I’m Not Afraid of Feeling Afraid
Have you ever missed an opportunity to speak at an event? Maybe you talked yourself out of attending a networking event and justified it in some way? How about going through a sales conversation with a potential client, then feeling so uncomfortable at the end that you don’t ask for the sale? Or one of the things I hear a lot of is getting so distracted that you don’t get to the most important business building actions on your ‘to do’ list?
There are 100 forms of fear that can show up when building a business, I’ve just mentioned a few, do any of these ring true for you?
- Fear of doing things that make you uncomfortable
- Fear of what other people will think
- Fear of being rejected
- Fear of asking for help
- Fear of success
- Fear of failure
- Fear of not having enough money
What is interesting about fear is we all have it!! Even the most successful people you know or follow feel fear. So, what is the difference between them and you?
They feel the fear and do it anyway!
Susan Jeffers was a pioneer in her time. She wrote ‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway’ in 2006. I remember reading it and feeling astounded. It was the first time anyone talked about fear, at least the kind of fear I felt. And somehow I didn’t feel so alone anymore!
As I look back on it today, I realize that …
Forcing yourself to do something that feels fearful is actually quite unhealthy!
I’m not talking about feeling a little uncomfortable just before you take the stage at an event you are speaking at, or a touch of nerves before you ask for the sale. I mean, that feeling of impending doom because you are so afraid to do the thing that scares you the most. And the truth is we all know what it is. The evidence is right in front of you…check your bank account, how many clients are you working with? Are they your ideal clients? Are you charging what you believe people will pay or the value of your service?
My solution to ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway’ comes with a few simple techniques that work like a charm!! To explain how this works, let me share with you one of my biggest fears.
It was the spring of 2011 and I was hired to do a key note address to a group of Insurance Agents at their Annual Appreciation Dinner. I was excited about the opportunity as this was a first for me and I felt confident that in 45 minutes, I could create and deliver a great message.
Of course I felt scared and excited – I call that SCITED, but happy at the same time.
When I walked into the room, what I saw was a group of about 100 front line disaster clean up men. The companies that went in and cleaned up after a flood, fire or disaster of some kind. I don’t mean the people who sit behind the desk and quote jobs, I mean the blue-collar men who do the work. This dinner was actually in appreciation of their hard work over the past year. My heart dropped! Imagine walking into a room where a bunch of men were wearing jeans, swigging beer and over talking each other with some pretty crude jokes. Now don’t get me wrong, there is NO judgement whatsoever on these men. They work hard, do a fantastic job of helping and I have nothing but respect and appreciation for them.
But in that moment when I had created an address for white collar men AND women who do sit behind a desk and have a slightly varied view of the world, I was terrified!! The truth is, had I been given the correct information, I would have still done the talk, but it would have been quite different! Blue collar and white collar humor can be very different.
So basically, I froze. I stumbled through my talk, shortened it to 30 minutes and was so intent on watching them laugh, talk among themselves and fall asleep that I had an out of body experience and failed miserably.
So, for the next 3 years, I made every excuse possible to not speak from stage. The fear was so great that I didn’t even realize what I was doing for 2-1/2 years. Then I came out of denial and was honest with myself – I had a serious case of ‘stage fright’.
I couldn’t have ‘Felt the Fear and Do It Anyway’ if my life depended on it. What I did do, was start working on the fear and shame.
I tapped my way to freedom!!
By tapped, I am referring to EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). I consistently tapped on every part of that event and shame I felt about myself. And 8 months later, I launched my first book Pitiful or Powerful You Choose, from a stage in New York City.
Although this may seem like an extreme case to you, I urge you to be honest and ask yourself – what am I missing out on due to fear?
I believe our business is our vehicle for personal growth and expansion. You are not going to grow or expand without feeling fear.
The truth is today I still feel fear, but I’m not afraid to feel my fear because I know I have a solution, support and a personal commitment to work through it for my freedom!
If your fear is holding you back, don’t be afraid to feel the fear – that is the first step in working through it to the success you want in your business and your life.