Is fear getting in the way of you hitting your goals? This week on Systems Made Simple™, business systems expert Courtney Elmer chats with Natalie Viglione about overcoming fear.
The truth is, fear will always be there. But the good news is that conquering fear isn't as hard as you might think. You can learn how to overcome fear so that it no longer has power over you.
In today’s episode, I’m inviting you to listen in on a raw, real, and powerful conversation I had with two friends of mine — Natalie Viglione and Diane McDermott — about conquering fear. We talk about how to overcome fear so you can finally experience what it’s to have true freedom and experience more growth in your business.
BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL LEARN:
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Courtney Elmer 0:00
You're listening to the Systems Made Simple™ podcast, Episode 41. Do you know what causes the problems and prevents the results that most people want? Inside today's episode, I'm letting you listen in on a recorded conversation I had recently with two friends to show you how to overcome fear — the most common challenge that every entrepreneur faces — so that it no longer prevents you from doing the important work that you're here to do. That's coming up next. Stay tuned.
Fear is something that we all experience. It can make you do all sorts of crazy things, or it can cause you to do nothing at all. Fear both causes the majority of the problems you experience in your life and prevents you from getting the results you want, which is why it's so important to your growth to learn how to overcome fear effectively. What's tricky about knowing how to overcome fear, is that it doesn't always show up as fear. Most of the time it shows up as a mask: procrastination, perfectionism, overthinking, overworking, stress, overwhelm, etc. Saying you're not good with technology can be a way that fear masks itself and prevents you from taking the necessary action to get the result you want. It also shows up in your excuses. Not having enough time, enough money, enough experience. When you choose to use these as an excuse for why you haven't been able to get the results you want, it's usually linked to not knowing how to overcome fear.
Few know how to overcome fear effectively. Have you ever stopped to consider what fear is? It's simply an emotional state that you feel in the present moment, based on a belief you hold about an unwanted future. In other words, it's a feeling you feel because of a belief you believe.
What if knowing how to overcome fear was simply about knowing how to remove the belief that's causing the fear? What if conquering fear was as simple as identifying the deeper, Universal fear that it stems from? Imagine: what would become possible for you in your business and in your life if fear didn't get in the way of you and your dreams? How much more energy would you feel and how much more joy would you experience if you weren't constantly spinning your wheels trying to figure out how to conquer fear? If instead you could take that power back and use it to do the important work you've been put on this earth to do?
Fear will always be there. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is lying to themselves and to you. But it can feel less fear-full. You can reach a point where it no longer controls you, and inside of today's conversation with Natalie and Diane, you're going to get a glimpse at what conquering fear looks and feels like. Let's roll that tape.
Courtney Elmer 11:56
One of the things a lot of people don't realize is that the habit of fear drives your behavior and causes a lot of unnecessary stress and tension. Knowing how to overcome fear is as simple as forming a new habit: the habit of overcoming fear. Can you remember a time in your life that you felt an overwhelming sense of fear and you struggled to know how to overcome fear? What specifically was it that was causing you to conquer fear?
Diane McDermott 10:45
I'll go first. I am joyfully divorced, and I'm happily single, currently. The very first date that I went on after my divorce, I wouldn't say it was a panic attack. All my stories were holding me back from showing up for a new experience in my life, and the experience of choosing intentionally to move through and beyond those internal mental stories was powerful for me, because it showed me that I could do it - I could conquer fear. It showed me that I could choose to show up, and that I could choose to take care of myself. The intense fear leading up to the event was anticipatory fear. Once I was there, my hands were shaking, but then I settled in. Once I was physically present, and in the actual experience, I was fine. It proved to me that there are men in the world that are not my ex-husband, and I can choose to make my own decisions for my benefit. The more I practiced conquering fear, the easier it got. That very first time going on a date after my divorce helped me open myself up to other possibilities that I previously had been unwilling to consider. And learning how to overcome fear by leaning into it rather than away from it, was a huge lesson for me.
