Everything You Want is on the Other Side of Fear
Photo credit: OneTrueTree Creations
Most of us are spending way too much time in our comfort zone. We cling to the familiar, the commonplace; what we already know.
Anything of value, anything worth doing that’s going to make a real impact, often brings up fear. If you want to make a dent in the universe, you need to get out of your comfort zone.
If you’re not feeling fear in some area of your life, you’re probably not challenging yourself, let alone, going to change the world.
After a decade of running my own PR and marketing firm, I founded SheBrand because I want to help other women find their voice and step into their power.
Philanthropically, I had been working with underserved women and girls for more than 12 years and loved seeing them have light bulb moments.
When I realized that I could use my expertise and experience to actually change lives for the better, I went back to school for my coaching certification to hone my skills and add more tools to my toolbox.
Yet almost four years later, I found I could only work with so many women at once. Given the nature of our work together, I discovered that I could best serve about seven or eight women in any given month.
How could I fulfill my vision of helping thousands of women if I could only work with a small number?
I saw others scaling their businesses by developing group programs, putting together workshops and taking on speaking engagements. It was certainly the next stage of growth and made perfect sense to me.
But I was petrified. Some days, I still am.
I’ve never been completely comfortable in the spotlight. PR and marketing were always a cinch for me because it’s about promoting someone or something else. I got to use my well-honed people skills and communications strengths and stay right where I was most comfortable: behind the scenes.
It was easy for me to stay there – but it wasn’t of service to me, or to the women I wanted to serve.
The SheBrand community has been asking me to offer a group program for a couple of years now. But I have shied away from it – found excuses not to move forward – for fear of putting my voice out there in a bigger way. Fear of it not being well-received, or God forbid, not perfect.
The irony is not lost on me that one of the things I help my clients do best – connect to their voice and step into their power as entrepreneurs – is something that I myself struggle with.
One of my business coaches and collaborators calls it kryptonite. It’s the thing that happens to be one of your superpowers in working with others, but it’s also a great personal challenge.
There’s an old saying, “We teach what we ourselves most need to learn.” I would add that we often hide from those things that are our greatest opportunities for growth.
How often have you found yourself making excuses to not do something, even though, if you were to really tap into your intuition, you knew it was the exact thing you should be doing to take you to the next level?
There’s a reason that certain things or certain situations make us uncomfortable. We often retreat from the things that scare us the most.
And why do they scare us?
Marianne Williamson once wrote, “It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” We all carry a certain amount of insecurity and self-doubt, and those fearful thoughts tend to rear their ugly heads when we’re about to embark on anything new.
Anyone who tells you that they’ve never had a thought like, “Who am I to be doing this,” or “I’m just not good enough, “ is lying through their pearly-white veneers.
You’ll never completely get over fear. A shift in perception would be to consider it your friend. The way I look at it now is if I’m feeling anxious and fearful, it’s often a positive signal that I need to get to the other side of something.
It’s all about using a muscle that you haven’t used before. Once you start, it strengthens and the fear subsides.
As you build your confidence at trying new things, it actually becomes easier to do them. It doesn’t mean that the fear completely goes away, it just means that you become more adept at managing it.
The real secret is not to eliminate fear, but to make peace with it. In other words, you have to learn how to amicably cohabitate with the enemy.
These feelings are nothing more than a signal that you’re about to learn, grow and step out of your comfort zone. It also means you’re about to make a creative contribution to the world. And what a loss it would be for us if you decide to recoil, fearful of what we might see if you give us what you’ve got.
Fear comes as a teacher bearing gifts. If you are open to the lessons and can get past your own resistance, you could make a dent in the universe and get exactly what you want, while making a difference in the lives of others along the way.
For me, I’m happy to report that my first group program, The Awesome Brand, starts on June 18th.
Am I feeling fear? Hell, yeah.
Will I push through to the other side? You betcha.
Liz Dennery Sanders is a brand and creative strategist, personal development coach and the founder of SheBrand.com, a global online business dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs build their confidence, their brands and their bank accounts. As the past Chair of the Los Angeles Board of Directors for Step Up Women’s Network and a founding member of the organization’s Luminary Circle, Liz pens the monthly column, “Step Up To Success,” for Step Up’s national newsletter. Connect with Liz at www.shebrand.com and on Twitter: @SheBrandLiz.