“People of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo da Vinci

In the Global Leadership Summit this past August, Michelle Poler, author of Hello Fears, spoke. She made a checklist of her fears and where she wanted to grow and improve…. and did it for 100 days! She overcame!
Here is her TEDx talk in Houston: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dbNRGiqaaM

She learned a lot and discovered some lessons that are helpful for leaders.  She challenges people to identify and overcome their fears so that they can tap into their inner strength and grow.   

She reflected on in her career she had two bosses who hit the ditches on either side – which we all have to watch out for:

    1. Thoughtless Risk: One who took risks but ignored the team as he took risks and put things at jeopardy
    2. No-Risk: One who didn’t take risks and played safe avoiding anything that felt too edgy


Both are problematic … because taking risks is critical but doing it in a way that engages the team and allows for planning and proactive action.

Three main types of fears:

    1. Universal fears (Spiders, needles, heights, etc.) 
    2. Cultural fears (do this and don’t do that… not belonging, fitting in, being loved and accepted)(this can cause us to not be authentic however and lose ourselves) (can cause is to compare and triggers impostor syndrome which makes you believe you need to be someone other than who you are) (book: the war of art) (contrast and create your place … don’t compare what others are doing; the contrast is what you can do that is different) 
    3. Personal fears (connected to self-esteem)(the enemy of success is COMFORT … it causes us to do what is safe and comfortable rather than what is needed)

What fear do you need to go after??

She encourages people to reflect, write down and overcome fears that limiting your life.

She gives these encouragements:

  • Stand in your courage to act, fight for valuable ideas, and create change! 
  • Go for what feels right in our heart vs what might be more glamorous!
  • Don’t ask: “what’s the worst that can happen?” (It triggers negative thoughts ….) – Ask: “What is possible?!?” (Keeps you in your frontal lobe and growth mindset)
  • Fear is our ally … but we must open ourselves to the unknown so we can grow (growth mindset) … it’s an opportunity to next best thing 
  • Be a braver person. Be grateful
  • Life will always give us options and will take us to assess our comfort zone. Challenges that ask us to do something different usually are scarier/intimidating. 
  • Growth requires activation (what is the best that can happen) vs fear mindset focuses on the risk 

Take action:  

  • Face fear 
  • Feel passion, freedom, and gratitude 
  • Learn to love yourself 

What are your fears?   

What are you willing to get uncomfortable for? 

The Secret of
Leadership is