HOW to move past fear - advice from women who've done it.

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I recently did a post on fear because the majority of my clients come to me out of fear.

Fear of the unknown, fear of judgement, fear of …. fear.

I find myself SO OFTEN asking “Are you sure that you don't know what you want to do in your career, or are you afraid to admit what you actually want?” So, I thought I’d follow up with a post on exactly HOW some real-life ladies pushed past the fear and made their way into their dream careers!

I asked each of them "After you decided on your new career, HOW specifically did you get past the fears that had been holding you back?" Check out their super helpful, insightful and motivating answers:

Carolee, Head Spud in Charge, One Crafty Potato

“Once I decided on my new career, the keys for me were two things. First, I told a few people that I knew would be supportive of my dream no matter what. For me, this was my husband and my best friend who’s also an entrepreneur. On days when I felt like I just couldn’t get it done or when I needed a boost, they were 100% there for me, no questions asked.

Next, I shifted as much as I could to “act as if” I was already there. Asking yourself, “what would I do if I were a successful X”, in my case, successful scrapbook business owner, and doing as much of that on the daily as you can. It’s very scary, but I was able to to kind of convince my brain we were just playing pretend on a few of the scarier things (like ordering product for the first time) and actually get things done!”

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Inge Geleyn, Shopping Sleuth & Founder of Thoughtful Gesture

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“I started thinking about a gift idea service ten years ago. My initial idea was providing people and businesses with book gift ideas, completely tailored to their family and friends’ or their customers’ reading tastes. And while I did work on a few book gift related projects, I quickly realized that the revenue model for that initial business concept wasn’t realistic. I put everything aside for some time, while continuing to work as a freelance translator and editor, but never stopped thinking and dreaming about starting a business that would allow me to do what I love (and do) best: helping people find things.

For me, the turning point came in 2016 when my dad passed away. The death of a loved one really does put things in perspective, and it made me ask myself some hard questions. I was 45 years old, and yes, circumstances were not ideal, but what exactly was I waiting for?! So I said to myself: “Alright, you’ve had this idea in your head for 10 years now, high time to give it your all and see if you can make it work.”

Now, whenever doubts or fears rear their ugly head, I say to my perfectionist self to just keep going. Even when it’s scary and hard, because what would be the scariest of all is having to look back in a few years time and not having tried at all. I know I would always regret that.

I often think about this Doris Lessing quote too, which sums it up nicely: “Whatever you are meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.””

Anabell Bender the Dreamcatcher Coach

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“After deciding on my career, which I want to be great, fun and rewarding, I knew that I needed to have structure and actionable plans on how to get there. My biggest fears were being judged, not being good enough and not being able to keep up with all those millions of coaches out there.

Through my own coaching certifications I knew that a good coach is able to bring out the absolute best in you and point you in the direction that you want to be going. And as I made a commitment to put all my energy into my personal and professional growth, I started to work with a coach to help me. I also learned that leaving your comfort zone is the way to growth and I’m not messing around for long in my comfort zone anymore. I learned to take fear as my guide because I know that fear and excitement is being produced in the same part of our brain. So before being afraid of something, I chose to be excited about it.”

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Vicky Cook of Heart & Moxie

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“To be honest, getting past my fears is an ongoing part of launching my business and doing the work to make it to grow to what I envision.  I've learned that it's "easy" to give into the fears and allow them to hold me back. I learned this the hard way because I allowed my fears to make decisions for me for far too long.  What finally allowed me to push past the fears and take control of my journey was establishing a new relationship with my fears. It was that realization that they'd always be there that made me realize I had to learn to work with my fears, instead of against my fears.  That means recognizing when my fears are the strongest, I'm standing in front of an amazing opportunity and that's a sign to explore that chance.  Also, part of my new relationship with my fears is to see them as just stories I've made up in my head. There's nothing true about them, so it's just as easy to create a different story - one that motivates me instead of holding me back.  Then, it's just a choice on which story to believe. With all of this said, that doesn't mean dealing with my fears is a breeze now! Fears have the amazing ability to morph, so as soon as I conquer one, a new one leapfrogs in its place (and by the way, I've learned to love the surge in my confidence from facing and overcoming a fear!).  So, I see it as a dance: sometimes fear still leads, but now I know how to put it back in its place, and take back control!

