Set fear aside
Jim, Paper Machine #5 Operating Assistant for a paper mill in northern Ontario, Canada, told Session 4B of the Leadership Development Lab:
“In October 1986, I was working in a Nova Scotia pulp and paper mill. The company decided to rebuild and upgrade our winder drives, and at the same time, build a winder control booth with updated computer controls. I was asked if I would head up the training for the winder operations on the new controls. I was told that if I accepted the assignment, I could have the help of another operator. My concerns were, ‘Could I do it? I had never done anything like this before. What would the other union brothers have to say? Would they listen to or accept training from me?’ I was proud that the company showed this level of confidence in me. I put my worries aside and decided that I could do it.
“We had between 3 and 4 weeks to complete the task. We had the manuals and onsite support from the drive people. Part of our training and preparation was a trip to New Brunswick where their mill had installed the same rebuild a year earlier.
“We were busy putting the training together and getting the crews trained in the timeframe given to us. The crews responded to all of our efforts very well. We were finished with the controls just ahead of the winder drives. It was a successful project. I was given an Award of Appreciation by the company for a job well done.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is that when I’m offered an opportunity to step out of my ‘box,’ I need to trust myself. When the company leaders asked me to do this project, they trusted in my abilities. I learned to put my fears behind me and applied myself to the task at hand.
“The action I call you to take is whenever you are asked to step out of your comfort zone, take the risk and move forward with the task presented to you. The benefit you will gain is your self-confidence will swell. You will be more prepared to take on other projects, and you will become a leader to your fellow workers.”
This is a great story of the need to say “yes,” the importance of setting aside our fear of failure, our fear of criticism or ridicule. Giving into fear is the #1 reason we fail to reach our potential, and fail to help our team to succeed.
Craft an image of a higher possibility for yourself. As you become one with this larger image, your life gets bigger than the life you’ve been living. This law is scientific, it is immutable, and it works.
Today is a practice of becoming one with your larger self-image. Have fun with this expanding practice!
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