The Cage of Fear: Part 2

Ralph-Freelink-cage-of-fear2

In Part 1 of this blog series, The Cage of Anger, we learned how pivotal it is for leaders to explore and own their anger. The same goes for fear. In terms of leadership, ’loss of power’ is the most prevalent fear. However, most leaders try to solve this issue by holding on to power, because the hidden belief is that power prevents powerlessness. But here’s the problem: if leaders strive for more power to prevent a situation of powerlessness, they are only dealing with their fears in the short term. In the long run, however, such an endeavor has profound consequences.

From enemy to ally

Sooner or later, a continued striving for power will lead to imbalance and crises – within yourself, but also in your environment. The fear that used to hide in the shadows has now begun to work its way to the surface, making itself known. Unfortunately, most leaders don’t know how to properly recognize and address fear in life. Often, fear is considered to be an enemy: people believe that if you want power, you need to be fearless. However, fear itself is not the problem. The real dilemma is the approach of fear. Because most of the time you’re fighting it. Once the fight is being fought, and you are ready for a different approach, a new dilemma arises: the fear is still frozen within your body.

Fear as a feeling

Fear that is frozen can’t be felt. You simply don’t know that it’s there. So in order to melt the fear and start feeling it, you need to develop more bodily awareness. There’s an important distinction to make at this point. When fear is frozen, it’s an emotion. Once it melts and the energy starts to float again, this emotion suddenly becomes a feeling, as it comes out of a frozen state. That is when your enemy becomes an ally. In fact, it turns into a source of power.

What to do?

Feeling your fears instead of fighting them leads to profound self-knowledge. If you wish to truly know yourself as well as the roots of your behavior, fear is an incredible resource. Why? Well, because the old wound of powerlessness is inextricably linked to fear. This is the deeper reason why leaders strive for power. It is a pain that you still carry around. You are not just trying to prevent it; you are actually trying to prevent it from happening again. The biggest fear is that of a re-enactment of powerlessness – an old experience recurring in a new situation. The unhealthy patterns of power and powerlessness, or perpetrator and victim, can only be broken by healing the underlying wound. Once a leader realizes that going inside to heal is the only way out, it becomes possible to lead from a place of true power.

Ready to explore?

Want to start your healing journey as a leader? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you visualize what it means to be powerless or what it entails to be a victim?
  • Can you feel the fear that emerges the moment you imagine such a thing?

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