Courtney Elmer 13:24
We can all relate to what you said about anticipatory fear. It's always worse in our mind than the actual experience of whatever the thing is, isn't it? Whether it's stepping on stage, hosting your first webinar, going on a date with someone new, figuring out how to overcome fear often feels harder in your mind than it is in real life, doesn't it? Natalie, what about you?
Natalie Viglione 13:53
When we left New York City, I had to reestablish myself and my business in a new region I didn't understand. I didn't strategize about it very much, so I found myself asking the wrong people for help. I've lost a lot of time trying to bring people into my business to help them more than me, and realized I was pushing myself to the back of the business. It was like I kept disappearing from my business, and when I realized it it was a huge wake up call. I realized I was afraid to push myself to the top of the chain again because I didn't want to be the Natalie show. So for me, conquering fear was to first recognize this and second, embrace the beauty of being who I am. It was huge for me and since then I've learned how to overcome this fear by embracing who I am.
Courtney Elmer 16:49
Isn't it interesting how our culture tells us to fight the fear and do it anyway. But when you try to push those feelings of fear away as a strategy for conquering fear, it makes it harder to work through the fear. Conquering fear gets harder, because you're continually spending energy pushing it away, rather than leaning in and paying to what you need to learn in order to learn how to overcome fear.
Turning toward fear is a skill for conquering fear that few people know how to do, because it's deeply uncomfortable. However, on the flip side, whenever you don't take a look at what you fear, you're never conquer fear, because you're spending all your energy trying to avoid feeling it.
Courtney Elmer 18:32
Fear is part of the human experience. If your strategy for conquering fear is to push it away and avoid it, you create more problems. It denies your sense of humaneness to try to avoid it, or not acknowledge that exists. Conquering fear won't make you fear-less. There's no such thing. It will always be there. So I love the new strategy you shared for conquering fear: learn how to overcome fear by shifting out of it, let it move through you as you move through it. What are some tangible ways to navigate through the emotion?
Diane McDermott 19:57
Well, I love Courtney, one of the questions that you had shared during the Retreat: the quality of the questions that we ask ourselves. Asking, "What can I do in this moment?" Even if that's something super small, what can I do? What am I capable of doing right now? Even just opening up to the possibility of that question, and what that might mean. Knowing how to overcome fear starts with allowing yourself to take whatever feels the next right step for yourself in navigating through what you're feeling.
Courtney Elmer 20:38
So good. Part of learning how to overcome fear is shifting from the negative to the positive, shifting your energy. Asking that question is such a concrete way to do that. I'll talk about this later in the episode, so make sure you're listening for this, because I've put together a list of five other questions that you can download and ask yourself to make conquering fear easier.
Natalie Viglione 21:16
Yes! I've been a yoga and meditation enthusiast for almost 17 years. I realized: to conquer fear, I need to understand who I am. To truly conquer fear, you must understand the power of your mind, and to understand your power, period, and to know what you're capable of. When you can tap into your intelligence and your intuition, which is only available through your heart space, all you need to do then is see it, recognize it, and say: all right, I need to guide myself to the other side. Using that intelligence is so powerful, because it's not tapped into ego, or programming (i.e., your habits). Isn't that what sometimes scares us the most is our power, and our light? What if knowing how to overcome fear, and conquering fear for good, was as simple as turning toward our light?
Courtney Elmer 24:00
Totally. We get so many messages coming from our culture and leaders who say, "do this, do that." You get bogged down in do-ing as opposed to tapping into the intuition and intelligence that you already have. That is where you cultivate true courage. That's when knowing how to overcome fear or all this talk about conquering fear becomes a non-issue. Yes, we'll feel it. Yes, it's going to be there. Yes, it's going to come up. But you can start to look at it as a guidepost on your journey, and reach a place where conquering fear is as simple as acknowledging it: "Oh, I'm feeling fear. Okay. What is that telling me? What is that teaching me?" Conquering fear is about being brave enough to ask those questions.
