One of my clients has reached out to me recently. She was considering signing up for coaching programme, and possibly embarking on a career change. She knows my story, and knows I’ve made some choices that were not the easiest, some required substantial financial investment, and some were experiments (and let me tell you – not all of them went well). She shared she was afraid to take the leap, and asked me how did I deal with fear.
Oh boy, this is a loaded question! In short – I haven’t dealt with my fear, I just learnt to live with it, I made friends with it and I use it to push me forward, rather than hold me back.
Here is a little secret: you never get over fear. Over time I learnt that fear is like a signpost showing me where to go. My mentors, Stacy Morgenstern and Cary Peters, creators of Holistic MBA, say that fear is nothing more than excitement on pause. I love it, as it is a very powerful reframe allowing us to actually get curious and positive about fear.
And you’d be surprised – the worst fear of all (often people don’t realise it!) is actually fear of success and achievement. We are afraid of what might happen if we get what we want…. How is this going to affect us? What would our friends think? Will we still get love from our family, partner, and children? Are we going to be accepted? The three basic human needs (love, safety and belonging) are at stake here, and sometimes it is easier (and definitely safer) to stay where we are. Crazy shit, I tell you!
Did I get over my fear? I didn’t:))) As I said, I just made friends with it. I am scared every single day. Did I make the right choice leaving my well paid, secure job (which was killing my soul one day at the time), did I make the right choice signing up for yet another course to deepen my coaching skills? But then I am learning to do things that scare me regularly to push the boundaries. After a while it becomes a game. The more you play, the more you win:)
This time last year I was freshly back from NYC were I attended HMBA Live conference. It was great to get out and mingle with like minded people, get motivated, inspired, and learn new tricks. And I faced one of my biggest fear that was holding me back for the longest time ever – I did my very first video and published it on my Facebook page. Was it perfect? No. I didn’t even dare to look into the camera!
Was it a huge step for me? Yes. As I watch it again I feel huge compassion and pride for myself a year ago, for facing the fear, for being brave, for following through.
Since then I recorded many more videos, including live streaming, and I even learnt to look into the camera, but I still remember that first one, like it was yesterday.
It’s not about being perfect, it’s not about always being comfortable, it’s about moving forward, making progress, no matter how slowly you go. And that’s why I’m very excited for my client to even be looking at opportunities and possibilities. That’s such a huuuuuuuge step. Most people never even get this far.
Now over to you – what are you fears? What are you most afraid of? What is fear holding you back from?
I challenge you to do one thing this week that scares you. Facebook live stream is a pretty good place to start – make sure you tag me into your video. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.
PS If you want some inspiration – here is the link to that video. As you can see, you can only do better;)