Let’s talk about fear for a little bit.
We all have it from time to time. We all have been debilitated as a result of it, at one time or another. Some of us may struggle with it daily.
It’s part and parcel of what makes us human.
Never forget that — we have and experience fear because we are human!
I have written about fear before and have explained its purpose and meaning. If you missed this blog on how Jimmy Chin is my “fear guru”, it’s worth a read.
Today though, I will give you four steps towards overcoming your fear, but first, I want to start with this awesome quote.
I am starting here because, in a nutshell, the only way to overcome fear is to face it head-on.
Face it, or dance with it!
What is it specifically that you are scared of? Is there a time of day or a place that this fear might raise its nasty head? In what situation might this fear present itself?
Be super specific about understanding this fear.
Let me give you my own example.
At the beginning of my journey into the online space, I was rearing and tearing to go! Nothing was going to stop me.
Fear did, though.
I was so busy learning new skills in my newfound career of entrepreneurship. I used this excuse to be productive around learning to avoid taking action in my business.
You see, it was never about the perceived lack of knowledge because we learn as we go, don’t we? When I was honest with myself, I was afraid to be seen online.
What would my friends and family say? What would my school friends think? What would my past colleagues and peers think about me?
The truth is, I have had positive feedback from all of these people who I was so worried about. Another truth is that if I hadn’t received positive feedback, my fear was never about them but always about me and my own belief in what I was doing.
What I am doing.
2. Embrace the fear
When you have been honest about the fear, don’t take a step back from it because it is genuine. Please don’t dismiss it, and certainly don’t retreat from it.
Have a dance with it, as Tony Robbins suggests, because whether people love you, hate you or are on the fence about you, you will always draw your tribe to you.
I firmly believe that.
When I went online and started to become more visible, with my own face showing up, nothing about my reality really changed much.
Yes, inside, I was on this magnificent high because I had moved a step forward to my personal goals. Even more incredibly, I started to show up more authentically and more productively for people who I wanted to serve.
Fear is a natural reaction, and it wants to serve you by protecting you and keeping you safe. In my reality, though, it would have held me back, and if I were to think of a ‘worst-case scenario, my fear of showing up online would not have killed me.
I can’t think of anything worse than that.
3. Action — it's always about action!
Think of yourself on the very first day of work. For me, it was in a bank.
At my young age of 17, I started working in the autoteller department in a large bank in South Africa. I was entrusted with loads of cash and a duty to replenish these machines daily.
I was scared to leave the relative safety of school. I was scared to work with people I didn’t know. I was scared of many things.
It was absolutely new, and I had no idea about the expectations placed on me directly out of school.
But I learned. I grew into that role and developed skills that were a brilliant foundation for me.
The fear subsided, and I started to enjoy the work, and as I progressed in my corporate career, it was a roller coaster of fear and overcoming fear.
Much the same as my journey into entrepreneurship.
The critical thing to remember about your own progress in your respective careers and your own personal journeys is that it took and takes action to kill that fear monster.
Plain and simply — action.
4. Reinforce your new feeling
The final step, now that you have specified your real fear embraced and had a dance with it and taken action around that fear, stop.
Stop and let that new powerful feeling take over. Remember this moment and how it feels. Never forget this feeling.
Reinforcing your newfound feeling is the momentum that you will need when you are faced with another fear. It is, after all, a cycle of sorts. As you level up, as you take on new challenges, as you step into the unknown, fear will always be there to try to keep you safe.
It’s a natural tendency for us as humans.
For me, I have this massive sense of freedom as I step into pockets of fear and overcome them. It is also never as scary as I thought going into the ring with fear.
A critical aspect of fear to always remember is this:
If you were to sit down with many folks who talk about their fears, I would suggest that it be common to hear of their fear of rejection, embarrassment, failure, success, disappointment, and the unknown.
It's a beautiful thing because it what makes us all human.
F.E.A.R = False Evidence Appearing Real
F.E.A.R = Find. Embrace. Action. Reinforce