How many times do we stop ourselves from raising our hand, speaking up in the meeting, making the phone call, or connecting with others at a networking event?
How many opportunities do we miss when we listen to the stories in our heads?
I know I have missed several opportunities because of self-doubt until I started paying attention to my mindset. I realized that things like asking questions at a large conference were some of the best ways to begin networking conversations with other attendees. Further, I realized that speaking up during the meeting raised my profile and gave me more chances of being noticed and ultimately promoted. By extension, I realized that nobody will make me stand out but me.
So how can YOU overcome self-doubt and all those voices in your head that want to keep you quiet and keep you small?
Here are 3 strategies I have used that might help you:
PREPARE: Whenever you attend an event, be prepared to contribute in some way. Whether it is a large event and you take the opportunity to approach the microphone to ask a question or contribute to the conversation in a small gathering, commit to being heard within the first half of the event, ideally before the break. Make it a goal. Quell your imposter syndrome and your concerns about your abilities; you are capable and hard-working, and these things show in the effort you put forward.
SOOTHE THE FEAR: Advice such as “don’t listen to your fear” or “drown your fear with positive statements” might only turn down the volume of the fear conversation for a few moments. I suggest you do the opposite and give your fear a voice for about 2 minutes. Ask that voice, what is true about what you are saying? Listen to what it has to say and then let that fearful voice in your head know that you’ve got this. You don’t have to be afraid or worry, you will not put yourself in any danger.
FOCUS ON THE REWARD: We create all kinds of stories in our heads when we want to stay stuck and not move forward. Fear usually pops up when we are looking to cross the boundary of our comfort zone, so be kind to yourself. Know that it’s a good sign that you are showing discomfort in a new situation. Take it as a sign that you are daring greatly, as Brene Brown would say. Breathe, be kind to yourself, and step beyond that fear. On the other side of fear, there is always an expanded version of you, a world of new opportunities!
Whatever you do, look at the stories in your head as old voices that want to keep you safe. They are not your enemy, they are your protective friend who wants to keep you from harm. Don’t ignore them, but rather reassure them that you are stronger than the fear, and then MOVE forward! Your self-doubt stems from your desire to put your best foot forward, but the only way to actually do that is by trying.
Could you use some REAL strategies to manage your fear and take your business to the next level?
Check out the Clarity First ebook! It can help you become clear on where your focus needs to be in your business right now!
Dolores Hirschmann is an internationally recognized strategist, coach, speaker, and founder of Masters in Clarity, a strategy and coaching company that helps clients clarify their message and implement virtual business growth systems. Dolores has been a remote employee and virtual business owner for over 20 years. As a former TEDx organizer, Dolores understands how to help experts, authors, consultants, coaches, doctors and other service business owners position themselves as thought leaders in their field and scale their business.