Flog Me NowLean In. Play Big. Dance with your Dream. Everywhere I turn I hear these motivational phrases…Yes, that last one is mine.  Here’s the truth no one tells you…

Dreaming big can kill you!

At least that’s what it feels like in this moment. I find myself paralyzed and stuck…in fear. Technically my life is not in danger, but it sure feels that way. I find myself once again at the edge of my discomfort zone, about to drop into the dark unknown of the panic zone. Do I jump into the next bigger play?

Whether it’s a big raise you want, the next big job, the passion work that’s calling to you, the truth is every time you think about getting outside your comfort zone, your inner saboteurs show up ready to play big. Mine create fears that keep me stuck and paralyzed…killing brain cells and motivation along the way.

For me the latest playing big adventure is creating leadership practice circles for my book Wired for Authenticity. Of course you don’t learn authenticity from reading a book, so practice circles make sense. Of course I am passionate about connecting with leaders who want more authenticity in workplaces, so practice circles make sense.

The thing about fear though is that it’s not rational. Here is the dialogue that happened this morning between me and my inner high achiever saboteur (I fondly call her “Flog Me Now” – her motto is “the flogging will continue until morale improves”).

“Flog Me Now” is just one of the many colorful characters that I talk about in the book that live rent free in my head. I imagine her wearing leather pants and carrying a whip (not in a sexy kind of way…she’s all business!). She has incredibly high standards of perfection.

Flog Me Now (FMN): How do you know it’s going to be good enough?

Henna: Umm…well I don’t.

FMN (scornfully): You really want to put something out there that doesn’t work?

Henna: Umm…well we can at least do a pilot.

FMN: Really??? You want to do a half-assed pilot? What will everyone think?

Yup! That’s me. I wrote that book on authenticity. Sounds like I need some practice…

…Which brings me back to these leadership practice circles! For myself and others I am creating tools to overcome inner saboteurs, to learn how to move more purposefully toward what inspires us, to have courage to have the difficult conversations, to get unstuck.

Right now, I’m stuck, going back and forth between inspiration and fear. It’s a well-worn path and the scenery never changes. So, here’s where I need your help:

  • E-Mail me if you want to create a leadership practice circle in your organization
  • Comment in the blog about leadership situations that leave you stumped where you could use a tool so I can create one for you.
  • Just e-mail me and tell me if you think I’m on the right path. Send me a nice emoticon that I can look at every time “Flog Me Now” shows up.

I am realizing that what I really need to overcome the saboteurs in my own head is a support group who will encourage me to make that jump – and support me on the way down when it gets scary! It’s part of the fun of being in a leadership practice circle. It’s what we all need, a personal board of cheerleaders and advocates. Will you be part of mine?