Today’s episode of the podcast is all about overcoming fear, and I am chatting all about what to do when you are scared to do something and how to step over that, and also why you shouldn't make decisions from fear.
As always, I’d love to know if any of this resonated with you and whether you had any lightbulb moments. Please feel free to connect with me on my socials and let me know.
KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST
- How feeling fear can be helpful
- What The Chimp Paradox is and how to deal with it
- What to do when fear kicks in
THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE
We do need fear and we're always going to have fear, but what we don't want it to do is to paralyse us or stop us from taking action.
LINKS TO RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY’S EPISODE
Hello and a really warm welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. How are you doing? So this week I decided after a couple of weeks where we talked about practical things, I was gonna mix it back up and we'll do some mindset stuff. And this is kind of my plan going forward. So I really wanna make sure that I give you some of the practical things that we really need for business.
But I also wanna make sure that we look at the mindset side because that is as important. If not, I might argue more important than knowing how to do a strategy or something like that. So today we're going to look at fear, which sounds like a really fun podcast episode, but I promise this is gonna be a good one.
I am gonna give you lots of practical things that you can do to help you get over fear or move past fear, or to make sure that you don't make terrible decisions when in fear. Fear is a very natural thing. We all feel it and it's like nature. It's important that we do feel fear. Obviously back in the days where we were cave people, we needed fear to basically help us protect ourselves.
And even though we are unlikely to be chased down by a lion today or whatever it might be, I dunno what it was back then, I wasn't around obviously. What we do is our brain still perceives things the same kind of way. It still thinks that we need to kick into that fight or flight or freeze or thorn kind of situation.
So it gives us fear and, and it's doing a good thing. It's trying to be really good by going, this is a bit scary. I need to tell you, this is a bit scary because what I want to do is keep you safe. and it wants us to stay in our comfort zone. That's what it's trying to do. It doesn't want us to get those emotions of feeling nervous or scared.
It wants us to stay where we know in our brains that we are safe and we will stay alive. But obviously the difference is now it's not a matter of life and death, it's the matter of doing a live or not doing a live or posting that thing on social media or not posting that thing. And it might seem like these are really little, silly things that I'm talking about.
But really fear can be anything and something that one of you might think, well, that's easy. Like I'm never scared of that. Someone else might be absolutely petrified and that's absolutely fine because we're all very different people with very different life experiences and very different feelings.
So, like I said, the main gist of it is that it wants to keep us safe. It wants to keep us in a safe place. And like I said, the brain unfortunately has not quite caught up with the fact that keeping us safe doesn't mean protecting us from death or being malled or eaten alive. That actually thank you, but I'm not gonna die if I go and post something on social or send that email or put my price up.
So we need to be mindful that that's the case, that that's where the fear is coming from. However, we also, there are some advantages to having fear, like I said, one, the initial thing of let's not get malled by a bear, but actually having fear can be really helpful. So for instance, as you know, I speak a lot and I love it, but does that mean I never get scared before I go on stage?
No. And I actually really like the fact that I am nervous because it proves to me that I'm taking it seriously, that I'm not at a point where I'm thinking I'm so good at this stuff. I'm not scared, I'm not bothered because I think at that point I'm probably not giving it the respect that it's due. So actually sometimes that fear, that feeling of fear can be really helpful.
It can make us just understand actually this is, you know, this is something I'm doing here and I need to, to bear that in mind. What I tend to do when I speak though, when I feel that fear, cuz obviously I do love it. What often happens is the minute I get on stage, it goes like within the first minute of me talking, I then start to relax into it and it's fine and great and I love it.
What I do, just out of interest, is I try and do the reframe thing, which is a, a Mel Robbins thing where basically the emotions for fear and the physical feelings in your body for fear are pretty much exactly the same as excitement. So lots of people, when they're nervous can go, I'm just excited. I'm really excited and try and kind of trick the brain that way, but I ground myself so I will breathe.
I will do some breathing exercises. I will imagine. This is where I'm like, does this sound weird? It's not. It's not weird, but I imagine kind of roots coming outta my feet and going into the ground and really steadying me and I'm breathing as I do this. And if I can, and I'm in a position where I can take my shoes off, I'll take my shoes off to do that.
