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"Exploring the Toxic Myth of Fearless… Anything" [Creator's Block, Ep. 101]

"Exploring the Toxic Myth of Fearless… Anything" [Creator's Block, Ep. 101] Blog Feature

Marcella Jalbert

UX Designer, Host of ‘Creator’s Block’ Podcast, Designer for 50+ Sites on HubSpot

February 20th, 2019 min read

Last week our VP of Services, Brie Rangel, wrote an awesome article called “The Toxic Myth of "Fearless" Leadership”. (Which, if you haven’t read it yet, you totally should.)

In it, she talks about the pressure to appear “fearless” in the face of stress, change, and adversity, particularly in a role of leadership.

Brie writes,

“...leaders are often expected to present an air of fearlessness. We’re supposed to show no signs of weakness or worry.

Basically, we’re supposed to be robots. But that's not real life.

If we continue to embrace fearless leadership as an ideal, we're setting ourselves up for failure. Fearless leadership doesn’t exist.

But this got me thinking.

The pressure to be fearless isn’t just found in leadership, it’s literally everywhere.

Many of us face the pressure to put on a brave face and tackle our problems head on daily, but Brie is totally right.

We’re not robots. This standard is unrealistic.

If I know anything about myself, it’s that, in times of stress or struggle, if i’m not being mindful about how I really feel, I bottle up my emotions. I bottle them up and store them away in the farthest recesses of my mind until I have no more room to bottle and inevitably have a melt down.

This is not healthy, but this is reality.

Somewhere along the way, I learned this as a coping mechanism and I have had to put in a lot of work on myself (therapy, meditation, reading self-help books, practices of gratitude) to make sure I didn’t continue down this road.

I say this because one of the things I believe got me to that point was the pressure to appear fearless, or like, no matter what’s going on, I have it all figured out.

I don’t have it all figured out. Nobody does.

To express that you are stressed, or nervous, or unsure of something doesn’t make you a less competent or less confidant leader or coworker or mom or friend. It makes you human.

So, today we’re gonna break this down a little bit and talk about how it not only affects being a leader, but how it affects the whole team. 

Listen to the Episode

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What We Talked About

  • How does being “fearless” affect you being a manager?
  • How does being “fearless” affect you being a teammate?
  • How can you avoid simply putting on a brave face?


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