3 ways to conquer fear when making strategic leadership decisions

As leaders, we carry a rewarding yet heavy weight. There are moments when our decisions will affect many lives and the future of the company. While these things must be taken seriously, it’s important we do not let fear cloud our judgment. In fact, the hardest decisions can be some of the best things we do for our company. When we eliminate fear, we can clearly see the end of the tunnel and lead our team to success.

Fear is an Emotion

Fear can be one of the hardest challenges when training our emotional intelligence.  I love the ancient saying by Lao Tzu, “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the moment.” Our fear is the result of the adherence we have for uncertainty. 

If we can practice basic principle of conquering fear, we can move ahead and accomplish great things for our company.

3 Principles to Minimize Fear


1. Identify the Worse Case, Respect It, Then Let It Go

The worse thing we can do about fear is to overthink the worse case scenario without seeing it for what it truly is. If you are going to sky dive off a plane, you have the rare chance that the parachute will fail. You might die. In this case, we identify the worse, we respect it, and then we let it go. We recognize it as a possibility but not our definite future.

By following this method, we choose to not ignore the worse. We know what we are getting into. We know the stakes. And when we let it go, we allow ourselves to think of what we need to do to avoid it.

2. Fix Yourself on the Best Case

When we aim high, even if we miss, we will get closer than aiming low. When we put fear on the front stage, we think of an escape plan. We spend so much time on Plan B that we doom ourselves to failure from the start. When we focus on the challenge at hand, we raise our standards and become high-performers, fixed on meeting our goals. 

In 1915, Ernest Shackleton led an exploratory trip to Antarctica on the ship Endurance. It got stuck in ice, leaving him and his crew stranded on the frozen wasteland. It took seven months and journeying 1,288 kilometers through the harsh ice to find rescue. They had to capture seals, and use their meat for food and fat for lamps and fires. In all the challenges they went through, Shackletondid not lose one single person. He fixed his eyes on getting home.

When we see no other option but success, we eliminate fear and function at our best.

3. Fight Fear with Preparation

While the first two ways we can conquer fear are based on perspective and conditioning, this is our method to taking an offensive position towards fear. We attack fear through preparation. By studying each case, preparing for all challenges, finding people in our network to support us, and equipping ourselves, we can get fear off the table. 

When we prepare, we feel confident. Confidence is fear’s enemy. Find ways you can eliminate fear by training, studying and preparing a strategy. 

Fear is an emotion that wants to take control. When we say no, we get the wheel back. We are able to make the hard decisions for the best of the company. And we are rewarded for using wisdom and experience to develop winning solutions.

Signe Reidla is the Managing Director/Founder of Execruit and a Marshall Goldsmith Certified Executive Coach. When you need to find the right executive, professional talent, or need a leadership coach, Execruit will provide you with the tools to grow your business. Click https://execruits.com  for more information. 


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