Power and action drive out fear.
I was reminded of this yesterday when I had my meeting yesterday - the meeting I have every 3 months, the meeting it takes me a week to prepare for, the meeting that I stress over each and every time because of who I have to present to and what I have to discuss.
I was ready this time - ready as I have ever been. It cost me time - a lot, because I ended up working on two Saturdays to get ready. But it smoothly - the smoothest it had ever gone. The data was recognized, my proposals accepted, and everyone maintained a good attitude. To boot, I ended 15 minutes early - unheard of in my company!
As I left the room, floating on the heady atmosphere of a job well done, I suddenly realized that I felt in control. The fear had left - sometime during the presentation (I'll have to remember to ask Fear precisely when I see him next). It was replaced with a sense of power and action, an ability to move forward and accomplish things.
Mind you, I understand what got me to that point: it was the preparation (for this meeting, it takes me on average 40 hours to prepare) and practice (talking to myself in my office as I wrote) and knowing all the data in my presentation and all the data so I could support it (including random things that happened to come in useful). It was not easily gained - not by a long shot.
And the power to which I am referring is not some kind of power trip over others; it was the power over myself, control my fear (I can hardly say master - let's say we have an understanding), to do what I needed to do, and to have confidence in what I had done.
But I left that room feeling more powerful and in control than I have in a very long time. It was a good feeling - a feeling of not only feeling like I could take on the world, but having the skill set and knowledge to do so competently. It was the feeling - I can think of no other way to express it - that I had at The Firm when we closed a deal. It was not just that a contract had closed and we made money. It was visceral feeling of triumph, of accomplishment. Of power over circumstances that would have militated against success and a payment on the hard work that made it happen.
Such feelings are addictive. The more you feel this way, the more you want to feel this way - sort of endorphins for careers.
And it makes one wonder: if this happened in one meeting, what could I do if I applied this to every aspect of my life?