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Founder's Corner #6 That Pesky Little Thing Called Fear

Founder’s Corner #6 That Pesky Little Thing Called Fear

Welcome to the sixth edition of The Founder’s Corner! Today, we’re talking about that pesky little thing called fear. And we’ve got some practical tips you can apply to your own life to help you overcome fear.

It’s a goody!

The Founder’s Corner posts are based on previous segments from our weekly newsletter. So if you want this type of content first, check out the link at the end of this post!

Now…Let’s Talk About Fear…

As we stride down the path of “doing hard things”, one common thread that pops up is that pesky little thing called, fear.

Whether you’re just launching your podcast, stepping into a new career, or perhaps a soon-to-be mom, we are bombarded by fears (big or small) around every corner. 

Now sure, there are TONS of resources out there to help you conquer those areas of uncertainty and advice everywhere about how to “overcome” your fears. 

But what if I told you that this isn’t the only path to success? That, in fact, you don’t need to overcome your fears in order to take that leap of faith.

Take me for example… I have the biggest fear of heights.

I black out from the fear when I’m wall climbing, I don’t look down when the floor is made of glass, and I certainly will not be bungee jumping off a bridge any time soon.

After many years on this planet Earth, I’ve realized this is not a fear I am ever going to “overcome”. 

Now, just because I have this “limitation”, if you will, does not mean that I let it hold me back from chasing incredible experiences. I’ve still done some amazing things, at great heights!

I’ve been on top of the Empire State Building, zip-lined through a jungle in Mexico, walked to the edge of a bridge and stood next to my sister as she bungee jumped off, strolled around on top of Table Mountain, had dinner in a revolving restaurant at the top of a tower, climbed all the stairs of the Arc de Triomphe, peaked over the edge of the Eiffel Tower… 

The list goes on! 

The thing is… I did all those things on my terms, and very strategically! Instead of looking at fear as something that should stop me in my tracks, I chose to pivot and start to see it as something that should: 

  • wake me up and move me into action.

“Fear sometimes stops you from doing stupid things. But it can also stop you from doing creative or exciting or experimental things. The control and understanding of our personal fears is one of the most important undertakings in our life.”

Helen Mirren

It’s easy to pretend that fear isn’t influencing you and that there are other reasons why you haven’t met your goals yet. But… it’s better to look your fears in the face, try to understand them, and then build a plan to live alongside them for however long they remain.

So what does this all mean?

Let’s dive a little deeper into these three key steps:

1. Acknowledge and Listen to Your Fear 

When you decide to move through fear strategically rather than trying to completely overcome it, the first step involves acknowledging and accepting the fear in order to find ways to navigate and manage it effectively.

Instead of getting stuck reaching for that unattainable state of “fearlessness”, we need to embrace fear, face it head-on, and listen to what it’s trying to tell us. Your fear can sometimes act as a warning system, so be sure to check in with yourself.

  • Is there something you are missing? 
  • ​Is there something you should be guarding? 
  • ​Is there a real threat to your being?

Recognizing and acknowledging the specific fear you are experiencing will help you understand what triggers it and how it manifests in your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

2. Educate Yourself to Understand Your Fear

Next, you need to start learning more about your fear. Understanding the root causes and potential solutions can help demystify the fear and make it more manageable. Identifying exactly what your fear is can give you clear direction on how to move through it.

On the other hand, you also need to understand what the consequences are of not acting on your fears. 

  • What opportunities will you miss out on if you give way to fear? 
  • ​How will it hold you back from success if you don’t see it through?

In the end, moving through fear takes time and effort. So stay committed to the process, even when it feels challenging or uncomfortable.

3. Create an Action Plan to Strategically Move Through Your Fear

Now that you’ve faced your fears and you’ve educated yourself to understand them better, it’s time to use all the information that you’ve gathered to create an action plan that helps you to lean into the fear and move through it towards your goals.

  • First, you need to identify the boundaries of your fear. How far can you go before your fear immobilizes you? 
  • ​Next, create a plan to work within those boundaries, working with incremental steps that help you get to your goals. 
  • ​And finally, celebrate every breakthrough! As you persist and gain experience, some fears will eventually fall away so your boundaries can expand.

Be kind to yourself throughout the process. Understand that everyone experiences fear, and it’s okay to struggle. 

Don’t Let Fear Stop You!

Whether you’re dreading that first interview, learning to be a more skilled podcast host, or nervous about reaching out to your dream guest, the best mindset to have is to treat yourself with the same compassion you would offer a friend.

Keep in mind, that moving through fear is a personal journey, and there’s no right or wrong way to approach it. Take your time, be patient with yourself, and focus on progress, rather than perfection.

The Founder’s Corner posts are based on a segment of our weekly newsletter. 

Want this type of content while it’s still hot off the presses? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, the Podcast Playbook!

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