A few months ago I made a decision to embark on a project with a colleague. We had been discussing it for some time and really wanted to move from talk to action. It sounded exciting when we were discussing it; the opportunity to work together, to learn something new and to inspire and motivate others, really engaged me in the work.
What were we working on? We agreed to co-host a podcast together, and I was excited.
Then we recorded our first episode. That’s when reality hit. Fear and self-doubt kicked in:
- What are you doing, you aren’t an expert in these topics!
- Who do you think you are, Oprah Winfrey?
- Who wants to listen to you anyway?
- What if no-one listens, ouch!
- You don’t know how to use this technology in this way, it's too complicated; you can’t do this!
For a moment I thought this is crazy, I should quit. Stop now. But I didn't. I worked through the fear and now, 14 weeks later, we have launched!
What got me through this journey?
Commitment and confidence are the key to combating fear.
My commitment was that I wanted to motivate and inspire other women through my stories. If I can help one person understand they aren’t alone, or inspire them into action through sharing my stories, then it is all worth the discomfort. I had to work through my self-doubt by re-framing each negative thought to a positive, so I did. I wrote it down and continued to look at these positive statements throughout my journey.
With my commitment set, I had to work on my confidence.
Developing confidence takes learning and practice. The more you learn from practice, the more you overcome your fears to the point where you feel competent. When we are competent in something, we have more self-belief and therefore confidence, and more courage to lead and take action.
I signed up for a podcast course to learn the basics. Seems easy enough I thought. I knew it would take practice (especially the technology bit) and the best way for me to do that, is just do it, nothing ventured, nothing gained. We recorded episode 1 three times until we got it right. Oh dear I thought, we might have to re-think our target launch date!
I did not let negativity take over. I had to quiet the voices of fear in my head. I knew they would hold me back if I let them play louder and louder.
These voices could appear anytime you're doing something uncomfortable...chairing a meeting for the first time, giving staff feedback, doing a presentation in front of your peers, writing a blog, developing a new company vision...the list goes on. The challenge is not to let those voices of fear hold you back.
When fear gets in the way, look it right in the eye and address it.
When fear of putting myself out there through this podcast raises its head, I revisit my commitment, which gives me courage. With courage, I can take action. If I did not continue to work on the podcast due to my fears, I would not provide the opportunity to others who want to listen, and will get value from it.
Where is fear holding you back from your commitment? Try re-framing the fear into possibility.
What do you need to learn and practice in order to build confidence to take action?
Our podcast – Re-frame Your Life: A podcast for women who think differently, is now available and I am very excited to have achieved this milestone with my colleague. We are also on iTunes!
Good luck in your journey of addressing a fear you have in your life right now.
Have a great day,