I often ask under earners, “When’s the last time you did something you were scared to do?” They’d scratch their heads, seemingly stumped.
When I ask high earners, they laugh and say, “All the time. It’s a way of life.”
Ages ago, after one of those conversations, I pulled out a piece of paper and wrote, in red crayon: Do What You Fear. That’s How You Succeed. It still sits, framed, on my desk today.
Though Joseph Campbell put it far more eloquently: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
Admittedly, entering the Cave of Fear is…well…terrifying…for everyone. I have yet to meet a successful woman who hasn’t struggled with fear and self-doubt.
But—here’s the key—they didn’t let the fear stop them. Once I decided it wouldn’t stop me either, my income skyrocketed. But it wasn’t easy. It never is.
Let me suggest 4 techniques I use to significantly calm my fears.
“Keep taking deep breaths,” I instruct clients as they’re dipping their toes into unfamiliar waters. Deep breathing (and yawning) reduces stress, sends oxygen to the brain, activates the calming parasympathetic nervous system and increases dopamine (a neurotransmitter that effects pleasure and motivation). As your anxiety wanes, you’ll find your courage increases.
2. Positive Self Talk.
Words are powerful. They shape your reality. When in the throes of fear, speak to yourself as if you’re a loving parent or an encouraging friend, saying things like, ‘You can do this. You’ll be great.’ And after you take action, congratulate yourself, regardless of the results: ‘You did it. You were very brave. I’m so proud of you.’
3. Clarity of Purpose
A purpose can be very ambitious (create world peace) or seemingly trivial (spread joy). What matters is that you have a clear vision that nourishes your Soul and enriches your life. A strong sense of purpose generates an unrelenting persistence in a way that money alone never could. No matter how frightening, a stirring vision turns, ‘I want to’ into ‘I HAVE to.’
4. Enter the Cave
Though it feels counterintuitive, acting in spite of fear will calm your nerves as you fail to detect any signs of danger, allowing the logical brain to leap back into operation, helping you make healthier decisions. Avoidance, on the other hand, always activates the Limbic System’s fear seeking sensor, heightening anxiety.
I’d love to know if any of these techniques help you…or if you have any tips to add. Leave me a comment below.