Three Steps When You're Afraid

This week I had to give a presentation at work not unlike others I’ve given throughout my career, yet I was nervous. Every time I thought about it my heart started to race and I got tense in my neck and shoulders. Public speaking is one of the leading causes for workplace fear. But I speak often so my nervousness didn’t make sense. As an executive coach I know not to turn away from fear but to bring it closer like you would a hurting child. That self-nurturing was hard in this instance. But I kept getting curious about what I was really afraid of. 

When I could stand open and vulnerable without judging myself, I realized I had a lot of personal distractions this week that made me feel anxious and irritable. Just the day before I had argued with an online bank customer service representative who refused to cancel a credit card they had sent to my home for my deceased father. I kept trying to convince him that this was the bank’s problem and should not be my problem. Typically, I would have ceased the conversation much earlier because I know not to argue with idiots. 

As I mindfully contemplated my behavior, fears and how it was showing up in my body with kindness and without judgment I realized I wasn’t appreciating myself but subliminally I was feeling less than adequate - not good enough for myself or anyone else.  

I was not afraid of failing at my presentation. I was afraid of success because if I succeeded then I would have to feel I deserved it and accept my greatness - something that is hard to welcome into your soul when you’re stuck putting yourself down.

So, I set a three-part intention that I teach my clients: 

RELEASE: I will release the fear of succeeding at this presentation. 

DESERVE: I deserve to do well. I’m prepared and competent. 

ACCEPT: I accept success and appreciate myself in this process.  

I reminded myself of this intention on my way to the presentation. Just before I spoke, I said to myself, ‘I appreciate myself in this moment.’ 

I nailed the presentation. 

Wishing you the power of self-awareness today. 

If you want more executive presence tips here’s a link to my FREE report: Success Practices for Leaders in the High Stakes Corporate World  

If you are struggling with uncertainty and feel exhausted and ineffective watch my FREE Training on Three Ways to Move to the Next Level In Your Career Right Now to 1) identify the right role for you, 2) position your transferable skills and 3) create a career portfolio that sells you before you even get an interview. If you don't know where you will be at the end of the year, you are already there. 

Your coach,

Mary Lee

 P.S. Feel free to forward this email to someone who could benefit from it. We are all walking down the same road in life looking for a hand to hold. Sometimes we must be the hand that reaches out.  

Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an executive coach and 19-year corporate CEO who helps leaders have more effective careers, happier lives and better relationships. Request a free consultation call.

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