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We all know the feeling. You are about to drift off to sleep, you are inside of that wonderful between place, neither awake or dreaming. And suddenly it snaps into place. The problem you have been trying to solve all day becomes clear to you. You sit up, grab your phone to save the idea, and you fall asleep.


Total comfort. Without any judgement or concern. Free to allow your mind the space and time it needed to piece together the problem and find the solution. Sometimes that’s all it takes, the right condition to discover the right decision for whatever challenge you are facing.


Do you have that at work?


Are you able to be totally yourself, as if you were alone, and share whatever idea you have even when it sounds ridiculous?


Being vulnerable is essential to problem solving, creativity and decision making.

You Need To Follow Your Fear


I heard this incredible quote by Julian Schnabel recently, he said:


“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”


I love that quote because we normally would never want to feel anxious, and when we do, we feel weak and not empowered. His quote suggests that the anxiety you are feeling is because of the freedom and potential that life holds for you.


In the same way, what scares us leads us into the deepest parts of our creativity. It unlocks pathways of understanding that we can apply to our work with a fresh perspective. Going where the fear is allows us to shake loose the patterns we hold on to so tightly.


This is impossible without being given the freedom at work to be follow your fear. It also becomes very difficult to acknowledge that fear and engage with it if you are not given the space to be vulnerable and discover yourself at work – after all, it is where we find ourselves most of the day.


Can you talk to your boss about what scares you? Can you talk to your employees about what keeps you up at night?


If we want to make use of the endless opportunities our fears have, even just the professional fears we have, we cannot be in an environment where we feel like only a certain way of being is acceptable. We need to make being vulnerable and comfortable a priority to be able to capitalize on overcoming our mental barriers.


Our Inside World Wants Out


We all have an interior world that we keep from others, and sometimes ourselves. Denial is a wonderfully complex thing. It is the iceberg metaphor. 30% we show, 70% no one sees. Yet, we are constantly discussing that 70% with ourselves, it keeps us awake at night, it is what we drift off into when the meeting gets boring.


All of it is useful. All of that 70% is a part of you and should be a resource that is welcome in your professional life. And, very often, if we do not allow ourselves to express ourselves fully, that restriction blocks us, or finds its way out at times when we would rather it didn’t. When we suppress what is going on for us we are setting ourselves up to express ourselves in moments where we are less controlled.


It will come out either way. It is up to us to decide whether or not we will create the environment where are are able to make that 70% a useful part of what we bring to our work.

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