I’m sure we’ve all been there – and perhaps you are now; procrastinating like hell, even when you know it might be a good thing to create social media posts or recording a video for your business. But the thing is, when you’re procrastinating, I’m pretty sure you’re afraid.
Because people might be judging. Because family or friends might be thinking: ‘Who does she think she is?’. Or because you’re nowhere near your competitor who’s nailing her social media presence like a boss.
I hear you. But that fear won’t get you anywhere. Only recently, I’ve worked on one of my major fears. I’ve got a massive fear of heights. It’s a childhood trauma that started in gymnastics class when I was 10, when we had to climb the ropes. Ever since then, I’ve been terrified of heights. Rollercoasters? No thanks. Skiing? No thanks.
In 2018, I decided to start dealing with that fear and with a dear friend, I climbed a trail at 8 metres above the ground. I was sick to the stomach; my hands and knees were shaking the whole time. Nevertheless, we finished the trail, feeling really good about ourselves. The one thing I learned about this, was that my own thoughts were holding me back. The only thought I had in my mind, was; “I can’t do this”. But guess what, it turned out that I could! And isn’t that the best metaphor for life and business in general?
This week, I’ve started a Mastermind group with the amazing Lisa Johnson and Jade Jemma, and 13 other wonderful ladies, who are ready to grow their businesses and stretch themselves by doing so. Our Mastermind group started in in Longleat Forest in the UK. One of the first things we did, was going on an aerial adventure together for team building and overcoming fears; climbing trees, following a trail varying from a 3 metres to 12 metres above the ground. No need to say that I was bloody nervous about this part of the program and I wasn’t the only one. Naturally, we made it all.
Not only did we have an exciting afternoon bonding as a team, this experience gave us all a few brilliant lessons. I will take these lessons with me for the rest of my business and personal life, and you can benefit from them too. These are the five things that you can do in order to step up and be seen;
1) Surround yourself with people who cheer you on
We cheered each other on, every scary step forward was celebrated and every milestone (reaching the next obstacle on the trail) was greeted by a “Woo hoo, you made it!”.
THIS is what we all need in our lives. We need people who encourage us, who motivate us, who are willing to cheer for us. By lifting each other up, we rise ourselves. Find the right people on your wavelength, connect, share and exchange, and cheer each other on like your life depends on it.
2) Follow a person who has done it already
Watching someone who had completed one part of the trail, it seemed easier to do it ourselves, like: if she can do it, so can I. Sometimes in business, you may think you are the first to go in a certain direction. You’re not. There’s always been someone before you who you could learn from. Reach out, watch, learn and grow!
3) Call bullshit on your own limiting beliefs
Our brain is playing some tricks on us sometimes. For a good reason, because our brain wants to keep us safe and that’s what keeps us alive. From our brain’s perspective, completing a trail this high above the ground is not a safe thing to do. You could fall and even die, hence the fear. But in this case, we were all geared up with the utmost safety, so my rational brain knew that I was safe. But my lizard brain, where my primitive instincts are based, kept telling me; “This is unsafe, you can’t do this!” It took me a lot of effort to call bullshit on this limiting belief. I thanked my lizard brain for trying to keep me safe and I went up there anyway.
Does any of this sound familiar in a business context? Perhaps you’re thinking that you may think you’ll never be able to be visible in this crowded world we call the world wide web. Or perhaps you’re too shy to speak up, let alone record a video about your business. Perhaps you’re suffering from comparisonitis, comparing yourself to others who are way further along the road than you and as a result, you’re paralyzed and not doing a thing.
Whenever you’re feeling this, I want you to think again, I want you to thank you brain for trying to keep you safe, and just start doing it. Showing up online, recording that video, be seen trying to build your business; it won’t kill you. Feel that fear, and do it anyway.
4) Be proud of your progress
When I did the trail with my friend in 2018, I was shaking and trembling the whole time. This time, I wasn’t trembling. I wasn’t confident either, but it was a lot better compared to the first time I did this. Once I had finished, I realized that I had come a long way trying to beat this fear of heights. I felt incredibly proud of myself of facing that fear again, proving myself that I could do this.
As business owners, we tend to forget quite easily where we were last year in terms of progress. It’s really important to look back and feel that pride every now and again. It helps us to move forward. Where were you 1 year ago, and where are you now? Celebrate that progress and move on, making more progress as you go along!
5) Flick the Fuck It switch and trust your gear
We had 3 parts of the trail that we had to zipline across to the next obstacle. In order to do so, we had to sit down on the platform, hang on to our gear and just hop off, ziplining down to the next platform.
When I sat down for the first time, my heart was racing, my palms got sweaty, I looked down, feeling really frightened (NEVER look down!) and I felt sick to my stomach. I just didn’t want to jump off that platform. The fear had taken over my body. Finally, I was true to my motto and said ‘Fuck it, let’s do this’ and jumped. Letting go of all control, taking that leap of faith and trusting my gear was a massive step for me. But you know what? As soon as I jumped off that platform, the fear transformed into a feeling of ‘WOW, this feels really good!’.
Can you relate to this? When you’re thinking of that scary thing you know you need to do, but you’re procrastinating the hell out of it? And it remains on your To Do list for weeks and weeks on end? You just continue to tweak and change, not finishing anything or getting things out there. I hear you. The thing is, we can spend ages overthinking everything; what if this, what if that, what is the best way, etc.
Flicking that Fuck It switch, taking that leap of faith and trusting your gear is something that will give you the best feeling ever. It’s scary as hell, yes. But it’s the only way forward!
In the video below, the amazing videographer Sandra Blanco captured my journey of flicking my own Fuck It switch and I’m so grateful that she did! Thank you Lisa Johnson and Jade Jemma for organizing this anti-retreat and this aerial experience. It has been unforgettable!