by Renee Pedro | Featured Contributor
Have you ever thought I wish I had done that, Or I wish had said that? How is Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda, hurting your business? This isn’t meant to dredge up your regrets. I want you to ask yourself, What’s fear got to do with it?
This is important because fear has a lot of power over what happens in our lives. It affects our relationships, our jobs, and our businesses.
Imagine fear is your silent business partner, we’ll call her Doris. What if Doris was always making decisions that undermine you and hurt your business. Would you allow that? Think about it, and we’ll come back to Doris.
First, we need to define our fears before we can conquer them.There are lots of different fears that can affect how we live our lives. For instance my fear of heights. Yeah, it stops me from going to the top of the Eiffel Tower but it isn’t detrimental to my business. But my fear of public speaking could have been very detrimental to my business.
Almost exactly a year ago 4/26/17, I was recovering from breast cancer surgery. For four months. I had spent my days curled in a ball on the couch. I was thinking about the meaning of life because that’s what people with cancer do. I wasn’t working at all, but one day I decided to read my emails. I had an invitation to speak at the North American Digital Textile Conference in New York. Wow. I didn’t know what this conference was, but I couldn’t believe I was being invited to be a speaker.
After asking a few questions, without hesitation or fear I said yes. I didn’t understand how or why but I was going to do this. The organizers are from the UK, and they knew who I was and they knew about my business Crash Pad Designs. So I had to do this and I had three months to prepare, which didn’t feel like nearly enough time.
I had never made a power point presentation and I had never given a speech. I didn’t even know power point was already on my computer. Still no fear. I was too busy to overthink it, so I didn’t. I figured out (with help), how to put together my power point presentation, I had another surgery, and I wrote a speech. Still no fear.
The morning of the conference, as I walked from my hotel. The sun was shining, the city was bustling and I was still fearless. An hour into the conference I was introduced. I walked up to the stage, just as I stepped up I thought to myself, What the bleep am I doing? Then, I started talking. Through a slightly shaky voice, I told a joke, and they laughed. I smiled, and they smiled. I was a natural. Who knew? There was a Q&A after, and lots of questions and I knew all the answers. I killed it. If I had given in to my irrational fear of public speaking I would have missed a huge business opportunity. My speech resulted in valuable connections, thousands of website visits, and now I’m an established expert in my field.
So, what’s fear got to do with it? The answer is everything.
When I said yes, my future was uncertain. I had nothing to lose. As a result, taking a chance to do something this big and scary was empowering.
By the date of the conference, I was on the mend and I knew was going to be fine. At that point, I felt invincible. What did I have to be afraid of? How could a room full of people in their underwear be scary? Pardon the Brady Bunch reference, my age is showing.
This is a story about overcoming fear to do what’s best for your life and your business. My situation gives me a unique perspective. My vision of the world has changed. I can now see how fear is more connected to insecurities, and self doubts than realities. Really what’s the worst that could happen if you make a speech? Really what’s the worst that could happen if you make a cold call? Bottom line is it’s all in your head.
Remember your silent business partner Doris? It’s time for you to ghost her. And it’s time to change your mindset and start living a more courageous life.
“You will never do anything in this world without courage.” – Aristotle
There will always be something you’re afraid of. So here are a few tips and some inspiration to get you on the path to your more courageous life.
When you’re preparing to take on a new challenge and conquer a fear you have to take emotion out of it. Ask your what’s the worst that could happen, or how bad could it be. Always weigh the pros and cons.
“Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end.” – Leonard Nimoy
Be open to new experiences
New experiences make you a smarter, and a more well rounded you. Go to a networking event and challenge yourself to meet 5 new people and get their business cards. That means you give out 5 business cards.
“People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves.” – Paulo Coelho
Be able to learn from your mistakes
Yeah, making mistakes is embarrassing, but life’s too short to dwell on them. Make things right if you can, figure out what went wrong and learn how not to make the same mistake twice.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill
Be ready to reward yourself
Make it a habit to celebrate yourself, every time you do something courageous.
“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” – Coco Chanel
Most importantly, Be your own BFF
You have to talk to yourself the way you talk to your best friends. Be supportive, encouraging, generous, forgiving, loving, accepting, kind. You deserve it.
“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” —Brene Brown