But sometimes I'll be stood at the side of stage waiting to be called on and I'll be imagining and doing that grounding at that point. Now I do grounding because I am way too excitable. My nervousness and my excitement comes out in me speaking really fast and breathing really fast and just being a little bit much.
So I like to ground and kind of bring myself down a bit just and steady myself a bit just to not be that excited when I go on stage. So, , we do need fear. We are always gonna have fear, but what we don't want it to do is to paralyze us or stop us. And that is sometimes what happens, that the fear, and you won't know it's the fear.
Like you'll come up with every single excuse in the book as to why you can't do something, and it's not until the digging down and digging down or working with a coach that eventually the thought of fear might actually come out and you realize that it stopped you and paralyzed you. So what I've got is a couple of things I want us to look at today.
I want to talk to you about what to do when you are scared to do something, and how to step over that, and also why you shouldn't make decisions from fear. It doesn't normally have brilliant outcomes. So let's talk about the when something is stopping you. So the first thing you gotta do is kind of recognize that it's fear stopping you and all the other things you are telling yourself might not be the reason.
So it's not perfect enough. I don't like the way something looks. I need better copy. I need this. This isn't right. Like, I'm not saying those things aren't true, but usually it doesn't need to be the level that you are thinking it is. It can absolutely go out. And I was saying to someone just the other day, one of my one-to-one coaching clients, I was saying to her that she was putting together a website and she was like, you know, I need to, I and I, I said to her and she said, she just needs to get it out now.
And I said, listen, what you've produced is really good. I've seen people who paid people to do their websites and they're worse than what you've done. So there is nothing wrong. It can go live as is now. And I think. Like I said, that that's the kind of thing that stops people.
So that's the first thing to recognize. Am I saying something can't happen because I'm scared and because I'm actually fearful of what might happen, but I'm actually making every excuse under the sun. So if you identify, and you might need to work with someone to help you identify this, but if you identify that actually I'm just a little bit scared of what's gonna happen, I want you to.
Well, let me go back. I wanna explain something. So have you ever read The Chimp Paradox? So I did this in a talk recently and I dunno whether I've talked about it on the podcast, but if I have, I Well, I say I apologize. I don't apologize cuz it's flipping brilliant and like the reminder is well needed. So there's a book called The Chimp Paradox.
If you've not read it, I highly recommend it. Personally, I find it quite a hard read. Maybe I'm not smart enough. It's by Professor Steve Peters and basically in the book, he simplifies and gives an analogy for parts of the brain. So, and I am simplifying it further. So if you are very smart and you know about the brain, please don't come and tell me that I'm an idiot cuz we know that already.
So the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system, these are the two systems in the brain he's talking about. I just like the fact I get to say those big words. So the prefrontal cortex, he calls the human and the limbic brain or the limbic system, he calls the chimp.
And basically the difference between the human brain and the chimp brain is that the human likes to find evidence. They like to be rational, they like facts, they like logic, they look at perspectives. They see shades of gray. So they know that it's not just a yes or no answer or a black and white decision, and it's normally the real you, whereas the chimp feels the feelings.
And I make this joke that I'm 90% chimp and my husband's 90% human. It feels all the feelings, it's all the emotions. It's irrational sometimes it's paranoid sometimes. It sees black and white. So it's like, so if you're not with me, you're against me type thing. And it wants to win and it wants more. So it's the chimp brain that doesn't let you celebrate when you do a win or when you have something amazing and it basically just goes. Actually move on to the next thing.
So what happens is when you have an idea in your head or a thought in your head and something happens at very quick speed, there's also the computer in other parts of the brain, which, like I said, I'm gonna keep it really simple for the, for the purpose of this. But basically it looks and goes, have I've done this before?
Have I got any experience of this? And if it hasn't, It kind of goes to the chimp and the human, except the chimp is so fast and so strong, the chimp will kick in first. So the example I give is, let's say you have cooked dinner for your partner who's coming home and they're late. So they're late leaving work and they're late coming home and you've ruined dinner.
And you think he's late and your chimp kicks in and your chimp is like, oh yeah, that's brilliant. Yeah, just perfect. I've been slaving here all day. You've been at work and you turn up late. I dunno why I bother cooking dinner for you. You're so selfish. You're really horrible, blah, blah, blah. And your chimp is having a field day, right?
