Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator



Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker &
Executive Presentation Coach
Let's Talk. 860-371-8801 or Email me
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator

Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker &
Executive Presentation Coach
Let's Talk. 860-371-8801 or Email me
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach
Let's Talk. 860-371-8801 or Email me

Speak your fear and diminish its power over you

What are you afraid of? You are probably thinking to yourself, “How much time do you have?” But then again, you might be afraid that you don’t have enough time. Fear entangles us once again.

This past weekend, I attended The Achiever’s Conference in beautiful La Jolla, California. Led by the brilliant and inspiring Mark LeBlanc of Small Business Success, thirty of his coaching clients gathered to get laser-focused on building our businesses through the disciplined, consistent application of nine best practices. It was motivating!

On day one of the three day conference, Mark explained that what stops us is FEAR. Fear is behind every excuse, every delayed decision, every doubt, and every one of our inactions. Real or imagined, fear stops us from achieving our goals and creating the business and life we desire.

Mark then invited the participants to share with the group some of our fears. Talk about fear provoking: sharing your fears with people that you only just met. I was thinking to myself, “How do I get out of here?”

One by one, people stood up and shared their fears. We were sitting in two rows of chairs facing each other, with a big open space in the room. As my fellow business owners shared their fears aloud, I could see them in my mind’s eye stacking up on the floor in front of us. Of course there was nothing there, but that’s just how powerful the mind can be. It can see things that are not there; it can feel things that aren’t actually happening. The mind is powerful. It can act like a fear-creating machine

Here are just some of the common fears that were shared by the group. Keep in mind, these are fears held by very accomplished business owners. Success and fear and not mutually exclusive!

I’m afraid…

  1. I won’t have enough clients
  2. Of the lack of cash flow – inconsistent income – money might dry up
  3. People might discover that I’m a fake. (Imposter syndrome)
  4. I have social anxiety. I’m afraid to be with people.
  5. I’m not good enough
  6. I’m not enough
  7. I’ll procrastinate….again.
  8. I’ll let people down
  9. Of aging – getting old – getting sick
  10. Of being rejected
  11. Of not be loved or accepted
  12. That they won’t like me
  13. I’ll sound stupid
  14. I don’t have an original thought of my own
  15. Of being myself
  16. That I might be addicted
  17. That people don’t want what I have to offer
  18. Of failing and looking like a fool
  19. Of being hopelessly mediocre
  20. Of playing small all my life
  21. Of being a “bag lady” – becoming homeless
  22. Of never accomplishing anything significant in my life
  23. Of public speaking
  24. Of snakes
  25. Etc. etc. etc.

As my brave colleagues began to break the ice and starting naming their fears in the safety of this supportive environment, I began to sense an emotional shift in the group. Empathy grew. Fear dissipated. Camaraderie blossomed. Loneliness faded. The group dynamics were beginning to shift.

Still, I was afraid to share my fears amongst these people whom I had just met only one hour before. I was afraid to share my fears. I still felt that they were “unspeakable truths.” I waited and waited. I wondered if anyone would notice if I didn’t contribute to this particular group exercise. But I knew that my business coach, Mark LeBlanc, would notice, and I couldn’t let him down. So I shared my fears, second to the last person.

I willed my body to stand up. I took a deep breath and just let it go. Fear after fear after fear. With every second that passed and every fear that left my body, I felt stronger and more powerful. Speaking my fears aloud in this place at this time was an incredibly empowering experience. I would never have imagined it to have that effect, but it did.

As a trainer and facilitator, it occurred to me that Mark LeBlanc has chosen a very risky exercise to begin his Achiever’s Conference. And therein lies his brilliance. He knows that you can’t grow from a place of fear. You can’t adopt new ways, try new things, and implement best practices, if you are afraid.

Put this idea into action

Fear is a powerful emotion. It can be quickly created and strengthened by your memories, trauma, misunderstandings, the media, and your imagination – including the disaster stories you make up in your own mind. Fear can quickly hijack your brain and immobilize you for minutes, hours, days, years, even a lifetime.

Among the many pearls of practical wisdom that Mark LeBlanc shared with us achievers at his conference was “Act first. Feel later.”

I encourage you to call your fear out. Speak its ugly name. Expose it to the light and air. Its hold over you will quickly be released. You are bigger than the sum of your fears. Remember…

“The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself.” –¬†Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

 

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