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The Paradox of Fear: Accepting Your Reality Takes Bravery


(IMAGE: Chadwick Boseman)


The protective barriers we build out of fear are often initially necessary. Survival skills.

But they can limit us – and become obstacles and problems in their own right. Excessive fear leads to not being able to accept your reality, understand your actual abilities, and acknowledge your feelings and emotions. To accept, understand and acknowledge reality and yourself takes bravery for many of us.


FEAR CAN PROPEL US AS WELL AS INCAPACITATE US.


The paradox of fear. Fear can be motivation or obstacle. It is both real and artificial. Fear is a powerful motivator. But if fear takes over and becomes an irrational driver of your behavior, it saps your confidence and the will to act and creates new problems of its own.


If you let it energize YOU, you can use IT TO SERVE AS A CHANGE AGENT.


Someone who very much showed many of us his bravery and courage was actor Chadwick Boseman. Admired by so many, he quietly amassed a remarkable catalogue of inspiring performances, succumbing to cancer at the age of 43 last summer. He did not share his battle publicly, but Chadwick’s legacy is a great reminder of the power in overcoming fear. While at the height of his fame, he developed relationships with young terminal cancer patients. In one instance, he was told by the parents of two of the child cancer patients that they were “trying to hold on” until his next movie came out. He used

that as motivation to push past his own fear and fatigue – saying to himself “‘I have to

get up and learn my lines and make this movie.”


As the line continues to blur between one’s professional self and personal self, Chadwick showed us what bravery, courage and action really could do.


The courage to reveal our fragilities and flaws so that we can be effective colleagues, teammates and work leaders is a quintessential part of running our organizations. Combined with a candid exchange of ideas and diversity of perspectives, our teams become stronger, healthier and more valuable.

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