Lela Rohrer Stech, Artist at Selway Studios

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The biggest motivator was that I feared doing something I hated more than I feared taking this leap. That doesn't mean I didn't feel fear... I did and I still do... lots of fear and vulnerability.

Having a support system is huge! I'm involved with a group of creative women who are at similar stages of their new career adventures. (And yes, they are adventures, which helps keep the focus on how exciting it is rather than the fear.) Their support and encouragement makes all the difference. It's also exciting to see the progress they are making and cheer them on.

The voice in my head makes a big impact on whether or not the fear takes over. There are times when I feel overwhelmed. I frequently have to remind myself that each step I take will get me closer to my goal. It isn't all going to happen at once even though it would be really nice if it did. Another thing I find helpful is looking for the positive in every situation, even if it looks really bad. There is ALWAYS something positive... I might not see it right away and sometimes I have to search a little, and I always find something. Every. Single. Time.

Reminders on my phone also help keep me going. Four times throughout the day I have reminders that pop up asking me things like if I'm being kind to myself or if I'm giving myself grace. These help me to stop and take notice of what's going on in my day and in my head. Sometimes that little reboot is all I need.”

 Peg Hall Williams, Creative at peghallwilliams.com

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“Internally, I’ve always known that using my creativity on a daily basis was important. Tapping into that feeds my soul. When I started my professional career, I worked in Organizational Development. I told myself that I could bring creativity into that work. And I did.

When I had my first daughter. I realized that if I couldn’t advocate for my own gifts and talents...and go after what I wanted, then I could never be a good advocate for her.

Then I had my second daughter. When I looked at both girls, I knew that it was important for them to grow and realize that when things are easy... you don’t give up.

So often we think that if something isn’t easy, we must not be good at it. And find something that’s easy. (That’s the same as giving up too.) It’s not true. You keep at it. And your heart and dedication that you bring makes you the best. 

And that’s what I did. I found a high level communications job. My girls have watched me fail. My five year old has seen the tears in my eyes and asked me what’s wrong. I tell her, “mommy had a hard day and that I tried something that didn’t work. Tomorrow, I’ll try something different.”

She’s also seen me soar. She’s seen me when I’m so pumped that I secured a CNN interview or I’ve won a design award. We dance and celebrate. I high-five myself and her.

It’s a great feeling to share this with them. I still get scared and I always think about my girls and what I want to model to them. I know that being scared is okay. Doesn’t feel good. But it’s part of getting to where you want to be.  

As I get ready to take another professional step, I keep that in mind. I also think about what kind of world do I want for my girls and for young girls everywhere. “

  

Whitney Miller, Comic Artist and Illustrator

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What helped me to get past the fears that had been holding me back from pursuing my dream jobs was the realisation that I actually had the choice of how I lived my life.  After deciding to start dream businesses, I had spent quite a bit of time really evaluating my life. I always told myself that I couldn't make a living doing the creative work I cared about and that I was not cut out to be an entrepreneur but for the first time, I challenged these limiting beliefs. I realised that I had been putting a significant amount of energy into doing things that I didn't really want to do and even worse, doing things that I thought people wanted me to do. I figured that if I'm going to put time and energy into my job, it might as well be work that I'm passionate about and feel called to do.

My fears started to break down even more when I opened up to my parents about my impending career move. I have two degrees and I was scared to tell them that I was going to be pursuing careers in areas outside of what I went to school for. My parents' support means so much to me and having a strong support system has been such a motivation. The biggest fears that I had to overcome was putting myself out there and just starting my businesses. Seriously, it was so hard for me, but working with [a coach] gave me that big push that I needed to just go for it and stop letting my fears be a hindrance. I still struggle with fear and insecurities regularly but it is nowhere near as paralysing as it was when I wasn't being honest with myself.”

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Each and every one of us has fears. And that’s TOTALLY ok. I’m ok - you’re ok. It’s how you handle that fear that makes the difference.

If you’re ready to finally move past your fear, book a FREE consult call and let’s get you moving forward!

Yours in career goodness-

EB Sanders