11 Fears That Are Holding You Back (Part 2 of 2)
Yesterday, we shared part one of Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez's 11 fears that can potentially hold you back in your personal life and career. Today we're sharing part two (fears 6-11):
6. Fear of Inadequacy – Feelings of inadequacy can come from inherent low self-esteem or past negative life experiences. If someone has told you that you couldn’t do something or shamed you into believing you weren’t capable of doing something “well enough,” you may carry that feeling of ineptitude and not even realize it. This subconscious stronghold can be truly debilitating. The best defense against a fear of inadequacy is to learn and master the specific skill, subject or activity in question and, in doing so, you will become self-assured in your execution. If it’s more about fundamental self esteem, seek out the emotional support to help you value and believe in your own capabilities.
7. Fear of Failure – All too often we stop short of attempting something new for fear we might embarrass our self or, worse, fail all together. Any given undertaking has the possibility of resulting in failure, which is never a desirable or welcome outcome. But, when facing something new, a fear of failure can be amplified as anxiety, nerves, and our “fight or flight” instinct kicks in. These intense feelings can cause us to put our aspirations on the shelf where they can languish in perpetuity. Mary Kay Ash perhaps said it best: “Fail forward to success.” Indeed, failure is part of the road toward success and should not be feared but embraced as an opportunity for growth.
8. Fear of Compromising Integrity – Integrity means doing the right thing even when no one is looking or will ultimately know. Many fear that, in order to be successful in a career, we have to compromise our integrity and go against what we believe to be right. Overcoming this concern requires nothing more than establishing a specific set of boundaries within yourself and knowing exactly where and when you will draw the line – and sticking steadfast to that plan of action. It’s a commitment to making belief-based decisions in all aspects of your life so that, when success is realized, there is no guilt or angst involved about how that success manifested. It’s important to recognize that you CAN be successful while adhering to your personal value system.
9. Fear of Vulnerability – While it can be uncomfortable and downright scary to open your self up and expose your true inner self and your ideas and aspirations to others of importance in your life, doing so can be cathartic - and a true turning point in effecting positive change. Letting down your guard takes courage and strength, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable can help you better relate with people on a more intimate and personal level.
10. Fear of Being Alone – Many people stay in abusive relationships or negative career situations because they are afraid of being alone, breaking away from the pack, or being isolated from a situation and people they once valued. It’s impossible to be completely content in life if you are uncomfortable being by yourself, or if your positive frame-of-mind is contingent on anyone or any thing else - whether personal relationships or professional affiliations. Such co-dependency allows your attempts at happiness and success to be controlled by external third parties, which will rarely bear optimal results.
11. Fear of Appearing Selfish – For some, it feels selfish to do anything for themselves so, instead, they do for everybody else and either burn out, harbor feelings of resentment, or both. To neglect your own needs and focus solely on those of others can make you feel overwhelmed, stressed out, under pressure and weighed down. Often, it can be difficult to find a way out of this quagmire once people have developed expectations and have come to depend on you – and you’re not one to disappoint. However, taking care of your needs first is not a selfish luxury, but rather a psychological imperative to ensure you’re emotionally nourished in your own right. Only then should you tend to the needs of others, which should be in addition to and not in lieu of.
The best way to combat any fear is to hit it head on, keep moving forward and stay focused on achieving your goal. There will always be obstacles that make reaching your goal seem impossible, and you must be disciplined and tenacious enough to stay focused and on track toward your goal. You must also be committed enough to not only make a promise to yourself, but also see it through even when the going gets tough. Only then can you keep the fear at bay and hit the fast track toward success.
Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez is an engaging motivational speaker known internationally as The Pink Biker Chic - a brand developed to empower individuals to take control of the handlebars of their lives through the power of PINK: Power, Integrity, Negotiation and Knowledge. Don’t let the pink fool you. Retired Air Force Master Sergeant Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez is a force to be reckoned with. She trains women and men how to re-think and re-direct their energies for higher performance and better bottom-line professional and personal decisions. She may be reached online at www.PinkBikerChic.com.
How innovation is transforming government
According to Washington Technology’s Top 100 list, Leidos is the largest IT provider to the government. But as Lieutenant General William J. Bender explains, “that barely scratches the surface” of the company’s portfolio and drive for innovation.
Bender, who spent three and a half decades in the military, including a stint as the U.S. Air Force’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), has seen action in the field and in technology during that time, and it runs in the family. Bender’s son is an F-16 instructor pilot. So it stands to reason Bender Senior intends to ensure a thriving technological base for the U.S. Air Force. “What we’re really doing here is transforming the federal government from the industrial age into the information age and doing it hand-in-hand with industry,” he says.
The significant changes that have taken place in the wider technology world are precisely the capabilities Leidos is trying to pilot the U.S. Air Force through. It boils down to developing cyberspace as a new domain of battle, globally connected and constantly challenged by the threat of cybersecurity attacks.
“We recognize the importance of the U.S. Air Force’s missions,” says Bender, “and making sure they achieve those missions. We sit side-by-side with the air combat command, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance infrastructure across the Air Force. There are multiple large programs where the Air Force is partnering with Leidos to ensure their mission is successfully accomplished 24/7/365. In this company, we’re all in on making sure there’s no drop in capability.”
That partnership relies on a shared understanding of delivering successful national security outcomes, really understanding the mission at hand, and Leidos’ long-standing relationship of over 50 years with the federal government.
To look at where technology is going, Bender thinks it is important to look back at the last 10 to 15 years. “What we’ve seen is a complete shift in how technology gets developed,” he says. “It used to be that the government invested aggressively in research and development, and some of those technologies, once they were launched in a military context, would find their way into the commercial space. That has shifted almost a hundred percent now, where the bulk of the research and development dollars and the development of tech-explicit technologies takes place in the commercial sector.”
“There’s a long-standing desire to adopt commercial technology into defense applications, but it’s had a hard time crossing the ‘valley of death’ [government slang for commercial technologies and partnerships that fail to effectively transition into government missions]. Increasingly we’re able to do that. We need to look at open architectures and open systems for a true plug-and-play capability. Instead of buying it now and trying to guess what it’s going to be used for 12 years from now, it should be evolving iteratively.”