5 Fears Young Leaders Face

Starting out in leadership can be very scary. There’s so many great leaders out there. And you think of yourself as not one.

The intimidation is fierce.

Don’t worry though. Every leader faces fears. Even seasoned veterans.

We’ll discuss 5 fears every young leader faces today.

Fear is the path to the dark side, YODA

Image by JD Hancock

Even after years of being a leader, I still face fears. Some of them are fears I faced when I started out.

The fear isn’t pleasant. It’ll often hold you back from leading well.

That’s why we’ve got to be willing to man up and realize the fear isn’t our own. Everyone feels it. Everyone deals with it. Not everyone survives the fear though.

Today’s post should help you get through fears you’ll commonly face. Especially when starting out in leadership.

Fear 1: The imposter syndrome fear – We all know of great leaders. We’ve tried to model ourselves after them and do what they’ve done.

Truth be told, this can bring on the imposter syndrome fear.

This fear rears its ugly head when we feel that we’re an imposter. When we feel we don’t know what we’re talking. When we feel we’re fakes.

Be on guard against this fear. It’s easily one of the most crushing fears we can face.

Realize that we’ve all been mentored by other leaders. They’re part of us. The knowledge they’ve poured into us should be shared.

While you may be similar to another leader, you bring something unique to the table. Find it. Embrace it. Share it.

Fear 2: The screw-up fear – You want to share great advice. You want to help people move to the next level. You want to do what’s right.

But what happens when someone takes the advice you’ve given and twists it to suit their own desires?

I’ve faced this fear many times.

One time I shared about the need for change and someone decided this meant they needed to make a choice that went against my beliefs. This shook me to the core.

I wondered how I could have screwed up so badly and put someone’s life on the wrong course. It was my fault, I told myself. I questioned whether or not I wanted to continue leading.

Eventually, I came to the conclusion people will draw their own conclusions from what I share and there’s nothing I can do about it. All I can do is give the best advice I can and let others deal with their own conscious.

Don’t let the fear of screwing up curb your leadership. Know people will make decisions. Some good, some bad. It’s their life and they’re in control of it.

Fear 3: The I don’t have enough knowledge fear – You’re young. I know that. You know that. And so do the ones you’ll be leading.

Those you’re leading may even think you don’t have enough experience or knowledge to lead.

We can’t let our lack of knowledge, or the fear of it, stop us from leading.

When this fear comes upon you, remind yourself of the things you do know. The courses you’ve passed. The leadership trials you’ve gone through and overcome.

Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you don’t bring knowledge to the table. This knowledge may be different or not fully formed yet but you have it.

Develop and nurture the knowledge you need to be a great leader. You can do it.

Fear 4: The public speaking fear – Who doesn’t have this fear? Standing in front of an audience is a daunting feat.

For me, it’s still a fear I struggle with. I hate standing on the platform and speaking a message. I’m terrified.

However, the more I speak publicly, the better I get at it.

This is how you overcome the fear of public speaking. By doing it.

Get out there and speak to small crowds. Speak to medium sized crowds. Speak to large crowds.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Eventually the fear will subside. The fear may never go away but you can beat it back.

Fear 5: The critic fear – There’s no denying it. We all want to be liked. We all want to find people who will encourage us.

Sadly, you won’t always get these encouragers. Sometimes you’ll face the critic.

And critics math just doesn’t add up. Jon Acuff puts it this way

1 insult + 1,000 compliments = 1 insult.

Now that’s messed up, isn’t it? We can allow one critic to destroy any positive encouragement we may have received.

You’ll always have critics. You’ll always have fans.

Learn who to listen to (Your fans) and who to dismiss (Your critics).

Guys, come on.

Don’t let your fears destroy your ability to lead. Don’t let fear destroy the message you have within you. Don’t let fear rob you of the joy of helping others.

Know you’re in good company. I have fears. Michael Hyatt has fears. Your parents have fears.

Look the fear in the face and tell it no more.

Question: How have you overcome fear in your life? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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