And your human has got no looking right. Your human. Try as it might. It cannot compete with the chimp. The chimp is too powerful, too quick part of the brain, and it's the emotional part. So it's getting really upset and really angry, and really frustrated and really annoyed and saying all sorts of words about your partner.
If your human brain could have kicked in, your human brain probably would've gone, oh no, it's he's late. I wonder, you know, he's obviously been stuck at work. Even as I'm saying this, I'm thinking, I'd never say this, laughing to myself, like, in what world would I ever be this calm, like you might be thinking to yourself, I feel bad because his days run longer.
He is probably really tired. He's probably fed up that he hasn't left work already. He's probably really annoyed. He's gonna be even more tired when he gets home. and you might think differently if you're human. I'm still laughing about this cuz like I said, I can't see me ever doing this. But also I can't necessarily, well, no, I can, I can't necessarily see me waking at home and cooking his dinner.
I do cook dinner obviously, but, but yeah, I don't start it until he is way on his way home. So, or I wait for him to get home. So anyway, that's a side. So you see what I mean? The chimp is super powerful. The human doesn't get a look in, but normally what we try and do is we try and shove that chimp down. We try and stuff down all those feelings, and we try and like hush the chimp up.
So what I want us to do instead is when fear kicks in and it's the chimp that's kicking in. The chimp is the thing that's like, oh, I don't wanna do this because this might happen and this is gonna happen. And what if no one, you know, if you're talking about going live, what if no one shows up? What if people do show up?
What if they hate what they're saying? What if they show up and then they leave? What if like all the things. So what I want you to do is get a piece of paper, obviously not right now. You can if you want, get a piece of paper and I want you to write down what's the worst that could happen and let that chimp go to town.
So I did this exercise with someone who is gonna be speaking. and we work through all the things that could happen. The slides don't work. I fall over. That's always a fear of mine. I, another fear of mine is I pee my pants on stage. I thank God touch word today. I've never done it, although I like. No, we're going into too much information here.
I was gonna say , it's not too much like, doesn't matter how many wis I go for, I still write from on stage. I'm like, I really need a wee. I don't. It's just my fear. So too much info. So yeah, so like we wrote down all the things. So instead of trying to shush the chimp and hush the chimp and squash down all those feelings and that fear feeling.
We allow the chimp to have it say, so we write down all the things. I might forget my words. There might be someone in the audience that knows more than me. There might be someone who thinks I'm an idiot. There might be blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, whatever it is. What is the worst that can happen? Then once you've written down, and I want you to imagine your, your page is in columns, so that's one column, and then in the next column against each of those points, I want you to then think about what would you do about it?
So, If I went on stage and the tech failed, what would I do? Well, luckily it has happened to me, so I can tell you what you would do. I blagged it a bit. Wonder they had a complete power cut, so I had to do it without my slides, but luckily I had a laptop so I could look at my slides, so they just couldn't see them.
But it's not my fault. Like, so it's like, well what would I do? Well, I carry on as best as I can, but they're not gonna judge me about it cuz tech things happen. I forgot my words. What would I do about it? Well, they don't know what I'm going to say, do they? So, and worse comes to worse. And I've done this fyi.
I have gone, oh hang on, I've lost my train of thought. Let me come back to it. I think that was in a much smaller group talking thing rather than a big stage thing. I think I wouldn't be happy to do that. I would try and blagged it. But exactly I would blagged it. What if I tripped over? I'd be really embarrassed.
I'd feel a bit of a fool, but I'd get up and carry on because I'm not the first only person ever to fall over in my life. So you basically, the human then kicks in. Once we've worn the chimp packs, that's the only way to get past it. We ask the human, what would we do about it? If that happened, what would we do?
And by the time you go down that list, you start to realize that I'm not gonna die. Like speaking on stage. I'm not gonna die. I might like look a bit stupid or I might feel a bit stupid, or I might not be the way exactly how I wanted to be, but that's not that horrific. That's okay. And it helps calm the brain down and it helps calm the chimp down and it helps you see very logically.
What's the fear with it? And I've told this story a million times, but it's such a good one that I was too scared to launch a course. And the coach I was working with at the time did some like deep diving with me and, and discovered this. And then they said, you know, what's the worst that could happen?
