Marco Houwen has long been the “Internet and Cloud guy” in Luxembourg. His atypical career of more than 20 years in ICT led him onto his path today where he supports leaders at the heart of their entrepreneurial process. He does this as a strategic life coach for senior executives and entrepreneurs. Marco frequently contributes to TransforNation sharing insight and his experience for practicing authentic and holistic leadership in a turbulent, disoriented world.
When I think back to the beginning of my entrapreneurial journey earlier this year, I recognize how often I asked myself the question : ‘is this the right thing to do ?!’ I remember how much fear and questions of doubt occupied my thoughts.
However, the sense of worry and fear that happens on the personal level so often has ties to the societal waves of uncertainty. And there are some serious fears running wild and dividing our society today on such diverse questions like vaccination, politics or climate change.
What is the relationship between my personal fear and the fear that is splitting our society?
Any fear is born in the thoughts we decide to hold on too. In my case I have the choice to give in to the lingering societal fears and doubt my every move or I can hold on to the thought of being proud of my creation.
In modern society our fears are rooted in the fact that we have too much to lose, we run most of our lives behind accumulating wealth and the illusion of security and control. But no later than the 14th of July we saw how fast we can lose it all, when a small river in Germany, the Ahr, with a normal water height of merely 70 cm rose in the matter of 5 hours to a height of 8 meters. Hundreds of people died and thousands lost everything they possessed. Our quest for security is merely an illusion created to forget our fears!
“Our quest for security is merely an illusion created to forget our fear! “
How can we handle such dramatic circumstances?
In an emergency we do what is necessary to survive. As soon as the emergency is gone, the only way to find peace of mind is in practicing acceptance and detachment.
How can we detach from the circumstances surrounding us?
Through practicing acceptance of what is. Some might disagree but I ask you : what is the alternative? Is it better to lose ourselves in blaming and loathing the weather, people or your life? This energy needed to get beyond such a crisis is quicker discovered when we accept our emotions, and create the space for pragmatic solutions.
The secret is gratitude. Gratitude for what we have now. For the victims in the Ahr valley in Germany it was about ’being grateful to having survived.’ Every catastrophe has at least one thing to be grateful for; the key is to have a grateful mindset to look out for it.
Coming back to fear itself. Our society celebrates people who appear fearless. We get taught to fight and let go of our fears. Easier said than done as most of us have a hard time letting go of our fears while looking for a way to excel in everyday life.
Gratitude allows us to accept our fears for what they are, simple thoughts, most of the time self-generated mental constructs.
Why not treat our fears as an opportunity for growth ?
A chance to go beyond who we are now, becoming the person we would love to be. Acceptance and detachment gives us so much more than simply the letting go of fear. It allows us to transcend fear and turn it into our biggest ally. And this is where the zentrapreneurial journey begins: becoming aware of our fears, accepting what is and then detaching from them until they reveal our opportunity to grow into our wildest dreams.