Got Your Scared On This Week?

"I think on some level, you do your best things when you're a little off balance, a little scared. You've got to work from mystery, from wonder, from not knowing" - Willem Dafoe
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Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year. The season is still colorful, the snow hasn't hit, the spooky shows are all on, and I love seeing people dress up for fun and adventure. Halloween brings out the creativity and inner child in most people. I also love chocolate which I can conveniently pull out of my kid's trick-or-treat bags, and drinking warm spiced wine.

In the Midwest we love to decorate the outside of our homes with corn stalks (we have a lot at our disposal!), mums, pumpkins, grapevines, and colored corn cobs. Some people take it a step further and add graveyards, spider webs, and ghosts. Turn on the Travel Channel this time of year and see what outlandish creations that people have come up with. This is the season for all things scary! This is the perfect time of year to introduce you to some of the "scariest" and oddest plants around. Perhaps you will choose to add them to the exterior of your home this season or invite them inside......

Plants that dare you to bring them home

  • Venus Flytrap: Many of us had these vultures as kids and read scary books about them. They quickly close and trap bugs to digest them with powerful enzymes. Imagine the stories that you can tell your kids!
  • Pitcher Plants and Monkey Cups: These are equally as frightening because they also eat bugs live. Some of these plants are blood red or almost black. They are sure to ward off .. your bug problem.
  • Black Bat Flower: This gem is tropical and near black. It has "ears" and "whiskers" sure to intrigue.
  • Chinese Lanterns: These perennials are available at nurseries and resemble actual orange lanterns or tiny pumpkins. Beware.... they will pop up where you least expect them!
  • Black Mondo Grass: This is an awesome all black perennial that adds drama and mystery to your gardens. You can cut some and bring it inside to add fright.
  • Milkweed pods burst outside this time of year and resemble tiny ghosts floating through the air.
  • Many of us plant Cockscomb in our annual gardens every year. These plants come in different colors and resemble fuzzy, odd shaped brains.
  •  Amaranth: These annuals come in a variety of tones and sizes. They can often be found dried for inside decoration. They have a unique fuzzy texture and resemble long pulsing blood vessels.
  • Tropical Orchids: Orchids come in so many sizes, colors, and shapes. The spookiest ones are black with white tendrils like the Octopus Orchid. Some Orchids prefer to grow without soils and have creepy thick fleshy roots. Yuck!

The list of spooky plants go on and on - just use your imagination! For more ideas and pictures go to Vegetable or Sunset Freaky Plants. View at your own risk!

"It is not what we know that scares us, it is what we do not" - A.G. Phillips

Scary plants are unique, unusual, and fun. Fearing leadership isn't. Everyone has their fears, some people just excel at covering them up. At one time or another we have all been scared to death when we started new job, been promoted, or been thrust into a management or leadership role that we just didn't feel ready for. We are all human and there's no harm in admitting that you have your scared on! In fact, admitting that you are scared and looking at why is a healthy and natural thing to do. What scares you?

Let's get it out in the open. This is what scares us when we think "Leadership":
  • I'm just not ready! Most of us ever are. For instance, did you feel ready to be a parent? Really?
  • I don't have enough experience. No one knows everything. Leaders lead - they aren't the know it all.
  • Lack of confidence. We all feel deflated at one time or another. Trust me. A lot of people fake confidence. A lot.
  • What if I fail? You earned your spot. Keep showing 'em what you've got!
  • Public speaking and addressing groups scares me! Practice, practice, join Toastmasters.
  •  What if my people are smarter than me? Leading isn't just about smarts. It's about connecting people, empowering them, and encouraging people to achieve.
  • It's a lot of responsibility. 
  • Forming the right team and a strong team. How do I that that? 
  • Will I make the right decisions? We all make mistakes and can learn from them. Publicly learning from your mistakes is one of the best leadership traits.
  • It's scary managing people older than me. Been there and done that. That's YOUR problem, not your team's. Not everyone wants a leadership position and some peeps are content just doing what they love in their job. 
  • I'm not good with criticism. You have been dealing with it your entire life. You've survived and will persevere. 

Being scared is healthy and human. It's what has kept us alive and thriving going back to the caveman days. Being scared keeps us on our toes, propels us forward, and forces us to look at why we are scared. Being scared makes us deal with what we don't know or can't control. Being scared can be a leaders best friend!
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How do you deal with your fears?