How do you overcome fear?

When dealing with change of any sort, there’s an element of fear and your ability to confront and conquer it will be essential to your success negotiating it.  When you’re transitioning to Agile it’s a new way of working and thinking.  When you switch teams it’s not knowing who your team mates are, what they value and what they expect from you.  When moving to a new job it’s about who you’re working for and if you’ll be able to do well.  Often, fear also influences how you make a decision.  The fear of the unknown keeps you from doing something.  So, how do you conquer fear?

1.  Determine why you’re afraid.  If you can understand what scares you, it will help you rationally assess the validity of the fear.  Once you determine the validity….see number 2

2.  If you’re a glass half-empty kind of person and have identified why you’re afraid, you can then ask yourself “What’s the worst that can happen?”.  Thinking this through is pretty interesting and can really generate some good insights.  Often the worst thing we can imagine isn’t so terrible.

3.  Figure out what would need to be true in order for you to NOT be afraid and work towards making them so.

4.  Just do it.  Take the leap.  Personally, this is not my style.  I’m just not that kind of girl but, I started to do smallish acts – saying things I would normally filter and questioning when I would normally agree – and it became easier.  I don’t sputter and turn red nearly as much any longer. 🙂

One truth about fear…If you make decisions based out of fear, you will be opting out far more often that you will opt in.  By not opting in you limit your learning.  By limiting your learning you limit your growth.  I don’t know about you but, I don’t want to be the same person I am today years from now.  I want to opt in, learn and grow.

As a Scrum Master, consider this as you’re working with your teams and the individuals on those teams.  Trying new things, learning new skills, questioning, challenging and always evaluating can be scary and teams need every single one of those things (and then some) to be high-performing.

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