How To Stop Fear From Becoming Your Designated Driver

Ambitious Resilience, Belonging, Change & Reinvention, Human First Leadership

Who’s driving your bus?

Back when my kids were young I found myself addicted to American Mommy Bloggers on YouTube.
Mommy Bloggers are utterly fantastic in every way and put the overachieving Ms Rabbit from Peppa Pig to shame.

Friendly, fun and always smiling with neatly coiffed hair that stays in place while they prepare a home-cooked meal for eight from scratch. The ingredients come from their kitchen garden (planted with their own hands) next to their huge house (built with their own hands) that sits by a beautiful lake (no doubt somehow filled with their own hands).

Their kids happily play in handmade outfits created with wool spun from passing sheep because id you don’t know how to perform an emergency sheep shear how have you survived this long?

Despite this sounding a bit sarcastic I’m in awe of these women and find myself hoping their real lives and social media lives are identical. The problem isn’t them – it’s me.

I was mostly reading the blogs sat in my dressing at 1.30 pm in the afternoon with three small children rioting in the background whilst staring down at the dried egg yolk on my left lapel. I got curious…

👉🏽 How did that get there when I don’t eat eggs?
👉🏽 Why am comparing my backstage with everyone else’s front stage?

I had a huge comparison-itus addiction and it had made me miserable from day 1.

Comparison-itus swims so far under your radar that you barely even realise it’s happening. It leeks out in the thoughts you have, feelings you experience, phrases you use and actions you take. Left unchecked, it becomes a habit, then an integral part of your character and finally, your destiny.

Comparison, like competition and feedback, is healthy. That is until it is weaponised! Enter Dave. He’s the Comparison Cactus who sits on my desk as a reminder not to waste my time trying to win a yoga race! 🌵  Comparing yourself to others as a way of beating yourself up is tantamount to sitting on an actual cactus.

When your narrative becomes “I’m not enough” or “I’m too much” you run the risk of appointing fear as your designated driver. 

Unhealthy comparison-itus erodes a team’s invincibility. It steals joy for families. Whether you’re a leader of yourself or a tribe at home and at work, gift yourself a bit of light future-proofing.

Strap yourself in for Jazlow’s Hierarchy of Needs!

Jazlow’s Hierarchy of Needs – more simple than the other guy’s model.

It’s more simple than the other guy’s model as I am at my best when I only have to remember three things at a time. (One of my many Jaz-hacks!)

To do your best work you need:

  1. To feel safe – obvs. This goes a lot further than making sure there are no stray leopards in the building. Psychological safety allows people to feel and experience trust, hope, stability and compassion. Employees in that environment go way beyond being compliant to being committed.
  1. To be well – obvs. If it was a case of accessibility we’d all be as fit as a Sandra the butcher’s sprightly cockapoo. There are plenty of videos on YouTube on how to be well. You don’t need yet another app to count your (lack of) steps. You need a mindset shift that connects your way of being to your potential fulfilment at home and at work. (Also check out Champion Health which is basically Netflix for the soul!)
  1. To be seen – not so obvs. Being seen, and meeting others where they are, is the secret sauce and a powerful currency in the post-pandemic age. Leaders tend to do things TO, FOR or WITH their teams. Same for parents with their children. With-ness is hands down the most impactful as it leads to autonomy and agency. With-ness also requires real intention as you can only create a way of being in others that you are living yourself. Talk is, as they say, inexpensive.

Who do you have on your personal team? Who is FOR and WITH you?

How do your family and/or team know you are FOR and WITH them?

Not sure – here’s a tip. Ask them what the unwritten rules are – those things no one says but everyone knows. Their answers give you an insight into the TO, FOR or WITH flavoured culture you are creating.       

Click the image below to watch a 90 second video on this topic. Go on, you know you want to!

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