Fear Archives - Kara Lambert

Category Archives for "Fear"

6 tips to build self confidence for small business owners

6 tips to build self confidence for small business owners

“Kara, I just need more self-confidence”, “I need to get out of my own way”, “I need to stop holding myself back”. It’s generally what our conversations come down to, no matter what we start with. Generally, it starts with wanting to learn how to promote their small business on social media, then after a little while, the truth comes up. It’s really a lack of self-confidence that is stopping them progressing.

How can a lack of self-confidence show up?

Procrastination

Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can put off until next week. Amiright? You suddenly need to tidy your desk, do some washing, check your emails or social media. Anything. Anything rather than what you’re meant to be doing.

Finding a dozen different things to do rather than doing the one thing that needs doing is a common symptom of many things, including a lack of self-confidence.

Procrastination can also look like planning and perfectionism, but deep down these can both hide a lack of self-confidence.

I can honestly say that this article has taken me three-times longer to write than any other and the word count is the same. I’ve not gone off to do research, but boy have I procrastinated – so much so that I’ve deleted Facebook from my browser tabs.

Questioning or second-guessing

tips to build self confidence Michelle Obama quoteI know my self-confidence was beaten by a number of people questioning my ability. It got to the point that I questioned my own. You know that thing where you hear something often enough, you begin to believe it. It sucks!

To be honest, I’ve found the constant doubt is draining. Not only does it take a lot of internal dialogue, it takes a lot of energy, and it uses up a lot of time. All things I could be putting to better use elsewhere.

Perfectionism

I just need to do xyz. I just need to add ABC. It’s not quite right. It needs to be perfect.  Do I have all of them? (Geez, you’d think I was a perfectionist by that last question)

Perfectionism avoids criticism, rejection, shame, and just doing that thing. It takes time and every perfectionist I’ve met (I’m not one, and I feel like the antithesis at times) has said that it is utterly exhausting.

The constant judgement, comparison, and/or questioning means that nothing is ever achieved and that wins are never made and certainly not celebrated. Celebrations don’t occur because things are never good enough.

Perfectionism can be debilitating, depressing and extremely time-consuming.

Getting advice from others

There is a time and a place for everything and this is certainly one of them. Yes, I know that asking for advice in big Facebook Groups is a (marginally) covert way to draw attraction to your brand. It’s a way to create controversy. I’m not talking about this. When you can’t make a decision and you have to ask for advice from others, sometimes you truly don’t know and sometimes you truly don’t trust that you’re making the right decision. Or perhaps you’re always asking the one person for advice. (And it’s not someone on that list, see below)

Deferring to someone can hide a lack of trust in oneself. It can be a symptom of people-pleasing (raises hand here). Some people also do it so they have someone to blame (but that’s unlikely to be anyone reading this as they generally don’t like what I write).

The problem with this habit is that the turn around takes time and the vast majority of the people asked will not have or understand your business (or audience) as well as you. They may have more experience, but that’s the only place they can give advice from and their experiences may not be relevant to you, yours, or your business.

General low self-confidence

In general, low self-confidence can show up as fatigue, tasks taking longer, and a lot of internal dialogue (not a lot of it being constructive). It’s draining – I know because I still battle this. It takes courage and effort to overcome but I promise that each step you take releases you to be more of yourself and that feels incredible.

6 things to do to build self-confidence

First things first

The very first thing is to actually catch yourself doing it. This takes an ability to be mindful and questioning of your thoughts and actions. You may need to put a reminder somewhere that says something along the lines of, “Is this real or is it low confidence?”. Then you can try one, or all, of the following solutions.

Rip the bandage

If procrastination is your pet when it comes to testing your self-confidence then I suggest using Mel Robbin’s 5-second rule. Count to 5 and then start the task.

Pomodoro

tips to build self confidence for small business Samuel Johnson quoteNever heard of the Pomodoro technique? It’s where you spend a block of time working on a task, anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, and then you do something you enjoy. The catch is that you must spend all of that active time on the task. Set a timer on your phone and stick to it.

Live in alignment with your beliefs and values

It’s hard to live in self-doubt when you are living in alignment with your beliefs and values. I promise it takes time and practice but when it comes down to it there are 3 things you need to be able to get yourself moving:

  1. Be mindful of what is driving your behaviour & ask yourself if you are acting from a place of self-doubt
  2. Remind yourself of what your core beliefs & values are
  3. Act from your core beliefs & values rather than reacting from a place of doubt or fear.

A person in your corner

Sometimes it’s easier if we know that someone has our back. Perhaps it’s a safety in numbers thing. I know I feel safer knowing that I have a handful, and I do mean just a few, people who believe in and support me – no matter what.

Who are they for you? Write down their names & keep the list close. When you are feeling uncertain, look at the list or have a chat with them. Most of all know that they believe in you, even when you’re uncertain of yourself.

