This month we asked our staff "How did you overcome your biggest fear?". Fear is a powerful emotion, and a person's relationship to it has far-reaching implications for every area of their life. We hope these responses help you reflect on your own assessments about fear and how you behave in response to it.
As a child I discovered I had in intense, irrational fear of heights. I made a decision as a teenager and young man to face this head-on; climbing mountains, looking over the edge of tall buildings, generally embracing any opportunity to experience the fear, let it subside, and discover what is on the other side of it. I take a similar approach with anything I resist or fear in my professional life; staying in tough conversations, challenging my clients to excel, and trying things where success is not guaranteed. The initial fears never go away, but I always feel a sense of accomplishment and learn something new through the process.
Liam Mullaney, Executive Coach
One of my biggest fears is competing in front of a group of people. I have participated in all types of sports since I was in elementary school, both individual and team sports. In my thirties I decided to compete at the world level in a new sport, outrigger canoe paddling in a single canoe, something I had never done before. It was a bigger game to play and I knew that I had to show up differently- physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The journey was well worth it. By going for what I felt was a calling for me, I won Worlds in 2004. It was this journey that has helped me create the work I use to support my clients, helping them to go "all-in" for what calls to them, and to show up as their whole being in their life.
Lori Jorgenson, Vitality Coach
One of the biggest fears I have ever faced was early in my years as business owner. I needed to let go of my largest and most profitable client because the relationship was not healthy and it was impacting my team’s wellbeing, as well as my own. I woke up to the realization that no amount of money was worth that sacrifice. Letting that client go led to more significant and healthy changes for our business, I have never regretted that decision. And the best part was my final conversation with him was respectful and uplifting for us both.
Veronica Satalich, Director of Opportunities
When I was learning to partner dance someone I knew asked me to compete with him. I loved the challenge of competing, and was terrified of being in front of people. I found that I was fine until I noticed that there were people watching - and were always people watching. One of my coaches suggested that I look out above everyone’s heads which helped a bit.The thing that really shifted the dynamic for me was getting really clear on why I was competing. I knew it was a way for me to push my own level of excellence, and I kept peeling the layers of that (asking ‘why’ over and over) until I realized that in the end, it was not about me, I was in service to a bigger picture. Up-leveling my own skills was making me a better teacher, was inspiring people around me and made space for everyone to get better and up the level over all.When I got out of my ego and into service, I began to look forward to competitions and the nerves I would feel just before I stepped on the floor became an acknowledgement that what I was doing mattered. I allowed myself to step on the floor and get out of my own way.
Maren Oslac, HuPerson Project partner and Co-Founder The Soulful Leader Podcast
Early in my career life I had an extreme fear of public speaking. To the point that I actually backed out of a presentation for fear of messing up. Shortly after that incident, I decided I never wanted to have that experience again. Any time I had an invitation to speak in front of a group for the next couple of years, I took the opportunity. Yes, I made mistakes, stumbled over my words, felt awkward, etc. Over time the fear of failure began to hold less power over me. I began to imagine that everyone I was speaking to wanted me to be successful and present my topic well. I can tell you it worked! While I still get butterflies before I speak, it is from a different place and I know I can do it.
Geoff Helzer, Business Coach
Failure. Fail forward, fail fast, as quickly as possible. Prototype approach. I used to have a big fear of failure, which I believes stems from a lifelong proclivity of being a perfectionist- if it wasn't to my self-imposed standards, it wasn't a success.
Danielle Mason, Course Coordinator
What are your biggest fears? What is your relationship to them? We would love to hear from you. If you'd like a conversation with a coach to help reflect on these questions, use the contact form below and one of us will reach out to you!
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