And I was like, well, what if no one buys it? What if like, I'd never sell it. This is what I do for a job and I, what if I can't sell my own stuff? And they said to me, Well, how many of you sold? And I was thinking, well, none cuz I haven't launched it. And he said, well, you failed already then, haven't you? And that is the truth.
That is a hundred percent the truth. I was so scared that no one would buy it, that I never offered it, which meant no one bought it, which meant my biggest fear was coming true, but through my own hands. So, That's what we do when we think about fear. And then the last thing we write is what could be the best outcome?
What if it went really well? What if I stood on that stage and gave a talk that was a good, great talk and people loved it. What would that do for me? What would that do for my business? What would that do for your brand? What if, what if I launched that course and someone bought it? Well, what's the best that could happen?
They'd give me money. Fyi, I did launch that course and I sold 28 of them, and I was dead pleased and proud. I didn't make the six figures that the coach is promising, but 28, I was happy with that. So yeah, what is the best that could happen? And start to visualize that. Start to get it into your head that like I walk on stage and people clap and I get to speak and I love it.
And they love it, and people come up to you afterwards and say how amazing it was. Or I do a live and I help someone, or I really enjoy it, and people come and watch it, and then I get comments afterwards. Run it through your head like what's the best that could happen? And then go out there and do it. Okay, so that's what we do when fear is holding us back.
But what about making a decision from fear? I've done a podcast episode on this, I'm sure, but basically I am sure I've done a podcast episode on CTFAR a system that I got from Brooke Castillo, and basically it's circumstance, thoughts, feelings, actions, and results. But basically, without going into too much detail on that, cause it's actually quite hard on a podcast without you seeing the process.
When we come from fear, we make decisions that we wouldn't normally make. If you, for instance, lost some clients and someone came along to you and said, I want to work with you, and it's something that you wouldn't ordinarily do, or you just get a feeling that you're like, Hmm, yeah, I'm not sure about you.
If you were coming from fear of lack of, oh my God, I've got no clients, what if I lose another one? What if I haven't got enough money? The chances are you are going to say yes to them, or if you're coming from fear, you might reduce your prices because you're thinking, I really wanna get this, and inevitably, And I'm not, and this is real careful cause I don't wanna sit there and go, well, you know, just, just don't be scared and something will come.
And like, when it comes to money, I'm very practical, you know that like, if you need money, you need money. However, just ask yourself, if I wasn't scared, if I wasn't fearful that I am like where's the next client coming from? Would I take this client or would I charge that? And if the answer is no, then you make some caveats for it.
So either you go in at the price that you would normally go in at because you are worth it and you know you are worth it and therefore that's why you charge that amount. And it's only the fear in your head saying, yeah, but I really need this client so I'm just gonna charge less. So you would still go in with that price. If it's working with someone that you don't wanna work with, you either really make it worth your while or if you can, and you have to wear the money decision on this you say no.
And think to yourself, I know I would like another client right now, but that is not my client. That's not who I like to work with. Because inevitably when we make these decisions, we end up regretting them. We end up thinking to ourselves, I wish I hadn't have done that, and I have done it in the past so many times.
If all else fails, you listen to your gut, what does your gut tell you about that thing? If your gut is saying, I don't like it, I don't wanna do it. This doesn't feel right, don't do it. Don't let that fear jump in and the chimp to jump in and go, yeah, but this could happen and that could happen. Because like I said, the chances are it's not gonna end up how you want it to be, and it's going to be a mistake.
So try super, super hard not to let it come from fear. If I haven't done an episode on the CTFAR, which I'm sure I have, and if I have, but the lovely, Becci, I'll link to it in the show notes. If I haven't, I will do one cuz it's a really good thing, but I need more time to talk you through it and I definitely need some kind of download for you to see because it's, it's a bit harder over a podcast.
Anyway, I hope that has helped. If you are scared of doing something, then hopefully this has helped. If it hasn't, then get in touch with me. Come and speak to me. Come and join the Club. Come and work with me one-to-one. Let's work through these things. Let's not have you sat in the same position in six months, or 12 months or two years time, still making those excuses as to why you haven't done that thing.
When we could just move past it, get it done, and God knows where you could be in 12 months time. So, absolutely move past the fear. Okay, I hope you enjoyed today's episode. I will speak to you next week.