by Carey-Lee Dixon
In less than a month both my advisor and a close associate said to me, “Carey, it’s time you start putting yourself out there.” Leverage your network they say. Harness the power of social media. I questioned, “But am I not doing that?” I was, but not enough. Not to the extent I know I truly could.
Growing up I was never the most confident gal around town. I have had many moments of self-doubt. Whether it was second-guessing myself or thinking, I didn’t match up. But believing in my dreams and taking the step to achieving them has reminded me that allowing fear to take full control of my life will stifle my growth.
There are two (2) things that I have found, that I have allowed to hold me back, the fear of asking for help and being in the public eye (visible). Both of which can hold anyone back. And both having a lot to do with the fear of failure. That type of fear cripples and prevents us from making the leap that could take us to the next level.
Having realised the two things that are bound to cripple me if I don’t push through the fear, I have made an effort to be more COURAGEOUS. Being courageous is about feeling the fear but what needs to be done anyway. It’s about embracing fears and tackling them head-on. It’s about being more powerful and confident, by taking on new challenges. It’s about taking that risk of either failing and learning from my mistakes or deciding to sit back and allow life to pass me by. In La la Anthony’s, The Power Playbook: Rules for Independence, Money and Success, she shares,“Power is the result of that act. When you face your fears and plow through them in spite of being afraid, what happens on the other side is that you gain power. You build your power muscle every time you do something you were afraid to do. And before you know it, your fear will be replaced with a source of power that you will be able to tap into any time you need it.”
So, how do I push through the two things that hold me back and get what needs to be done while building my power muscle?
1. TAKE ON NEW CHALLENGES
Leave the known for the unknown. What I have found is that taking on new challenges is a great way to build your power muscle. It’s taking that chance without knowing what the outcome will be. For instance, I didn’t like public speaking engagements. However, I have started to challenge myself to do it more. Taking on the challenge of public speaking has not only pushed me to be better at speaking but has helped me with being more visible and has helped to boost my confidence.
Taking on new challenges isn’t only a great way to learn how to deal with the unknown and failures, it pushes you acquire new things and to be more equipped for handling difficult situations. One of the ways I have started to challenge myself is by embracing my weaknesses and working on being better at them by taking on projects that will help me to build on my weak areas.
2. ASK FOR HELP
One of the greatest lessons I have learned is asking for help. I have had some of my most significant accomplishments because I asked for help. And I have also had some of my worst failures because I was fearful of asking for help. There is this little called ‘pride’ that has caused us fail when we really could have won.
One of the main things that often limits many of us (including me) from asking for help, is the fear of hearing, no. No one likes being rejected. I sure don’t … but it’s all part of the process. We don’t want to be rejected or being disappointed and so, instead of asking for help, we struggle through our situations without seeking help. Can I tell you, we all know when we need help, our gut tells us. For instance, when For Women to Women started growing, I decided to get help to figure some things out and to get the work done because I actually knew I couldn’t do it alone. Also, when I wanted to get some things done on my previous personal website, I reached out to Kat, who redesigned my personal site penny free (she's now someone I work with closely to get things done). Before then, for months, I tried doing things on my own, thinking I am a superwoman. I was juggling my 9-5, growing my For Women to Women and getting my personal site together. But it didn’t work in my favour. I only ended up being burned out and tired. Now, I ask for help when I want it. I might take a little time for me to ask because I am still learning the art of asking for help, but I still ask.
Often times, I have heard no or receive a response when I reach out for help. Either way, it pushes me to come back stronger. It pushes me to learn from my mistakes and to keep pushing. There are some things we can do on our own and win. But then there are some things we can do our own and fail miserably at if we don’t ask for help, or we could ask for all the help we want and win big time.
3. CHANGE THE WAY THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT SETBACKS
We will always be fearful of something. But allowing fear to take control of your life, it can cripple you. And it is often the one thing that holds most of us back in our life.
I have shared many times before that I don’t like being in the public eye because I am the behind the scenes kind-of-girl. But one of the reasons I have found that I preferred to stay behind closed doors, is the fear of failing and how I viewed setbacks. One of the setbacks/failures being – how people will respond to me and what I have to share or that I might mess up. But all this has to do with how we sometimes view setbacks.
Setbacks are never meant to break us. But only opens that doors to help us learn and grow from evaluated mistakes. There will always be a bump in the road, we can either mull over it or learn from our mistakes and keep going.
4. REMIND YOURSELF OF YOUR WHY
Reminding yourself of how bad you want something or why you want it is always a great way to challenge yourself to be more courageous to getting things done. I am pretty sure you have heard this saying, one too many times, “Let your why drive you.” That’s because, when you know what you want and why you want it, nothing will stop you from going for it.
I can’t tell you how many times, knowing why I wanted something pushed me to get things done. Or how not reminding myself why I want something and how bad I want something hindered me from making that next step.
5. CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT YOURSELF
Allowing fear to take control of our lives is allowing fear to stop us from experiencing new things. How often have you limited yourself because you think you cannot do it, whether you thought you were not good enough or because you don’t match up. I have, so many times. And it’s a sure way of killing your greatness. Allowing “our perception of our powerlessness, insecurities, and weaknesses, often get in the way of learning something or growing” – La La Anthony.
But I have found that one of the things that help me to push through my fears, is believing I can do it!
Our mind is such a powerful tool, it can either build us or break us, the choice is always ours. One of the ways I strengthen my mind and change the way I conquer my fears, telling myself that I am a winner no matter what and that I have nothing to lose. Reminding yourself of positive affirmations is a great way to power through any situation.
As Jen Sincero shared, “the ones who kick ass are the ones who can see themselves kicking ass.”
Again, “Keep your thoughts directed at your goal, do everything that you DO know how to do to make it happen, decide with unwavering determination that it will happen, and be on the lookout for the opportunity.“
6. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Being in the right circle is one of most powerful things you can ever do in your entire life. As my best friend in my head (Jen Sincero, who is such a bad-ass) shared, “Being around inspired, visionary, enthusiastic people who are living their truths is one of the fastest ways to massively transform your life.” No seriously! Who you hang with can help you to actually win at life.
Also, having someone believes in you and is constantly pushing you to be better is a great person to have in your life, ALWAYS. Because what some of us fail to realize is that sometimes it takes the people around us to remind us that “it’s not that you are inadequate but that you are powerful beyond measure.”
Powering through your fears won't be easiest. I didn’t say that because I am over here learning how to make it happen. But what I have shared are things that I have found to work for me.
All the times I have stepped outside my comfort zone, I have learned, how I can be better, what I can do differently and the power I have to help people. Pushing through the fear isn’t the easiest, but it’s worth it. It’s putting a bet on yourself, believing you can do it by stepping out there.
You will never know how you can IMPACT someone’s life unless you step outside the box you have created for yourself. Often, it’s not that others are holding us from shining, we hold ourselves back when we create boxes around our lives and limit ourselves.
Orginally publised September 2015