Life is the only process I can think of where we have the test first and then are taught the lesson. At times the lesson can be painful. Great leaders and those adept at self leadership, knowing that life can challenge us in ways unimagined, choose faith over fear. Fear can tie us in knots, at times because we won’t confront the cause of our fear. Let me explain. When problems arise we often “hunker down” hoping that the problem will somehow evaporate. In such an uninformed state, we allow the demons that populate our consciousness to predict what lies ahead. Make no mistake, our demons (we all have them) will conjure up scenarios so terrible as to strain all credibility. But when you don’t “know any better you accept such dire predictions. What we need to understand is that fear evaporates when facts come on the scene.
Leaders seek out facts because they have come to have faith in their ability to deal with adversity. The renowned author Henri Nouwen defines faith as “radical trust.” I like that-faith is sort of trust on steroids! In my book, Humanity at Work: Encouraging Spirit, Achievement and Truth to Flourish in the Workplace (Chapel Hill Press 2008), I wrote, “Faith is an act of self liberation and self realization.” It sets us free, we are… “devoid of fear or condemnation. Faith is an act of mercy. When we have faith, we anoint ourselves with mercy.”
This holiday season vow to have mercy on yourself by choosing faith over fear.