It was time to enter. I turned intensely pale; my rapid heartbeat was prompting me to flee. At that moment, I doubted myself. Why would I put myself through an hour of immense fear? Am I deranged?
After a terrifying hour of being scared out of my skin, I finally made it out of the haunted house. I threw my arms in the air and yelled “Yes! I did it! I made it all the way through!” An overwhelming sensation of achievement filled my body. I was on top of the world, ready to conquer anything.
How is this experience difference from making a difficult decision? Do I hire someone onto the team? Do I let someone go? Should I volunteer to lead a new initiative? All of these decisions can be incredibly frightening, and trigger similar physical and emotional symptoms as a haunted house! I experienced a boost of self-confidence after walking through that haunted house, and I get a similar rush of self-confidence after I make a tough decision.
One of the keys to growing as leaders is to make decisions without fear of the outcomes, and we all go through a similar process:
- First, we resist making a decision, not wanting to take risk.
- Next, we are in the middle of our fear, wanting to turn back, questioning our decisions.
- Lastly, we experience greater self-confidence because we put the decision behind us, and re-focus on what’s in front of us.
Dale Carnegie said, “Fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.” When we face down our fears and make the tough decisions, we win a sense of accomplishment and increased self-confidence.