How I Deal with Fear, And Get it Done Anyway
by Veronika Noize, the Marketing Coach
A few years ago I read Susan Jeffers' book Feel the Fear...and Do it Anyway. That book truly inspired me, and if you haven’t read it, I recommend it. The point that she makes is that fear can make us uncomfortable, but if we can handle the consequences of whatever action we’re contemplating, why not just go ahead and do itundefinedespecially when the benefits of success are worth it?
Many of my clients tell me that they’re fearful of certain aspects of marketing, such as giving speeches, meeting people at networking functions, picking up the phone to call prospects, or of asking for the sale. The fear can take a variety of shapes: Fear of rejection, fear of looking pushy, or fear of embarrassing oneself. These fears may be understandable, but failing to act because of fear is not going to get you what you want.
Does it help at all if I tell you that I have felt (and sometimes still feel) these very same fears? But I plunge ahead, because I have learned to manage my fears by taking action. You can, too. First, ask yourself three questions:
What’s the worst that can happen?
Although you may have quite an active imagination, the worst that could probably happen is that you would be embarrassed or rejected, right?
Can I live with that if it does happen?
You have survived embarrassment in the past, so yes, you could no doubt live with being embarrassed (again) if that’s the worst that could happen. And if it is rejection you fear, remember, rejection is not about you, but about what you’re offering.
What can I do to increase my chances of a positive outcome?
Preparation, intention, and practice are the keys to confidence so even if the worst happens, at least is won’t be a total disaster.
Thinking through the fear-inducing situation before it happens, and imagining a positive outcome helps, as does doing your homework. Scripting the speech, developing a killer elevator speech, preparing a few ice-breaker questions, or creating a phone script before you need to use them will increase your confidence and comfort level for these situations, and reduce your fears of the unknown.
You won’t look pushy if your agenda is to satisfy a prospect’s needs, or connect for mutual benefit, or educate, rather than secure a sale. But if your agenda is more about your need for revenue rather than serving, you probably will look pushy, so don’t go there.
Give yourself plenty of time to work out the bugs before you inflict new verbiage on your prospects. Rehearse a new speech, script, or elevator speech in front of the mirror the first few times; the more you say or do something, the better you get at it, and the more comfortable it becomes.
Now that you’re prepared, just do it! No matter what the outcome, you’ll have proven to yourself that you can handle it, and the confidence you’ll feel will make the whole experience worthwhile.
How I Deal with Fear, And Get it Done Anyway (c) 2007-2012 Veronika Noize. All rights reserved.