Being Nervous – A Good Thing!

Posted on August 17, 2010

We are all creatures of habit. In our personal and professional lives, we strive for things that are repeatable and predictable. Even the most ambitious change agent needs tools, people and processes they understand in order to move their businesses forward. When we move away from things that are predictable and fully understood we become uneasy and possibly nervous about the task we are trying to accomplish.

This fact brings about a question – How long has it been since you were nervous about something you were doing at work? At home?

I have always had a goal to be nervous about what I am trying to accomplish; I strive to be in this state at least every few months. I don’t want this to be an everyday occurrence as that is not healthy and productive. However, nervousness is a sign that the “expected and understood” tendency is being challenged. When we are challenged, improvements (changes from the current norm) typically follow. Leaders who embrace intelligent disobedience should feel nervous now and then, it is a sign of striving for success by changing things that may have become the norm.

When was the last time you were nervous? Have you been avoiding something because it makes you a bit nervous? Is that nervousness a sign of what you actually SHOULD be doing to improve your personal or work life?

The best leaders feed off of their nervousness to push them forward. What should your personal goal for “becoming nervous” be to help you pursue your ambitions?

Intelligent Disobedience Leadership provides workshops, coaching and consulting with a focus on courageous leadership through intelligent disobedience. We can help you and your teams design a community of practice which leverages constructive “intelligent disobedience.” For further information, email us at