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4 Steps To Overcoming Fear

4 Steps To Overcoming Fear

Lack of education, opportunity or desire; these are not what holds you back from achieving success, reaching your potential or creating significant impact in your work. The number one thing that holds you back is your silent struggle with confidence, self worth and faith in yourself.

I recently had the pleasure of working with a group of extraordinary women to help them plan for the next phase of their career. All these women were high achieving and had ticked off many of their personal career goals but when we looked at the barriers to stepping into their next big thing, primarily it was their confidence and belief in themselves that stood in the way.

Even though they had all achieved what we would generally class as success, they all talked about their struggle with their inner critic. Their career progress was being limited more by their “inner glass ceiling” than anything external holding them back.

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of The Confidence Gap, support this idea. In their extensive research, they found that the more they searched for evidence of flourishing confidence in successful women, the more they found a distinct shortage even amongst highly acclaimed, accomplished women.

What this is really about … Is FEAR.

Fear that we are not good enough, of being too scared to step into the unknown and lacking faith that we already have it within us to achieve a new level of excellence and to follow our dreams.

I understand!

From my own experience, I have battled fear on a regular basis. For example, it showed up when I published my first blog post, when I stepped onto the stage for the first time as a speaker at a conference and when I invested in my own learning and joined a mastermind program.

But what you have to recognise here, is that every time you allow the fear to hold you back, you give away your power to the things you are too afraid to do. The simple truth is, the only way to take that power back is to start to do the things that you are afraid of.

So you need to start speaking up in meetings despite the fear, take on opportunities even though they feel way outside your comfort zone and have the courage to have the difficult conversations. Little by little, you will overcome the fear that stands in your way and take your power back.

Here are 4 simple (but by no means easy) steps towards fearlessness.

  1. The antidote to fear is action. Every time you take even a small action that feels uncomfortable it is a step towards fearlessness. Overcoming fear is like anything in life … it takes practice. With each action, you are building your fearless muscle and rewiring your brain towards fearlessness.
  1. Take the opportunities as they arise. How often have you missed out on a magnificent opportunity because you hesitated out of fear?   If an opportunity presents itself, step into the fear and take action to move forward. Have the “guts” to do what you know intuitively you should do.
  1. Practice Fearlessness. Becoming less fearful is just like anything else you want to become better at. If you want to become a better runner or better at speaking Spanish… you have to practice. As Robin Sharma (Author and leadership expert) has said “The quality of your performance reflects the caliber of your practice.” The more you practice stepping into and taking action in spite of the fear, the more fearless you will become.
  1. Keep a fearlessness journal. Every day record all the little wins and actions you have taken in spite of fear. By focusing on the little wins each day you will begin to condition your brain and your focus towards how strong, powerful and fearless you actually are.

Your fears will keep you small, limit your success and hold you back from the experiences and joy you really desire. But the truth is that very few of your fears are real! Somewhere along the way, we have fallen into the trap of believing that the safest way to live is to stay within our comfort zone… but, ultimately, all this will bring us is boredom and a life of mediocrity.

You have a choice … to allow your fear to steal your power and limit your experience of life or to stare fear in the face and have unwavering faith in your abilities, strength and resilience.

I know which I choose

LET'S CONNECT

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Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

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7 Ways To Increase Your Confidence At Work

7 Ways To Increase Your Confidence At Work

Is your lack of confidence and self belief killing your opportunities at work? 

Having confidence in yourself, your abilities and your capabilities to excel in your work matters.  Your level of confidence can mean the difference between getting stuck in a job year after year or getting noticed for new and exciting opportunities, promotions or positions.

Confidence is a very attractive quality.   When we exude confidence, we naturally attract others.  People want to listen to what we have to say, they follow our lead and we are more able to positively influence outcomes.

Having confidence will not only help you to be noticed for the good work you do, you are more likely to take on new and challenging projects allowing you to grow your skills and experience.

Confidence is a fundamental foundation of your role as a leader.  You can not excel as a leader without it.  Your team look to you for a sense of certainty and strong leadership. You must have confidence in your ability to lead your team, to communicate effectively, to make decisions and to take action.  Without it, your job as a leader will be a constant struggle.

I hear all too often from the women I work with that their number one challenge is their lack of confidence in their abilities as a leader.  When they overcome their own negative thoughts and self doubt … their role as a leader suddenly seems easier and much more fun.

There are a few simple tricks that can boost your confidence at work, whether you are suffering from a momentary loss of confidence or if self doubt has been a long term companion.

Give these strategies a go and notice the difference in how you feel and what you can achieve!

1.  Delete negative self talk.  Nothing brings you down quite like the inner monologue constantly telling you that you’re not good enough.  Take a moment to listen to what your inner critic is saying.  Is it supporting you or is it constantly dragging you down?  Make a commitment to yourself to no longer let your inner critic run the show!

2.  Fake it till you make it. Confidence is all about perception.  Acting confidently is the first step to feeling confident.  In the process of convincing others, you may actually convince yourself.

3.  Take courageous action.  Accomplishing things you don’t think possible is a sure fire way to boost your confidence. So say yes to that promotion, job opportunity, project or task outside your comfort zone … knowing that your confidence will only grow through taking courageous action.

As a mentor has said to me often, say yes and then work out how.  And you know what … It is through saying yes and working out how that my skills, knowledge and confidence have grown.

4.  Identify your strengths and capitalise on them. One of the best ways to build confidence is to get clear on what you are good at and find ways of integrating more of those into the work you do every day.  When you focus on your strengths, you will notice that you are more energised, engaged, motivated and self assured.

5.  Enjoy Your Job.  Look around any workplace and you will notice those who enjoy their job stand out.  They are engaged, positive, happy to contribute, proactive and cheerful. They are good to be around and have on the team.  When we enjoy our job we give more, contribute more and take more courageous action.  And with it our confidence grows.

6.  Don’t Undermine Yourself.  So often when we feel a crisis of confidence it is obvious to others, in our body language, in our words and in our actions.

When you shift how you hold yourself physically (head up, standing tall, shoulders back and relaxed) it can have an immediate impact on how you feel about yourself.  So step forward and hold yourself powerfully.  Find your power pose and go after what you want.

Similarly, choose your words wisely.  Never talk yourself down.  (Ladies… this is one we are particularly bad with when we doubt our abilities.)

7.  Look the part.  Dress for success.  The way we present ourselves impacts how we feel and how others perceive us. When we feel great about the image we are projecting, we automatically give off a sense of confidence in who we are and what we do.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

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When you cast your mind back to when you first stepped into a leadership role, it’s possible you remember the feelings of excitement and pride, mixed with fear and trepidation.

What’s required to excel as an effective team member is different to what’s required of us as a leader. It involves a massive behavioural shift which, according to the tenets of Emotional Intelligence, also requires a corresponding shift in self-perception and identity

Jane Benston

My story, amplified

So, how did I come to be a women’s leadership coach?  

Like all good stories, the journey wasn’t all smooth sailing. I help women dig deep from a place not just of expertise but also from experience. I’ve felt that sense of career frustration and resentment. Let me tell you my story… 

Jane Benston

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston