Shift FEAR into Forward Gear

I started my coaching career helping people overcome their fears.  My book, The High Diving Board, and my audio program, Ten Steps To Overcoming Your Fears, are based on the premise that when we’re not where we want to be in our careers or lives, it’s because we respond to our fears by backing away from whatever has caused them.  We tell ourselves, “It’s not okay; back away.”

Unfortunately, growing any business requires finding a better response to our fears.  “It’s okay to be afraid,” I tell my clients and readers, “But if this is your dream, you have to do it any way.”  You often can’t stop the fear, but you can change your reaction to it.

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Nothing holds professionals and entrepreneurs back from growing their businesses or practices more than fear—fear of asking a client if they want to use our services…fear of asking for a testimonial or referral…fear of appearing foolish or odd when we speak in public, when we write, or when we’re simply making conversation in a networking situation…and fear of being rebuffed or rejected when we call someone on the phone.

So, we tell ourselves we hate marketing and selling our services; that these activities are difficult, manipulative, and sleazy.  We’re forced by financial pressures into doing marketing and sales activities reluctantly and uncomfortably, and our accompanying negative attitude—our awkwardness and discomfort—make the people we communicate with equally uncomfortable.  That, in turn, causes them to back away.  It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

To change this mindset, you need to start seeing the marketing and sale of your services—activities that attract clients—for what they are: the sharing of information about the best person available to fill a need with the people who have that need.  In coaching, we call this a paradigm shift.  Here are ideas that may help:

  1. You’re the best at doing what you do.  If not, you’re working at becoming the best.  You’ll try harder and care more than anyone else.
  2. People who need the services you provide must get them from somewhere.  If they don’t know you and what you can do—if you’re not communicating with them—they’ll get those services from someone else.
  3. Attracting clients is nothing more than making sure they make the right choice.

Post these 3 points above your desk and remind yourself of them often.  By remembering how your actions serve, alter your reaction to your fear of putting yourself out there.  Then, keep REACHING…

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