Natalie Viglione 25:00
When I work with clients, a big piece of what we work on is learning how to overcome the fear of showing up. Often what I see when I see people fail, is that if you start looking for threads and the commonalities of why you can't show up for yourself, it's because you're just filling your calendar with all this crap. Show up for yourself first, then build the rest in. But we're afraid to sit with ourselves. But that's such an important part of conquering fear.
Diane McDermott 27:29
Very true. We're so used to having like the busy-ness, and the distractions and the go-go-go and the do-do-do to distract us from feeling anything in our lives. Now that we're forced to slow down and take a look and pay attention it brings all of this up. That's a huge part learning how to overcome fear: by first, showing up for yourself. When we can take our power back by saying, "I need to take care of, and focus on, and listen to myself and my needs," instead of drowning out that inner voice. It's amazing how much more free you feel, in the course of your everyday life. It doesn't take these big, huge shifts. It's a journey and it does happen over time. It's a lot of little things every day consistently. And it's big stuff, too. Taking big leaps, It's not being selfish.
Courtney Elmer 29:43
Right? I'm so glad you mentioned that, especially for those listening who are feeling like, "If I do that, if I say yes to myself that's selfish." I get it. I've been there. I've had to learn how to overcome fear of what others will think of me. Because I believe it's less selfish for me to take care of myself so that I can show up in the way that the other people in my life need me. It's more selfish to ignore what the voice that says, "rest, get that workout in, or go have lunch or dinner with a girlfriend of yours." Saying yes to ourselves in those little ways allows us to live a more integrated, aligned, vibrant, free life. Why wouldn't you do that?
Courtney Elmer 30:45
The final question that I'll ask you both: What's your definition of success?
Diane McDermott 31:11
One of the biggest takeaways that I've gotten from being connected with you is my personal mission statement, which is to communicate and engage and inspire joyful integration with humanity. That is my definition of success. So if what I'm doing on any given day, our moment is aligned with that, then that's a success to me.
Courtney Elmer 31:59
Natalie Viglione 32:04
I have fully realized that my purpose is to empower and bring a softness to the world through clarity. This comes through using gifts that I've been given, that I've never fully embraced. True success for me is when I fully have embraced my power. So I'm discovering how to overcome fear by stepping into my power. I'm creating my success as I go.
Courtney Elmer 33:31
It's so amazing to hear the different definitions of success. Only you can define it. If you haven't defined what success looks and feels like for you, and how you will know when you achieve that success? Thanks for being here for talking this through and for sharing so openly. As you both talked about so well and spoke about so well, learning how to overcome fear is about learning how to navigate through it. Conquering fear starts with tuning in.
How powerful was that? I hope you listened intentionally and picked up these valuable gold nuggets that Natalie and Diane shared about how to overcome fear. So now I want you to ask yourself this question. Imagine you had 10 times the confidence and you know how to overcome fear. What's the scariest thing you would do differently in your business?
I have five more questions for you, that you can ask yourself right now to help you learn how to overcome fear faster and more effectively, so you can experience the true freedom that's waiting for you on the other side. If you want to know what these five questions are that you can start asking yourself right now to conquer fear, I'll email them to you. All you have to do is go to courtneyelmer.com/conquerfear and enter your info so I know where to send them. Learning how to overcome fear will be much easier when you have these questions in hand to ask yourself anytime you feel that stress, anxiety, or overwhelm start to creep in.
Coming up next week on the show, we're talking about the two things that successful entrepreneurs do every day and why you need to make sure you're doing these two things daily as well so that you can experience more income, have more influence and create a greater impact with the work you're doing. So make sure you take a screenshot if you're listening right now, share it to your Instagram stories and join me right back here next week on the Systems Made Simple™ podcast. In the meantime, go live your EffortLESS Life®.