Too Afraid to Matter


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Fear binds to the present.

Paralyzing fear pats you on the back when nothing changes.

Fear cheers for the status quo.

Fear says; don’t stand out because you’ll:

  1. Look foolish.
  2. Screw up. (You will)
  3. Get in over your head.
  4. Lose what you have.
  5. Seem arrogant. Others aren’t standing out. What gives you the right to think you can?

Fear of loss and criticism prevents you from doing what matters.

How to matter most:

Forget and shift:

  1. Forget about being in charge. Stop thinking leadership is authority, power, command and control. Shift to serving. Bring benefit. What’s the good thing you can do for others?
  2. Forget about final results. Focus on the path forward. Meaningful results never happen all at once. How can you make a difference today?
  3. Forget about one. Think two. An ancient proverb says, “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor.” Everyone needs a “with.” Who can you stand with? Who can stand with you?
  4. Forget about old guard leaders who are fear-driven, controlling, and self-protective. Pass them by. They need you to be like them.
  5. Forget about fanfare and recognition. Do things quietly. Spotlights come later, if at all.

Bonus: Forget about permission.


Above all, doing what matters takes courage.

Courage is taking action while thinking of reasons not to. 

Deep courage is bringing you to opportunities and challenges. People who matter, ask:

  1. What does better look like?
  2. How does my story apply to this challenge?
  3. What can I do?
  4. What can we do?

The path:

  1. Start small.
  2. Start now. Starting is the most important thing you’ll do today.
  3. Start “with.”

Courage needs a next step; fear needs a guarantee.

How can people overcome paralyzing fear?