Do you feel fear? Are you afraid? It’s OK to admit it. A colleague recently sent me Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on Face Fear With Compassion. I read her book Eat, Pray, Love, yet when I first looked at her talk I thought it was going to be too “ooey gooey lovey dovey” for me. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’m so glad I listened to the end because it’s really powerful. And it came at the right time for me. Maybe this is the right time for you as well.
When you’re afraid or feeling shame, write a letter to yourself from the place of unconditional love. You can’t chase fear out, you can only bring love in. A letter to yourself might sound something like this…
I see you.
I am you, and I love you.
I’m right here.
I’ve got you.
I love you and I’m not going anywhere.
As leaders we are being asked to have answers, to know what’s ahead, and to care about our staff and co-workers. It’s hard to be that person for others if we’re afraid inside. Writing a letter of love to yourself may help calm your fears. Ms. Gilbert said, “I can’t serve anyone if I’m scared. I have to calm myself first.” To be able to give love to someone else, we have to be able to accept it from ourselves. The next time you feel fear, sit down and write yourself a letter. It’s worth trying.