I’m a big fan of Angela Myles Beeching’s Monday Bytes Blog. Recently she posted Seth on Fear, drawing from another writer, Seth Godin (American author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker).
Seth on Fear
"No risk, no art. No art, no reward."
“ We all experience fears and self-doubt: it’s human nature. Fear and doubt can prompt us to be alert when we are in danger and to prepare well for an important event."
But fears and doubts can also prevent us from pursuing the projects that we dream of and from reaching out to people we’d like to connect with. This is how fear can create a kind of glass ceiling in our performances and lives.
I’m a huge fan of Seth Godin (American author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker) and in a recent post he speaks to the heart of confronting fears:
I’m afraid of that
If you can say this out loud, when you’ve been holding back, avoiding your confrontation with the truth, you will free yourself to do something important. Saying it takes away the power of the fear.
On the other hand, if you say it 8 times or 11 times or every time, you’re using the label to reinforce your fear, creating an easy escape hatch to avoid doing something important. Saying it amplifies the fear.
The brave thing is to find the unspeakable fear and speak it. And to stop rehearsing the easy fears that have become habits.
"In working one on one with musicians, I often find that fear and self-esteem are lurking issues that prevent progress. This can manifest itself in a reluctance to network, or in procrastinating working on one’s promotional materials. It’s easy to become stuck when we feel “less than” because on some level we believe we’re unworthy, that we don’t have what it takes.
As Seth says, if you can acknowledge the feeling, then you have a handle on confronting and challenging these self-defeating beliefs. Then the “trick” is to do the work, do the networking, the promotional materials, and sort out the truth about what you actually have to offer so you can change your self-talk. Changing your internal messages will change your behavior and this will change your career trajectory.
I am inspired by the musicians I work with, by seeing them gain confidence and clarity of their purpose and value. When musicians stand in their strengths and communicate well what they offer, that’s when the career advancement starts to take off!
Challenge for the week: Be on the lookout for what you have been avoiding, procrastinating, or excluding as an option. Big or small. Find the fear and name it. See what happens."
From one who still must, at times, come to terms with fear (measuring up, bringing my A game, auditioning…) I found the article clarifying. Confronting your fear (acknowledging it, saying it out loud, naming it) allows you to “free yourself” from it. Verbalizing takes away fear’s power. Love, Love, Love it!
And then the concept of standing in your strengths, well that really struck a cord. It took me back to those phone-coaching sessions I overheard when my mother was coaching people using a personality assessment called StrengthsFinders. The basic philosophy is that everyone has natural talents and that we’ll get the farthest in life if we focus on elevating our personal strengths, rather than trying to balance on our weaknesses.
So, so, so true and yet, even though I've listened to this time and again, like most, I tend to waste energy by sometimes focusing on my weaknesses.
So I'm going to work on "naming" my fear and focusing on my strengths!