“Being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it.” —Bear Grylls
Have you ever committed to doing something new for your business that absolutely scared the bejeezus out of you?
I think we’ve all been there. It might be public speaking, giving a presentation to investors, or in my case, being the “star” of a video shoot.
It isn’t rational, I know, but I was sure that once on camera, I would freeze and not remember what I was supposed to say. Some people love being center stage, not me. I remember drama class in the 8th grade, having 3 lines in a play and messing them up on opening night. Talk about traumatizing!
The night before the video shoot, I did some inner work to get myself prepared. And it really helped! I actually felt calm after that.
At least right up until walking into the shoot, at which point the fear came flooding back through my entire body like a tidal wave. I was sure everyone could tell.
But you know what? even when the fear reared back up, the work I had done the night before really helped. In addition to the great crew I was working with, I was also supported throughout the process by my own inner strength.
So if you’re about to face one of your fears because of an opportunity you said ‘yes’ to, then follow these steps to make your life a bit easier.
Know Your Stuff
Be prepared. Don’t over prepare, but know what you are going to talk about or do—in advance.
If you have a script or notes, study them beforehand. In my case we wanted it to be “natural and organic,” so the Director sent me some questions the night before. This really helped. I knew the subject and the questions provided focus.
Either way, remember that you’ve got what it takes to deliver what’s needed—and that you can do it perfectly when the time comes.
Let Your Fear Come (and Go)
Rather than resisting the fear and trying to talk yourself out of it, let it come up and feel it. It’s pretty intense in the moment, producing the fight or flight response (for me it’s flight), but it recedes quickly when you don’t try to wrestle with it.
So let it be—without engaging—and the intensity will dissipate. As this happens, the focus will move to what you are doing rather what you’re feeling.
Tap Into your Heart instead of Your Mind
Settle into your heart. Your mind knows the information and what you have to do. If you relax and come from your heart, you’ll be natural and authentic.
Let your stories, answers, and information spring forth from the passion you have for your work. Your mind will remember what you need to know all on its own, and you’ll appear way more relaxed if you let it do its thing unimpeded.
Be Conscious of Your Breath
Being aware of your breathing can help calm and defuse negative emotions.
In her article, Why Does Deep Breathing Calm You Down?, Sue Dooucette explains how breathing relieves stress and anxiety due to its physiological effect on the nervous system.
And you know what? It really works. Consciously taking deep breaths can calm the mind and restore the flow of positive energy.
Work with a Great Team
Working with a team that empathizes with you is amazing.
I could feel that although I was the one in front of the camera, my team was doing their work and holding the space to support me. Now I know you may not always have a team with you—especially if you’re giving a speech or something like that—but make sure to have someone in your audience that is rooting for you.
Focus on the person you’re working with or the audience you’re talking to. Talk as though you are in a conversation. As you connect, you can ignore everything else and just be present with sharing your information.
Working with the right people can make all the difference in the world.
Trust your Inner Knowing
Whatever you believe in—your Higher Self, Spirit, Universal Energy, or whatever—that power is there for you.
Know that you have everything you need within you, and that you are supported. For me, that inner knowing is priceless. I know that I will be okay no matter what, and my faith carries me.
Using these tools allowed me to reach what I’m calling a “milestone experience.” Sure it was scary, but it was also liberating to come through on the other side of it. And I know that my “milestone experience” was influenced by trusting myself and moving through the fear.
After all, facing fear is one of the most empowering things in the world.
We’d love to hear your experiences and tips on moving through fear.