If you’re scared, you’re on the right success track!
This may sound familiar- if you’re a woman in business, and you’re attempting to grow, you’re probably doing new things and thinking in ways you’ve never done before. And that’s exciting and it’s scary.
You may fear networking, or sales calls, or making presentations. You might be worried about how your growth will impact your finances, or your family. Finally, there are always classic go-to anxieties like fear of failure, rejection, and embarrassment. Yet the reality – if you’re growing, you’re stepping outside of your comfort zone, which will likely put you on edge.
But I’m now going to let you in on a secret: EVERYBODY IS SCARED! I’ve worked with thousands of women, from all over the world, for 17 years now – women of different religions, cultures and ages – and one thing they all had in common was that fear was stopping them from progressing in their lives.
This is understandable. Fear has the power to destroy success. Indeed, people often dismiss their dreams and goals because of it.
But the problem we face is not the fear itself. It’s how we relate to and deal with the fear!
I’ve faced my fears too!
Like many people, I used to run from it. Yet this didn’t help me accomplish my goals, of course. It was only when I changed my relationship with fear – wherein I sought things and situations that scared me instead of avoiding them – that the worlds of opportunity and success opened up to me.
More than success, it is fear that fuels the work – and the drive – to succeed.
That’s why, from jumping out of a plane, to releasing my meditation audio books (one of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life), to launching a TV network, embracing fear has just become part of my journey in life. And every failure has provided me with a valuable lesson.
What personally prompted my radical change?
I’d become bored by my predictable life. I wanted more. I wanted to try new things, but I also knew that that would involve putting myself in unfamiliar and intimidating situations. So I had to “make friends” with fear and failure. I had to remind myself that failure’s worst case scenario wasn’t all that terrifying, really, and that making a fool of myself is usually temporary. I mean, think about it. How can you possibly become skilled at something, or achieve anything, if you don’t practice and fail?
So I’ve chosen to love fear – both my own and my clients’. This might sound twisted, but it’s an emotional response that reminds me that we are all human, and it usually occurs right before a breakthrough. I know something extraordinary is about to happen when fear rears its head.
But how do you get to a place where fear, instead of stopping you, propels you forward?
Acknowledge it, because it’s not going anywhere. And the more you try to “get rid of it,” the more it will grow and fester. When you acknowledge its presence, you can choose what to do with it.
Accept it, and give it a name, as if it were a person. When you do this, you begin the process of separating yourself from fear.
Become friends with it. Talk to it. Ask fear how it can play a role in whatever you’re trying to achieve, and keep talking until you’re clear on what the specific fear is, and why it’s there.
Choose to love it. Once you acknowledge that fear is along for the ride, you are free to love it or hate it. Why not choose to enjoy it, in the same way you still kind of love that annoying family member? Yes, they drive you crazy, but you love them nonetheless. Fear can work the same way. The moment you choose to enjoy it, you’re freed from its controlling grip, and you can learn how to live peacefully with each other.
Make an Empowered Choice About It. OK, now that you’ve figured out why fear has appeared on the scene, contemplate your next move. Does it make sense NOT to proceed? Will you be able to let fear hang out with you while you move forward? In most cases, the latter will be the most beneficial choice. In some cases, you’ll need to chat it out with a coach or mentor. Make the decision that’s best for you.
Also read Overwhelmed? Rediscover the joy in work
Bottom line, if you can learn to live with fear and make it work for your success, nothing can stop you!
Today, I’m asking that you choose a new context for living – one where you take action, despite your fears! Right now, I want you to see fear as access to your success. This way, you can get to the business of being successful and happy.
Final Thoughts from Amy:
Life can be both scary and magical. Almost every day, I’m afraid of something, because I’m always stepping outside of my comfort zone in some way. Yet at the end of the day, I often curl up and watch Grey’s Anatomy on my couch, munching on my favorite snack, because I also need comfort and peace. I take that moment to breathe and remember “why” I do what I do, and why I am willing to walk on the scary side of life.
To Your Success and Happiness,