When you find yourself in a new or scary situation it’s easy to begin to doubt yourself. Does this sound familiar?
You know you’re very close to do something magnificent that could potentially take you to achieving your biggest dreams and you just get paralized! It’s all about your fears. Not fair!
If you are up to taking some massive action this year and want to learn how to feel the fear and do it anyway, keep reading.
Fear is one of the most powerful emotions. It has a very strong effect on your mind and body.
What Is Fear (And How Do We Learn To Feel Fear)
Fear, by definition, is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
What causes fears?
Most of us have grown up thinking if I feel fear, I should stop. It is a protective mechanism that has kept most of us from harm.
When it comes to a physical threat, that is often the best course of action. There are exceptions of course- like well trained athletes- what seems life-threatening for most of us, for them does not bring about fear. However, that did not happen right away- it took training and conditioning not only for their physical bodies to be able to perform the feats they do, but training their brains fear response to calm down.
When it comes to everyday life, however, the fear response is the same in our brains, and thus our bodies respond the same as if our lives and our very existence is at stake. And it is not!
The Cost of Fear- Real Stories
If you stop when you feel fear, you will sacrifice a lot in your life and in your career. It will cost you money, it will cost you power and elevation of your career trajectory, it will cost you the one commodity you can never get back… TIME.
This is not a theoretical exercise. This is really happening all the time to many of us. I challenge you to look for yourself and be brutally honest with yourself what you have given up because you let fear stop you.
I will share some stories and would love to hear your stories. See what fits and then by the end of this post, decide what action you will take so that you stop paying the price for letting fear win.
I have had several clients who knew they were making less money than they knew they should and that their male counterparts were making. I will speak about one of them and change her name- we are going to call her Sarah. Sarah knew this fact and was angered about it, but when we spoke about her going to her manager to request a raise, she was afraid. We had discussed her creating a compelling ‘case’ for herself and her value and having evidence of the pay gap, we created how she could go into this conversation with her manager, mitigating his resistance. She knew she wanted to do this, she knew it was the right thing and she kept delaying when she was going to do this, allowing all kinds of circumstances to displace her commitment. She kept letting fear get the better of her. How she shared that it played out – she would create a one-on-one with her manager. She would gather the information she had and review it. She felt all the physical sensations that go along with a fear response. Then she started to have a monologue in her mind where she was playing out what her manger was going to say including she would be fired. By the time she got in her manager’s office, she talked about everything but the pay raise. This went on for a couple of months, over and over. She finally decided to leave the company and take a higher paying position elsewhere.
What did fear cost her in this instance? Money, for sure. Time. And her own self-confidence. She backed down in the face of her own monologue (which she MADE UP!). She left a job she liked and may have grown with the company. You could say she landed on her feet as she did get a better paying job- but the reality is she trained herself to back down in the face of fear. That will cost her dearly until she faces the experience and takes a new action. When, and if she finally does, she will begin to create new brain patterns and ways of operating that will serve her growth for the rest of her career.
Here are a few other (less detailed) situations and effects of fear I have seen over my decades of coaching:
- Sexual harassment that goes on without consequence to the harasser.
- Not speaking up in meetings and being mansplained.
- Minimized, talked down to and demeaned and not intervening with that behavior.
- Being passed over for promotion.
- Talked over, having ideas stolen/not given credit for and not speaking up.
- Taking a long time to decide to change something in your business which costs time, but also success and money.
- Waffling on decisions because you are afraid.
- Not accepting opportunities to present or speak in public which cost you visibility, career promotions, money and stress
Giving fear that kind of power over your future is too costly to have it continue. I invite you to write down what it has cost you personally in your career or business.
The brain pattern that is responsible for you backing down in the face of fear- the fight, flight, freeze or appease response will not go away. It is useful when it is. However, you can intervene in it and create new brain patterns. Start with some simple questions- like “What is the worst that can happen?” and then after answering it, ask yourself “Will I survive if that happens?” Then get in action.
Taking Action: Fighting Your Fears
Even if you didn’t have the chance to read the full stories, here is the most important thing in this post—-What will you do differently to get past your fear and stop paying the price of fear winning?
If you want other strategies to retrain your brain, talk to me. As a certified coach in the neuroscience of conversations®, I have ways to help you.
I can help you get past your fear that has you not show up as the powerhouse you want to be. Imagine the elevation in your career trajectory, in your finances, in your ability to be seen and be an influencer if fear did not stop you. Let’s talk.
I also have an in person workshop to help you get past any fear or lack of confidence in public speaking or business presenting. Check it out at www.impactspeakinglab.com or reach out to me and let’s talk.