meditation, and self-observation.  We create practical strategies to achieve our career objectives and goals and simultaneously do the inner work that diminishes the fear that would otherwise be an obstacle to success. 

             As they begin to diminish fear and take action it literally makes them happier and more content.  They are continuous learners.  They are less harshly judgmental of themselves and other people.  One client states, “I no longer lower my expectations of myself and when I make a ‘bad’ decision I just let it go and I repeat my mistakes less often.  I move on and know what happened without harsh judgment and don’t define myself based on a decision.”  They become more open to opportunity and learning during negative situations.  In the words of one client, “I see what is driving me.  I pay attention.  I don’t have to act on it knowing that it is an urge.  I am now okay with less activity and silence.”

 I am curious how you practice Mindfulness in your daily life.  Please let me know.  Return home

 

Brought to you by:

Neil Cooper
Certified Coach & Mentor
Career Transition and Leadership

Graduate of iPEC Coaching in Shrewsbury NJ
973-445-4200

CareerCoachNJ@gmail.com

CareerCoachNJ.com
LinkedIn.com/in/neilcooper711

Skype: CooperLeadershipCoaching

Twitter: @CareerCoachNJ

Everyone is a leader—either by choice or by default.
Whenever you interact with anyone else (and yourself) you are leading.
So the question is not “Will you lead?” but rather “How well will you lead?”

(c) 2012 – 2014

Please feel free to connect with me on Linked In at http://www.linkedin.com/in/neilcooper711

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