In passive celebration of Halloween or the Day of the Dead, I thought it might be fun to invite you to consider how your thoughts, feelings and subsequent behavior might scare you or others — if at all, of course.
Scare yourself? Yes — with scary thoughts that intimidate you into avoiding a bold step or self-selecting out of lobbying for a promotion, for instance.
Scare others? Well, in today’s tumultuous times, most people are already in overwhelm and fearful of their survival. Maybe not life or death, but the survival of a lifestyle or self-image. Since already fearful and anxious because of it, people might understandably scare easily. Like when someone who fears the dark gets startled by a sudden move of the kitten.
Before continuing, a reminder: triads reflect the inner human architecture in rough form. As shown the diagram, every thought, feeling and behavior influences the other. As a result, nothing you think or feel goes without an indirect or direct external expression — in case you assumed that your thoughts and feelings don’t show up in the way you lead.
Thoughts & Behavior
What do you think on a daily basis?
Don’t know? Ask yourself right now.
What is a thought that you know really well, such as:
- “If I speak up, my boss won’t like it and will fire me when s/he has the chance” or
- “I’m scared of losing my job because I think I won’t find another one” or
- “I always doubt myself, that must mean that I’m not a good leader”
The list goes on and on. I list examples I hear from clients in my courses and workshops.
All of your thoughts affect the way you think and respond to people and situations at work and home. If you’re thinking it, it will come out either in a facial expression, tone of voice, reaction or action. Maybe a curt response or a defensive reaction to someone’s question or a domineering “just do it” command that you say when stressed.
People who work with you regularly know how you think.
The invite: think about the way you think. Journal about your thought patterns. These questions can help: What do you think about your survival – safety, certainty, relationships, money, prospects? What do you think about thriving – growth, variety, contribution?
Feelings & Behavior
The same goes for feelings. What you feel on a daily basis shines bright through the way you think and behave.
What do you feel on a regular basis? Don’t know? Ask yourself right now.
Which feelings do you know well? Maybe:
- “I feel anxious about speaking up because I worry that my idea won’t be well received” or
- “I’m scared of asking for what I want because I don’t want to feel disappointed” or
- “I dislike John because he questions everything I do”
Again, the list goes on and on. Again, we all have fears or other emotions that affect our highest capacity to lead. All of your feelings affect the way you think and behave. Maybe the fear of failure prevents you from trying something new. Maybe you fear getting hurt, so don’t dare to get close to your boss or mentor.
Everyone who works with you on a regular basis knows how you tend to feel. As a quick share: the most common feeling expressed in my client group is frustration. That feeling makes people behave in all sorts of scary ways.
A second invite: contemplate the way you feel on a regular basis. Consider journaling about that — what do you feel about your survival – safety, certainty, relationships, money, prospects? What do you feel about thriving – growth, variety, contribution?
The more you know what you think and feel, the more control you’ll have over your behavior. The more control you have over your behavior, the more “in-control” you’ll feel and the better results you’ll create — as a hair-raising leader, in the good sense.
Enjoy the process of getting to know yourself more. No witchcraft needed. :>
[Image from Freepik]