Overcoming the Fear Factor

The number one issue that most of my clients share is fear: fear of failure, fear of rejection, and undefined fear—a sensation so strong they can’t even get to the bottom of it. For most people, stepping to the front of the room, stepping to the podium, or stepping in front of a camera for an interview triggers fear. That’s natural.

Overcoming fear so you can shine starts with changing the word you attach to what you’re feeling. The rush of adrenaline, clammy palms, elevated heart rate, shallow breathing are indicators of fear. They’re fuel. They’re the result of adrenaline pumping in your system. That fuel is there to serve you, to deliver the energy you need to connect with your audience. When you learn to think of the feeling as fuel instead of fear you can change the thoughts that follow the knot in your stomach.

Too many people feel the anxiety and run from it. They avoid the front of the room or they just get through the presentation or speech so they can get to the other side of it and feel like they survived. I want you to feel like you thrived. I want you to shine.

You will always feel some tension before a presentation, a speech, or a media interview. You should. That fuel get you up. And when you learn to trust the fuel you’ll find it helps deliver thoughts that don’t come to you at any other time than when you’re “on.”

In order to put the fuel to use, you first have to get past how you think of fear. A few years ago I had the good fortune to meet and spend time with Eric Wehinmayer, the first blind man to climb Mt. Everest. Here is a talk he gave that includes learning to face fear, over and over again, until it becomes a familiar feeling. Eric’s talk begins at 1:53 on this video. The first part of the video deals with his backstory—also a good listen.

Take a few minutes and face fear with a blind man. You’ll be amazed at how you see it differently.

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