For the last 12 months, I had been putting off shooting videos for my business. I kept telling myself "next month, do it next month" and then another couple of months would have passed. Or I would find something else in my business to priorities and there was even a time when I told myself not now your highlights need doing and you have a spot coming up on your face! There was always a reason not to. Then I realised what I was doing, I was procrastinating. When we find ourselves procrastinating it will tend to be due to either not knowing how to do something or because of a fear. I was scared, the fear was kicking in and I saw that what I needed was to coach myself out of this situation.
Here are the 3 steps I took to overcome my fear and you can adapt these to any situation when your fears are getting in the way of you taking action.
Step 1 – Own it! To really deal with our fears we have to acknowledge them and understand what is fueling those fears. Grab a piece of paper and write down what is the source of your fear, be honest with yourself no one else has to see this, but by writing it down you truly are owning it.
There were two main sources to my fears. Firstly I recognized that I was putting off videoing because I didn’t like the look of myself, I struggled to pose in photographs, I am always the one pulling the funny face (see below) as I don’t know how to smile in front of the camera so how on earth was I going to manage with a video! And then there is the voice, I sound so squeaky and every other word is an "um" or a "so" and I am well known amongst friends and family for using a word in the wrong context. Additionally, I was also worried that no one would watch my videos. What if my content wasn’t interesting enough or good enough and that the only comments I got were ones of criticism.
Step 2 - Rightsize them. Put those fears into perspective. Sometimes there is no substance to our fears, we are fearful of something that hasn’t even happened yet or is unlikely to. Other times we need to realise what this fear is costing us by not dealing with it. Is the cost of not doing it bigger than the pain of doing it.
For example, do people really care if I have a spot on my face or my roots need doing? In today’s social media culture we see all sorts of people posting videos, only the other day was I watching someone with curlers in her hair. I didn’t think anything less of her for it, in fact, it was the opposite I admired her and warmed to her because of it. The fear of what I look and sound like is totally irrelevant nobody is watching them!
The only way I will know if people do like my videos and the content is to be vulnerable and put them out there. The reason I moved into coaching was that I wanted to add value to people’s lives, I wanted my clients to be able to live a happier and fuller life. According to studies, the average viewer remembers 95% of a message when it is watched, whereas only 10% when read. Therefore, I am not serving my clients to the best of my abilities. If I don’t offer videos then I am restricting the ability for my clients to grow and will have less success in attracting prospective clients. The cost of not dealing with these fears is that I am not serving my clients to the best of my abilities and I am slowing down the growth of my business and my earnings potential. Ok, I will feel uncomfortable and embarrassed with the first few videos I share and I may get some negative feedback but this pain pales when compared with the impact of not making videos.
Your turn. Now you know the source of your fears, gain perspective and ask yourself:
- How big a deal are your fears?
- What’s the likelihood of your fears becoming reality and if it does so what?
- What is it costing you to not deal with your fears and is this cost bigger than the uncomfortableness you will experience as your work through this challenge? If the costs of working through the fear is bigger than the pain of not taking action then maybe this is not the time to deal with it.
Step 3 – Break it down. When faced with actions that will push us outside our comfort zone, it helps to break them down, take small steps. In my case, I agreed with my mentor that over the course of a week I would make a video every day. I didn’t need to post them, although that was ideal, first, it was about getting comfortable with the technical components. Secondly, when I did post them for the first three days I posted them in private Facebook groups where the audience was small and supportive.
Fears are normal, but not fact. They are just our way of protecting our self against a new situation. If we want to grow and lead fuller lives then we will need to work through our fears. Next time you need to work through a fear apply these three steps.
- Own your fear - understand the source
- Right size it - has it got substance and what is your fear costing you
- Break it down - take small steps to gain confidence
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