Some time ago a survey conducted in the U.S.A. apparently revealed that a major fear among the executive class was that they would be ‘found out’. It seems most people do not believe they are capable, qualified or educated enough to do their job adequately.

I am sure this is not confined to executives (whatever that word means). We are all constantly assailed by self-doubt, by feelings of inadequacy. Or is that just me? I doubt it.

In my experience almost everyone is afraid of pretty much everything. Even the most apparently confident worry about getting it wrong, losing face, being laughed at.

The antidote to all our fear is courage. When I say “take courage” I do not mean “be fearless”. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is acknowledging that you are afraid and then getting on with life.

The funny thing is, most of our fears turn out to be groundless when they are faced head on. Frightened of going to the dentist? Frightened of the imminent job interview? Frightened of your boss? (Not a good reason for going to a job interview – you’ll be just as frightened of your new boss!) None of these things are as bad as the stories we tell ourselves about them. And you already know this, from personal experience! Just think back to the times when you faced the fear, whether voluntarily or because there was no other option. Pretty much every time the reality will have been far less traumatic than you imagined.

So, gird up your loins* and go forth to do battle with your fears – you’ll be glad you took courage.

*a biblical phrase – this link shows you how to do it!