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Overcoming the Fear of Being Heard

Hipster in the LibraryBy Karly Nimmo.

In my work with hundreds of podcasters, and potential podcasters (this also applies to bloggers, entrepreneurs, small business owners and anyone putting themselves out there) I see one key thing get in the way over and over again…

Our good old mate, FEAR.

Let’s talk about fear, because it has the capability to paralyse and stop the vast majority from ever leaving the discomfort of their comfort zone.  And, that seems such a shame.  I see so many amazing people, with incredible messages, products and services to share, who are stuck in fear.

Fear shows up in a number of ways and in varying parts of our journey.  When you’re putting yourself out there in a bigger way, there seems to be a few regulars sitting at the bar, like:

  • fear of rejection (by far the biggest)
  • fear of failure and/or success
  • fear of getting it ‘wrong’
  • fear of being exposed as a fraud (good old imposter syndrome)
  • fear that my friends and family won’t get it
  • fear that no one will listen
  • fear that it’s/I am not enough

So, here’s my top 8 tips to move through fear.

Tip one: identify the fear.  

What is it?  Name it.  Shine a light on it.  Say it out loud.

I’m afraid of (insert reason here).

Tip two:  Does the best possible outcome, outweigh the worst?

Best possible outcome?

You positively impact someone’s day/wee/month/year/life.

Worst case scenario?

Bruised ego.  (and I’ve experience enough bruises to know one thing for sure… they heal)

Tip 3:  It’s not about you.

Yeah… that old chestnut.  As humans we have this ability to make everything about us.  Namely, what people might think of us.  And that alone is enough to paralyse us from moving forward.  Focussing on service and shifting that focus from you (and all the things that could potentially go wrong), to those who you can serve, really helps move through the fear.

My go to mantra:  When nervous, focus on service.

Tip 4:  Practice makes perfect (err, practice makes better)

Let’s be real.  Most of the time, when we start something new, we suck at it.  Big time.  And the only way to get better is practice.

Moving through fear is like a muscle.  If you want to build it, keep working on it.  Remember the first time you’ve tried anything new and scary?  We build it up to be something really BIG.  Then we do it, and it might not be perfect, but we realise we can do it.  So we do it again… and again… and again… then it becomes something we are comfortable with…. and if we practice enough, we can become a master at it.

Whether it’s golf, crotchet, growing tomatoes, or doing live webinars, the only way you are going to improve is to keep trying.  Keep showing up – despite the fear.

Tip 5:  Drop perfection for experimentation. 

Drop perfection.  It serves no one.  And replace it with a good dose of experimentation.  Instead of placing all this crazy pressure on yourself to have things go perfectly, reframe things as an experiment.  Test.  Measure.  Review.  Test.  Measure.  Review.  Framing things as an experiment lightens the load and lessens attachment to outcome.

Tip 6:  What you’re afraid of has already happened.  

Yep.  The rejection you’re trying to avoid?  It’s already happened.  That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again, but if it does, all is well; you’ve experienced it before and you survived.  You can do it again.

Tip 7:  What others think of you is not of your business.

Easy to say, hard to live by… but oh, so true.  What others think of you comes from their experience and beliefs and their opinion of you, and anything you say, is ALWAYS going to be skewed by this.

Tip 8:  You can’t please everyone, so you might as well please yourself. 

Enough said.  You’re always going to piss someone off.  Might as well be doing it for a good cause.

Fear is always going to be present, my friend.  Always.  It’s part of our make up as human beings.  A reminder of our mortality.  A way to protect ourselves from harm.  It stems from our vulnerability as cave men and women… when we were prey to wild animals.

And while there are many people out there who behave like wild animals, trying to rip others to shreds, the truth is they only have the power you allow them to have.  Hiding away in your cave because someone might have something negative to say about you serves no one.

Take a few deep breaths, puff that chest out, focus on those who need to hear what you have to say… and hit record.

The world will thank you for it.

Karly Nimmo is all about about helping people find their voice, and giving them the tools and platform to get it out there.  She’s a passionate podcaster, teacher and mentor atRadcasters Podcasting S’cool.

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