It can even be embarrassing.
It takes tenacity to admit when we are afraid. We fear it might may result in people thinking less of us and often makes us feel less about ourselves. The way most of us tackle fear is to ignore it. However, that approach only allows fear to fester and consume us. The only way to conquer fear is to attack it head on.
” It’s okay to be nervous. Instead of fighting that anxiety, dance with it. Welcome it. Relish it. It’s a sign you’re on to something. “Oh good, here comes that itch!” This is important after all. When we welcome a feeling like this, when we embrace it and actually look forward to it, the feeling doesn’t get louder and more debilitating. It softens, softens to the point where we can work with it. Use your fear like fuel.” – Seth Godin
Recently, I was the lead presenter for a project at a fundraiser called Lion’s Den. The stakes were high! Eleven teams presented to a panel of five judges who were each allocating $100,000 among the projects. There was also an audience of donors. I knew it would be very competitive and intimidating! There was some fear going into this event which left me which two choices: let the fear take over, or learn how to use that fear as fuel.
Here are five ways to use fear as fuel:
1. Admit fear and face it head on. This can be the most difficult step. Facing fear and talking about it breaks the hold it has on you. Fear can be a positive motivator when used correctly.
2. Get feedback. Connect with a friend, coach, co-worker or even an industry professional and ask for their input on the project you are working on.
3. Practice Practice Practice. Realize that as ready as you might feel, another round of rehearsal will only prepare you more. Make sure that on the day of the event you know exactly what you’re doing.
4. Be authentic. Being prepared does not mean you are so polished that you lose what makes you real. When you present yourself as human in a professional way, people will pay attention.
5. Be a storyteller. People love stories. Tell your stories concisely and make a point. Your audience will remember the stories. Stories disarm people – including you!
Facing fear and allowing it to be a positive influence takes courage. It’s incredibly rewarding to know you can conquer the things that could hinder or suppress you. I faced my fear, planned carefully and as a result the project we presented was a success! Fear can be a positive motivator when used correctly.