Patrick Lencioni is an amazing author, and one of his recent books – Getting Naked – has become one of my all-time favorites.
In the book, he encourages vulnerability and boldly approaches three fears that leaders, business owners or service providers face: (1) Fear of losing the business; (2) Fear of feeling inferior; and (3) Fear of being embarrassed. When you think about it, any one of these fears can paralyze us, or at the very least, keep us from making important decisions that ultimately hinder our progress. But, if we allow ourselves to become vulnerable, we can conquer those fears.
After I read Lencioni’s book, I realized that he dissected one of our greatest fears–fear of failure. Think about it. Why are we afraid of failing? Because we’re afraid we may lose something–like our business or our reputation. We are also afraid of appearing inferior or being embarrassed because we tried something and failed. As a result, we can become immobile because we tried and failed and we’re afraid to try again.
The spitting cobra uses the power of fear before attacking its prey. The snake is known to stare in the eyes of its victim, paralyzing the small animal with fear so it can’t move. Then, the cobra spits in the animal’s eyes, rendering it blind, and then kills it.
What would happen if the trapped animal broke its gaze and ran free from the cobra? Chances are it would survive.
What do you stare at that keeps you paralyzed? How can you break that gaze so you can run free?