Is fear standing in the way of your success? After attending the Houston Business Journal’s BizWomen Mentoring Monday event, I learned that sometimes you just have to do things afraid. One of the mentors, Karee Laing, stated that “nothing’s impossible if you try it [and] it isn’t failure if you learned something.” The key to being successful is to overcome your fear and take a leap of faith.
To be honest, I fear networking events from time to time. Going to Mentoring Monday, I was riddled with thoughts: Am I impressive enough? Do I look professional enough? What am I going to say/ask these successful women? And of course, those questions did not help build my confidence as I walked into this event. In fact, I walked in feeling incredibly small. Have you ever done that? Caught yourself thinking these thoughts that only make the situation worse instead of better? Well, you’re not alone.
It wasn’t until I actually got the chance to meet these powerful women and hear their stories that I shut down my thoughts. You see, these women were just like me. Each and every one of them started out going to work for someone else and faced the same insecurities at networking. One lady actually explained that it had gotten to the point where she was tired of going into work feeling undervalued. Not undervalued by her superiors, but just by herself. So she committed to making a change. She decided that it was time to start a business because she wanted to feel better about herself by pursuing her passion.
And that’s really all we want to do in this life, right? We all want that chance to pursue our passions and make a difference. Yet, we get stuck doing the same things at work, at home, and in other aspects of our life. What’s stopping us from taking that big leap and committing to change? Fear. Fear keeps you from doing the things that you’re passionate about and it stops you from adding value to your work. Traci Duez mentions that FEAR is really being:
Why? It’s because our mind can take a variety of perspectives on any issue. The way in which you focus your mind determines the outcome. If you’re focusing on the negatives, then it’s going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. So how do we overcome our fears? By refocusing our minds and using DISC (a simple question and answer communication tool) to make us more self-aware.
Being self-aware is important because it allows you to be more authentic, which draws people in. At ActionCOACH, our words match with our actions in order to gain the trust of our clients and teams. Building that connection with customers and making them raving fans of your business requires trust. Developing a loyal team that understands and is inspired by your mission, vision, and culture requires trust as well.
One of the first steps to building trust with anyone is knowing yourself and knowing yourself takes knowing what you fear. How are you going to overcome your fears if you don’t know what they are? If you’re not clear on your fears, you can use DISC. DISC allows you to explore the fears of each of the behavioral styles and once you’re aware of these fears, you can make some adjustments.
The 4 DISC Styles and Fear
Dominant (D) and Influence (I) Styles
D’s tend to fear routines and being taken advantage of while I’s tend to fear any form of social rejection/isolation.
For D’s, be as transparent as possible and give them a variety of tasks. For I’s, make them feel important by giving them personal attention.
Steady (S) and Conscientious (C) Styles
S’s tend to fear sudden change while C’s tend to fear making mistakes or irrational actions.
For S’s, soothe their fears by explaining changes step-by-step. For C’s, recognize their contributions and give them time to process information.
It’s one thing to try something blindly, but your actions become more impactful when there’s a bit of education behind them. For me, knowing my DISC means that when I feel discomfort in a situation, I focus on making connections and seeing the value in what someone else can bring. That’s exactly what got me through that mentoring event. I was able to recognize my fear and focus on what was really important in that moment. Are you ready to do the same? Robert Rosen states that “business today is all about change” and making those changes can scare people. Remember that business growth requires extending yourself beyond your comfort zone. If you want to reach your career goals, you may have to embrace the risk and do it afraid.