top of page

3 Signs Fear is Driving Your Decision-Making

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

Strategies to Override Your Default Setting

Very few of us live life to the full. Most of us hold ourselves back out of fear.

If you know that you can be and do more, but find that no matter your seniority, achievements, education, experience, wealth, or impact, there are moves you talk yourself out of making, you are letting fear drive your decision-making.

Today we expose fear in the way we show up as leaders, and explore strategies to override it when it rears its insidious head.


If you keep putting things off till the last minute, it is most likely out of the fear of something.

How would you know for sure?

Ask yourself:

  1. What about doing this do I dread so much?

  2. What does the thought of doing it make me feel?

  3. Why did I sign up to do it in the first place?

  4. If I could choose all over again, would I choose to do this? Why?

Chances are you either signed up out of fear, or you fear that you are not competent to do it, or feel that it's a waste of your time, and someone else should, but you feared disappointing them and agreed to do it instead.

Strategies to Override Fear

If fear had anything to do with your decision-making that now has you procrastinating, try these strategies before you next take on something you will dread and delay doing:

  1. Pause before you say "Yes", and request to first go over the details, and review your calendar before responding.

  2. Evaluate whether you are the best person to take on this ask, or if there is someone else better suited for it that you can recommend, then take the best course of action.

  3. Clear your calendar as well as your mental and emotional space to do it timely and well.

  4. Prepare with research, and others' insights to feel more competent to do it.

“Always make decisions that prioritize your inner peace.”

-Izey Victoria Odiase.


If you find you have the habit of going back and forth about the soundness of your decisions, you are allowing fear to drive your decision-making.

How would you know for sure?

Ask yourself:

  1. Why am I second-guessing myself?

  2. What am I anxious about?

  3. What do I feel I stand to lose by making this decision?

  4. Who's disapproval do I dread?

  5. What would have to happen for me to have peace in making this decision?

Strategies to Override Fear

Stop going back and forth, instead, apply these strategies to give yourself peace to confidently make and stand by your decision-making:

  1. Remind yourself of your credibility and authority to make the decision.

  2. Check the criteria that need to be satisfied to make a decision with the information, support, and time available to you.

  3. Consider whether you have observed any protocol by stakeholders with a vested interest in the outcome of your decision.

  4. Make a decision and walk away :-D

“Courage and confidence are what decision-making is all about.”

-Mike Krzyzewski.

3.Masking Your Identity

If you find yourself pretending to be a different person or to hold a different stance when you are with different constituencies and contexts, you are making fear-based (and manipulative) decisions.

How do you know for sure?

Ask yourself:

  1. Why do I change around him/her/them?

  2. What about the way I am, think, or behave am I trying to hide? Why?

  3. What do I think is the cost of showing up as I am/think/behave?

  4. How do I feel about having to change faces each time?

Strategies to Override Fear

Do the deep work you need to own your identity, value, uniqueness, and even quirkiness, and to remove the fear of people's approval with these strategies:

  1. 1. Reflect on and seek to align your purpose, principles, and priorities before your next interaction with them.

  2. Count the cost for non-conformity, and choose in advance how far you are willing to go to pay it.

  3. Decide who you want to be and how you want to behave in advance, then be and do that in their presence.

  4. Enjoy being you :-D

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson.

4 views0 comments
bottom of page