Nicole Comis - Executive Life Coach
Public speaking. Networking. Applying for a new job. Asking for a promotion or raise. Starting a business. Sharing your feelings.
Do any of these freak you out a little? It's totally normal if they do, they're some of the most common fears. But if you take time to dig a little deeper, you'll discover that these "fears" are just symptoms of your more significant fears. You know, the shit that paralyzes you from moving forward on your BIG goals and dreams: fear of rejection, failure, shame, judgment, abandonment...
These fears are powerful! They limit you and your vision by creating blinders to what is possible. They keep you small and prevent you from achieving the things you want in life.
We all have fear. Hell, we're human. But when we acknowledge our fears and practice taking action in spite of them, these fears lose their power over us, and the inner critic inside our head begins to settle down.
Take the time to understand our fears and where they came from.
All of our fears, big or small, come from our limiting beliefs. These beliefs were developed during our childhood, typically before we were even 8 years old. Our parents, teachers, religion, culture, friends, peers, media, our circumstances…everything and everyone in our environment helped create our beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world. And as we grew older, we collected more and more evidence that these beliefs were the truth.
When you were young, think of how many times someone said, "don't talk to strangers!" Although it kept you safe as a kid, it might have also created a belief that the world is dangerous, and we can't trust people we don't know. As adults, that message might have created a fear around networking or dating.
Believe it or not, I used to be terrified of public speaking. I’m talking the pit in your stomach, sweaty palms, feeling like I'm going to throw up kinda fear! It was so bad that when I was in the mortgage business, I talked my boss into doing all of my presentations for me. The thought of standing in front of the room with dozens of eyes looking at me brought me back to my childhood when the teacher would call on me, and I didn't know the answer. That's when I developed a limiting belief that I wasn't very smart, ultimately leading to fears of rejection, judgment, and failure.
The thing is, I totally knew my shit and was one of the best in the business at the time. But our limiting beliefs have this crazy ability to mess with our heads.
My favorite definition of fear is, "an upsetting emotion caused by a real or imagined threat of danger or pain." Did you catch that? Fear is caused by a real or imagined threat of danger or pain. So, although fear can protect us from real danger, it also can get in the way because of the stories we create in our minds!
In my workshops, I share a story about a farmer who spent his life terrified of a huge monster. He was so obsessed with building walls to protect himself and was so consumed by his fear that he ended up pushing away his family and friends. It wasn't until his pain and sadness became worse than his fear that he finally decided to go face to face with the monster. And guess what? He discovered the monster was much smaller than he imagined him to be.
Shining a spotlight on your fears and limiting beliefs will allow you to take actions outside of your comfort zone...in spite of your fears.
Remember that public speaking fear I mentioned earlier? Once I created awareness of my fears and limiting beliefs and got clear on my commitments and BIG goals, I was able to take baby steps outside of my comfort zone in spite of my fear. I practiced stretching myself. I started attending more networking events so I could practice giving my elevator speech. I gave mini-presentations on my business to my leads group. I accepted positions where I was responsible for running meetings. I committed to getting up in front of a room of nearly 100 women to welcome them to the Women in Business Breakfast each month for an entire year! My confidence grew, and my fears and limiting beliefs were no longer holding me back. Now, I speak as part of my business!
I think of all the times my fears stopped me from achieving the things I wanted in my life. What are your fears preventing you from having in your life? A fulfilling career? A successful business? New clients? A loving, committed, and healthy relationship?
You get to decide if you’re going to let your fears stand in the way of you achieving your BIG goals and dreams. But if you shine a spotlight on your fears, limiting beliefs, behaviors, and survival mechanisms—the crap that's been holding you back—you can discover the courage to go after all the things you want in life!
Nicole Comis, Certified Life & Executive Coach, helps business owners and other career-driven professionals achieve their BIG career goals while integrating more balance into their lives. She partners with her clients to gain clarity on what they want their future to look like, face their fears, identify obstacles holding them back, and create a plan to help them achieve BIG, stretchy goals that are outside of their comfort zone. Her coaching practice incorporates her client's whole life, not just their career, leading to a more balanced, productive, healthy, and happy life. Nicole is a graduate and certified coach from the Accomplishment Coaching Coaches Training Program and is accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC). Nicole's high-energy, judgment-free, fun, no-BS approach helps men and women live a more balanced life with a career they love, fulfilling relationships, a healthy well-being, and killer confidence!