Feel the fear and do it anyway has been a motto of mine for the past two years. It’s the wallpaper on my laptop and written in practically every notebook I own. I cling to this phrase because it allows me to recognize that yes I am scared, but not incapable of moving forward.
Embracing fear along the journey has been easier said than done! All in all, I’ve experienced such growth with it. I’ve taken on huge responsibilities, launched large solo projects and experienced tremendous success. Now, I’ve also faced devastating failures, but the wins have outnumbered the losses since taking on my new mindset. As you prepare to embark on your own journey towards pushing through and preparing yourself to feel the fear, I’d like to offer you three strategies that have been useful to me along the way.
1. Realize that being “fearless” isn’t the goal
As great as it looks on a t-shirt, being fearless is not the answer. Being apprehensive or afraid are natural emotions. Attempting to cover them up or run from them is a waste of time. Instead, take the time to understand where it stems from. It’s easier to move past something when you actually know what it is. I heard someone say once, “face your fears head on. Invite them in and have tea”. Bottom line, self-awareness is key.
2. Minimize your fear with preparation
The more you understand your fear, the better you’re able to prepare for it. For example, as much as I love hosting seminars and workshops, I hate public speaking! The bigger the audience, the more my nerves tense. I recognize the fear comes from this idea that I’ll forget what I’m going to say. Knowing this, I make the time to practice frequently before any workshop I host. Though this doesn’t help the butterflies, the extra practice eases my mind and minimizes mistakes.
3. Understand what’s the worst that can happen
If I’m struggling with making a decision, I make a pros and cons list. I’ll write down all of the great things that can happen and the worst things that can happen. More often than not, the worst things that can happen are pretty small in comparison to the great things. For example, if you’re planning to host a workshop, the worst thing that can happen is no one shows up. The best thing that can happen is you can get a full house and amazing exposure. The pros outweigh the cons greatly in this situation. Writing it down and seeing it on paper aids in your ability to make a decision that is not hindered by fear.
Tell us in the comments, what’s the biggest risk you’ve taken and how did you overcome your fear in the process? Let’s share stories and inspire one another to feel the fear and do it anyway as we build our empires.
Originally published June 2016