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Maria Gonzalez Blog
Mindful Leadership

Hindrance #2: Do You Experience Aversion?

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Aversion is the fear of losing what you have, including market standing, material goods, financial resources, social position and status, and even an argument. You become so fearful of loss that you make poor decisions.  As a leader, your aversion to bad news may tempt your team to withhold information or to paint a falsely rosy picture.  Consequently, any decision you make may be based on erroneous or incomplete information, which will then combine with the next hindrance.

Aversion often expresses itself irrationally, blowing things out of proportion. A leader may see their company’s stock price fall for a couple of weeks and be convinced they need to completely change their strategy. On a personal level, someone who’s experiencing aversion in its extreme form might watch the stock market lose 500 points and immediately think that a market collapse is inevitable or that another Great Depression is around the corner and that they and their family will be destitute. If this sounds far fetched, rest assured, it’s not. I’ve worked with clients who could barely function in the fall of 2008 because they experienced such great anxiety from this aversion.

A way to know if you are unnaturally averse is to ask yourself, “Is there anything I am afraid of losing, so much so that it drives or influences my beheviour?”  You will notice that aversion is closely linked to attachment, but is not necessarily the opposite of attachment.

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