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Time to think anew about your fears

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

For the average person, fear offers a warning to stop. For leaders, fear offers evidence that they’ve arrived at an important juncture.

In Kenya, the Rev. Timothy Njoya was attacked one night by a squad of seven assassins. They cut off his fingers, then sliced open his belly. As he lay on the floor, he began giving his treasures away to his attackers: his Bible to one, his library to another.

Njoya’s generosity so moved his attackers that they rushed him to the hospital.

“We can harness our would-be fears,” Njoya says now, “harmonize our energies, and channel them into courage.”

With that in mind:

Old thought: Fear means “Danger! I have to turn back.”

New thought: Fear signals that it might be better to move forward.

Old thought: “If I stop what I’m doing, I’ll be lost and will never start again.”

New thought: Sometimes, we have to stop and find our path.

Old thought: “I have to figure everything out before I do anything.”

New thought: “We don’t have to know we can do something; we can try.”

Old thought: “If I act on what I believe, conflict will break out.”

New thought: Conflict means engagement.

— Adapted from You Have the Power: Choosing Courage in a Culture of Fear, Frances Moore Lappe and Jeffrey Perkins, Penguin.

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