The F.E.A.R. Formula

May 28, 2024

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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The F.E.A.R. Formula

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A recent podcast featured a special ops veteran who had gone on to work deep in the security and intelligence units of a major organization. Trained to be tough, and toughened even more by experience, the one thing that stood out from the interview was not what you would expect. His response, when asked about his perception of the future, was one word: FEAR.

So, let’s be real.

He is not the only leader in society who is dealing with fear, or at least uncertainty, right now. From parents leading children, to teachers leading classrooms, to CEOs leading businesses, no one is exempt from fear at some point or other in life. And no more so than now.

Truth be told, leaders have always had a sense of fear: “What if I’m not able to do what is expected of me?” “What if I don’t make the grade?” “What if I fail?” “What if I can’t stay ahead of the competition?”

In these times, there are those normal internal fears combined with some pretty hefty external circumstances as well.

And yet, as leaders, our people still look to us for guidance. This is especially true of the youngest generation now joining the workforce. They need caring, coaching leadership, and they are looking to us to provide it.

Dealing with FEAR is not a simple, one-and-done formula. It is more a matter of applied practice.

The following steps are provided to be used frequently and revisited often. All of us as leaders need these “reminders to self.”

The F.E.A.R. Formula

Face the Reality

The reality is rapid change, degradation of order, chaos across multiple channels, and questionable safety and security. It is not a pleasant reality, but it is the reality we face.

Weak leaders will try to deny the reality. Strong leaders will face it for what it is, knowing that when you acknowledge the problem, you can begin to formulate a strategy.

Engage Your Team

TEAM, in this case, is a well-rounded support system that includes the following:

  • Trainers (those from whom you learn)
  • Encouragers (those who energize and encourage you to keep moving forward)
  • Allies (those who fight alongside you in the trenches)
  • Mentees (those you mentor and lead)

The greater the challenge, the more you will need your TEAM. When those who have overcome challenges are interviewed, they inevitably will mention one or all these team members as the thread that pulled them through the challenge.

As you face challenges, go through your TEAM.

  • Trainers – What have I learned that can help me? Who has been through a similar challenge and what can I learn from them?
  • Encouragers – Who in my circle of friends and family can provide encouragement? What books and materials will bring inspiration? What activities or hobbies serve to re-energize me?
  • Allies – Who can help me strategize next steps and implement solutions? Who can help carry the load? Who has complementary strengths?
  • Mentees – Who in my life needs me to overcome the challenge, to serve as an example, provide hope, and teach a future lesson? What or who is my reason for moving beyond the challenge?

Accept Your Limitations

While it is a leader’s job to think outside the box and resolve issues (and/or create a team that does), we must also acknowledge that there are some things we cannot control. Knowing those boundaries allows us to focus more intently on the areas of our strengths. Yes, we should push our limits beyond our comfort zone; but (and this is hard for a leader to accept), we must also know our true limitations. However, if we focus on what we can contribute and on our areas of best influence, we can make a difference in the broader realm.

Remember Your Values

The most foundational thing of all is to remember your values. Never let fear change the values that define you.


The next time fear and uncertainty threaten to overtake your leadership mindset, review The F.E.A.R. Formula. It may not solve all the world’s problems, but it can help you take your next step.


Action Steps

Work through The F.E.A.R. Formula. Write these down.

  1. What is your current reality?
  2. Who is your TEAM?
  3. What can you control? And what can you NOT control? Write these on separate note cards. Shred the “NOT” control card. Focus on the first card and determine actionable steps you need to take for those.

What are your values (your non-negotiables)? If you haven’t already done so, take some time to dive deep into defining these in writing. Keep them where you can refer to them often.

For valuable resources on Leadership and Discovering Your Strengths, click here

Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after executive coach, mentor, consultant, and speaker worldwide. Deb is well versed in business operations and in the importance of asking key questions most business leaders won’t ask themselves. She brings deep experience in leadership development, strategy, high performance team building and effective communication. She has a passion for leading people to discover and maximize their strengths as well as those of fellow team members, while offering advanced strategies to achieve high performance. Deb is the perfect fit if you’re ready to take your leadership and impact to the next level!