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5 fears holding business leaders back, and how to overcome them

There are many fears that come with being a business leader. But how do you manage them? Human behaviour expert Dr John Demartini provides his tips.

Fear is a psychological barrier for many business leaders which can prevent them from taking the risks they need to be successful.

However, it can also be used for greater self-evaluation.

Entrepreneur and leading human behaviour expert Dr John Demartini says, “Fear means you’re growing and challenging yourself beyond your comfort zones. Your fear is a feedback response to ensure you set more congruent and inspiring objectives.”

For business leaders to overcome their fears and move forward, John says they must first ‘own’ and recognise the nature of their doubts and fears.

Dr John Demartini
Dr John Demartini

“Acknowledging your fears and their underlying fantasies can, at times, be wise, but it is even wiser to self-reflect, introspect and master the skill of strategically planning and refining goals and objectives to where you know exactly what to do in potential circumstances,” he tells The CEO Magazine.

John further identifies the benefits that come with setting aside fear and instead focusing on your main goals.

“Each of us live with and by a unique set of values, priorities or actions that are most to least important to our lives,” he says. “When we live in alignment or congruently with our true highest values we become spontaneously inspired from within to act. We become more disciplined, reliable and focused; we expand our space and time horizons; we achieve more; we elevate our self-worth, certainty and belief in ourselves.

“We bring blood glucose and oxygen into our forebrain and awaken our executive centre governance and become more reasonable, objective or even-minded.”

John outlines the 5 biggest fears business leaders face and how they can be overcome:

  1. Am I smart and savvy enough?

    Many leaders are afraid that they are not knowledgeable enough or equipped in certain areas to manage certain tasks ahead of them.

    Solution: Take your focus off your fears and remain focused on your guiding mission. “Build on and grow your specific area of knowledge and expertise,” John says. “And find the right people and teams to assist in those areas where competence or experience may be lacking.”

  2. Will I be rejected?

    As individuals, the fear of rejection comes from people whom we have somehow placed ourselves ‘beneath’. This subordinate position (either real or perceived) makes us fear the other person’s opinion and is common among business leaders who perceive counterparts or rivals to be more successful than them.

    Solution: Stop comparing and measuring yourself against others. “I advise business leaders, in this scenario, to only measure/compare their actions against their own vision – and not to any other person,” John says. “We are not here to live in the shadows – we are here to stand on the shoulders of giants.”

  3. Will I lose money?

    This can be a paralysing fear for business leaders as the pressure to bring in profits is usually ever-present.

    Solution: Get back to your initial vision and mission. “It should be about serving the customer and making their lives better,” John advises. “In this way, the fear of losing money can quickly turn into a blessing – as it hopefully redirects leaders back to their true passion and personal mission.”

  4. Will I have enough energy and vitality?

    This fear particularly affects business leaders who feel threatened by younger, more tech-savvy professionals who are rising up in their field.

    Solution: Again, this is an issue with comparing and measuring against others. “Always have faith in your own skills and experience,” John says. “Stay true to your mission and, where necessary, hire and partner with those individuals who can bring competency in the areas where gaps lie.”

  5. Will I have to go against my moral compass/ethics?

    Often, business leaders find themselves in tough situations where they are forced to choose between being honest – and losing profit or market share – or being dishonest for short-term gain.

    Solution: Stay true to your own moral compass and follow your instincts. “It is always when we lose sight of our own mission and values that we stray into dangerous and potentially harmful territory,” John adds.

Do you possess these 9 courageous attributes that all executives share?

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