“Rule of thumb: the more important the call or action is to our own
soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”
~ Steven Pressfield
Just before the big event was about to start, I was backstage with my client in awe of the rock-star caliber event I was there to promote as the PR person.
My client, Microsoft Healthcare Industry Solutions Group, had pulled out of a major healthcare trade show that year and created a their own event next door.
Bill Cosby was the keynote entertainer, and we expected a crowd of 7,000 participants and all of the healthcare trade media and analysts.
My new client turned and asked me, “Have you ever handled a trade show like this large before? I said, “No this is my first one.”
He said, “OMG, you’re drinking from the fire hose!”
To say that I was shaking in my heels is to put it lightly. Inside I felt like a fraud and was feeling vulnerable because I really didn’t know what I was doing but I had to just do it.
I realized at that moment that I had a choice – I could be very afraid and play small or I could stand tall and do my work.
While I was sure of my PR skills in healthcare, I was a new kid on the block with technology, and I’d never run a trade show for media and industry analysts.
While I certainly didn’t feel ready, I did it anyway.
Yes, I was afraid but I took action and did everything I could to prepare for this event. It was a huge success, and I went on to serve Microsoft in this capacity for five years.
You have to make a leap of faith if you want to grow your business or life to the next level.
Not only did I survive that event, I learned that fear + action = courage. It has served me in both of my businesses.
I’ve learned how to play my “inner game” of business and manage my fear and limiting beliefs.
Courage is one of my main values. Dr. Brene Brown says,
“You can’t get to courage without walking through vulnerability, period.”
If courage is your value, it won’t be comfortable,” said Brown.
When you’re afraid, take small action steps. Tell yourself you’re being brave, go for courage.
There is always a gift in starting before you’re ready.
Here’s the real truth: You’re never ready.
How to Manage Your Fears
Notice your fear. This is the first step. Acknowledge the fear. We all have fears – we’re wired for it. When you feel anxiety or the rush of adrenaline, just stop, notice and breathe. Whether it’s imagined or real, the first step in overcoming fear is to admit that it exists. Ask your wise inner Self what she or he would do in this situation. Listen and act on its guidance.
When you feel fear, ask yourself if the fear is real or imagined? Where does your fear come from? What’s the worst thing that can happen? Can I deal with it or overcome it? Most of the time, the worst scenario is not as bad as you feared. In fact, talking it through with a friend lessens the effect of fear.
Expand your comfort zone. As you grew up, you absorbed some of the fears of those around you. You formed a mental zone that becomes your comfort zone. Start small and as you gain more confidence, expand your comfort zone. Walk to the edge of what scares you.
Here’s what I suggest: if you’re excited and you feel fear — do it! If you would love to do it but feel afraid, do it anyway. If you want to take to safe route, take the uncertain route. This is how you grow, gain confidence and add a notch in your experience belt. Notice every time you make a choice to do something – especially something meaningful – are you choosing a safe choice? Courage is a muscle – you must use it to have it work for you.
Fear grows when you resist it. We tend to ignore things we are afraid of or resist anything that feels uncomfortable. Let’s say that money is an issue for you and you don’t want to look at your bills so you put them in a drawer without opening them. Ignoring money or bills won’t make them go away, in fact it can become a bigger problem in your mind. What you resist persists. If you avoid looking at your finances and bills, it will create more anxiety and stress.
Develop courage. This is how I have become more courageous in my life: I have noticed what helps me to feel courageous, and that is to take risks. I ask myself, what will I lose by doing this? In order to conquer a particular fear, you want to cultivate courage. When you become courageous, you develop self-trust and build self-confidence. This is the healthy way to approach fear.
What I know for sure is this: When I conquered the fears of the experiences I feared the most, I felt the most alive and those experiences are my favorite memories because I practiced courage.
If you want to learn how to decode your fear and have it work for you, sign up here for a free class called Become Unstoppable: How to Use Fear as Rocket Fuel. Sign up for the free call: http://sheroldbarr.com/unstoppable