Are You Ever Afraid?

If you are like most people, your answer is probably yes, but as leaders we are not used to admitting this. Perhaps there are certain people and events that intimidate even you. And with those people and at those events, a part of you wonders …

  • Do I know enough? Do I deserve to be at this table and in this room?
  • Am I doing great work? Are others here significantly more qualified than me to do the same job?
  • Who am I in this crowd?
  • Am I becoming irrelevant?
  • What if I embarrass myself or otherwise “fail”?

What matters is not that you have these thoughts, as we all have them. What does matter is if you let these kinds of thoughts change you in ways that are not useful. For example, at formal events, do you believe that you can no longer be yourself and you need to put on a mask because who you are is now somehow woefully insufficient? Or, do your thoughts cause you to lose confidence, become quieter, and focus only on trying to avoid any type of “failure”? Perhaps the opposite occurs, your thoughts result in you become louder and more verbose than you would ever otherwise be, all in an effort to assert your value and worthiness at times when you yourself doubt it?

  • What occurs for you? Within you?
  • Who do you want to be? How do you want to feel?
  • What will you need to think about and focus on in order to be comfortable just being yourself – with those people and in that room?

Here’s a tip that is readily available: Be yourself. Being yourself is one of the most powerful and attractive things you can ever do. Celebrate your authentic self by speaking kindly to yourself, within yourself. Give yourself authentically to others and see how the world gives back to you beyond your wildest imaginations. Be.

If you’d like to talk more about this or anything else related to leadership, check out the work my colleagues and I do at Syntrina Leadership. We’d love to talk with you.


About the Author

Susanne Biro is a coach to C-suite and executive level leaders. She is the founder of Inner Life Leadership, an app for business professionals who want to reach an unprecedented level of personal understanding and corresponding leadership (and life) success. Susanne is an author, executive development program designer, facilitator, Forbes & CEO Magazine contributing writer, and a TEDx and keynote speaker.

For over two decades, Susanne has worked internationally with senior-level leaders in some of the world’s best companies. Whether coaching one-on-one or authoring, designing, and delivering leadership programs, her passion is the same: to help leaders reach their next level.

Susanne can be reached at 604.864.5408 or via email at


Our world has changed, rapidly and in unexpected ways. As the crisis hit, I offered and held pro bono sessions with leaders from around the world. And I want to continue to do what I can to help. As a result, I now offer hourly sessions to ensure leaders everywhere can quickly get the perspective, clarity and focus they need to lead themselves, and therefore others, well during these challenging and uncertain times.

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