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How can you utilize your environment to overcome your fears?
How will you feel the first time you succeed at something you are afraid of doing? What type of positive impact on your life will it make to overcome a life-long fear? How do you feel when you are surrounded by people who support you? Have you ever tried doing something you were afraid while surrounded by only people who were supportive of you?
At various times in my life, I have been afraid to approach people. This would happen, regardless of the level of confidence I had in myself. This would happen, regardless of what I was going to talk to them about. This would happen, even when I knew what I was going to talk to them about would be mutually beneficial. The fear would increase if I could not immediately see how the person would benefit from what I was going to talk with them about.
I remember one of the first times I asked someone if I could speak on their stage. The John Maxwell Team was opening the stage to some of the founding partners. This would be an opportunity to share the stage with John and other great speakers. This was a big opportunity for me and, to say I was nervous would be an understatement. I knew I would succeed if they gave me the chance. I knew that overcoming my fear of approaching people was something I needed to do to start a successful career as a public speaker. I also knew how beneficial overcoming that fear would be to my consulting and coaching business.
I still remember approaching Roddy Galbraith (the John Maxwell Team Speaker Trainer) to ask for a spot on the stage as if it happened only yesterday. My hands were sweating. My heart was racing. It took every ounce of strength I had to keep my voice steady and portray the level of confidence I believed was necessary. The thing that made the difference and gave me the final push I needed to ask for a spot on the stage was the environment I was in at the time I was asking.
For my first big ask, I chose to do it in an environment that I felt safe in. I felt safe asking Roddy because we had been on mentoring calls together for months by that time and I got to know his as one of the good guys. I felt safe that, regardless of how I performed, my fellow John Maxwell Team members and the rest of the audience would be supportive of me and at least not laugh me off the stage. I felt safe that the worst that would happen would be that Roddy would tell me no in a nice way. Thankfully, Roddy said that he would consider giving me a spot on the stage. Fast forward a few days, and I was on the stage.
Fear can feel like something you will never overcome. Fear can feel like something that will weigh you down forever. You can look at your life and see all the things fear cost you and still not have the courage or the strength to overcome that fear. There is truth to the saying that, to get over fear, you must go do the thing you are afraid of doing. Depending on how strong the fear is, the mere fact of knowing that truth is not enough. We all need something more. That something more comes in the form of doing something you fear in an environment that you feel safe in while doing it afraid.
Many times, you will hear people say, “I understand you are afraid. What would you do if you were not afraid?” and then suggest you just go do that thing. There is a difference between knowing what you would do if you were not afraid and doing that thing. You will overcome that difference when you choose a safe environment in which to do the thing you are afraid of doing. I invite you to put yourself in a safe and nurturing situation the first time you try to do something afraid so that even if you do fail, it is not the worst thing in the world and you can get up, you can learn from it and you can move on.
How this applies to authentic empathy…
When it comes to authentic empathy and utilizing your environment to overcome fear, when you put yourself in a safe and nurturing environment, you are surrounding yourself with people who have a naturally higher level of authentic empathy for you. This increased level of authentic empathy will empower you to overcome your fear by doing the thing you are afraid of while you are afraid of it and doing it until you overcome your fear.
How this applies to WACASHWI…
When it comes to WACASHWI and utilizing your environment to overcome fear, as you put fears on to and move them through your list, I invite you to look for safe environments to work on overcoming those fears. To begin with, I invite you to see if the people closest to you can help create that safe environment for you. Once you look to the people closest to you, find other, already established safe environments you can become part of. A third option is to create your own, established safe environment.
Your daily invitations…
- I invite you to think about one fear you would like to overcome.
- I invite you to consider what your life will look like once you overcome that fear.
- I invite you to consider what safe environment already exists that you can be in to start overcoming your fear.
- I invite you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your journal.
- I invite you to talk about your desire to overcome this fear with people close to you so they can help create a safe environment in which you can overcome your fear.
- I invite you to talk with a good coach, mentor or therapist if working through this process beings up negative feelings you are struggling to deal with.
Final step – how will you implement one thing you learned today in your life?