Small wins

When we focus on the big goal it can seem insurmountable and we can lose confidence. While we can break a task down into more manageable chunks, we can also break them down into ones that we know we will succeed at. Having had some success at a task can give us the confidence to move forward and try more – to do more. This builds self-confidence. This is exactly why I celebrate the wins in my Facebook Group each Friday.

Get help

To overcome a lot of my self-confidence issues, I used Cognitive Behavioural Therapy under the guidance of a psychologist. From there I used the same techniques to uncover and work through further issues as they arose. Rebuilding self-confidence is a journey, most of us have lived with it for years and that takes time to sort through. I want you to know that I am here to help you unpack using the techniques I’ve learnt, tried, and tested. I’d love to help you be more self-confident & I encourage you to check this page out for more information.

 

What to do when you fear that things will never get better in your business

What to do when you fear that things will never get better

You wish it was ‘one of those days’, only because it’s been weeks and months of feeling like you’re going nowhere in your business. You feel like things will never get better. In fact, there are times you find yourself opening up the job websites and searching for a 9-5 because it will never get better.

I understand. I had big plans for 2016, it was going to be my year! I had had a run of successful workshops in 2015 and I was ready to go big. Except that before we even hit the end of January, my Dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Bam! My world was not going to get better. In fact, I couldn’t even look for a job because I knew my parents needed me and I just had to tread water and do the best I could.

It may never get better

A new normal when things feel like they will never get better. Quote Robin SharmaHere’s the thing. My Dad did die. After 10 months and many admissions to hospital, cancer got the better of him and my life changed forever.

But that’s the thing. My life as I knew it would never get better, it would get different. There was now a new normal for my life.

Think of it this way, if you’re old enough. Remember borrowing a library book and grabbing the card, having it date stamped? Now we download books straight to our phone. Remember dial-up internet & waiting for someone to get off the phone or a phone call coming through and booting your connection? Now even our fridge is connected to the internet & phone calls only interrupt us if we’re live-streaming on our mobile phones. We have a new normal. And boy don’t we know it when it’s taken away. We thought it would never get better than dial-up & now we wait overnight for the latest phone.

You will adapt to this new normal, even though it may not get better per your ‘old’ normal or look like you’d planned.

What to do when you realise it may never get better

People say, “This too shall pass” and it does but how do you actually get through the passing time?

When it comes to business, while you do it for you, you also do it for others. So take some time and get off self. In business, your business is so much more about other people than it is yourself. Go volunteer. Go do something nice for a long-standing client. Turn your focus outwards. Did you know that it’s been shown that people who volunteer their time or do a good deed for someone will feel happy long after the overthinking is complete?

When we feel that things may never get better, we are looking inwards. Now there’s nothing wrong with a little internal navel-gazing so long as we are using it to move forward and grow. But that’s generally not the mindset we are in when we are wading through this space.

Turning your energy outwards is a pattern interrupt and it’s a 180 on your mindset. I’m all in favour of doing these things when you’re stuck.

Pattern interrupts, like Mel Robbins’ 5-second rule, can break a spiral and move us to a new place – fast. It also removes any thinking, or overthinking, we might be doing. It cuts one thing off and replaces it with another.

Doing a 180, moving from self to others, is no normal distraction technique.

You can also do a 180 and write it all down. I’ve suggested taking a common practice or belief in your industry and writing something in direct opposition to it. This flipped thinking forces you to take a different perspective and gets you looking at a situation for a whole other viewpoint. (And sometimes we need to take a new perspective)

The final word

A new normal when you feel that things will never get better Socrates QuoteIf you find that time is dragging on and you don’t feel any better. Please seek help.

Talk to your/an accountant to check your financials.
Talk to your/a lawyer about any legal complications.
Talk to a friend in business.
Talk to a friend who has your back.

Too often in business, especially in small, micro, or family businesses, we feel like we are all alone and we have to do it all. We’re not and we don’t.

When my Dad was sick, I saw a psychologist. When I was lost in my business last year, I spoke with a messaging expert. When I was ready to grow my business in 2017, I hired a business coach.

Gather people around you. The people who support you. The people who will hold your faith in you until you can do it alone. The people who will tell you the truth because you need to hear it and not because they need to feel good saying it. I know I now have a different type of better, one I never imagined, and it’s growing on me.

How I overcome Imposter Syndrome when Public Speaking

I want to share with you a little personal story about my own Imposter Syndrome and public speaking.

You can keep reading or watch the following video I recorded on it.

So recently, I was invited to travel interstate to speak at a social media conference. Thankfully, for me, I actually I don’t have a fear of public speaking. But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t caught out by fear. And I wanted to show you that I walked the talk, and how from my experiences, you can learn something that will help you, hopefully, when you’re confronted by fear. So let me go through this. So I was invited to speak. I was travelling on Wednesday speaking on Thursday, travelling home on Friday, comes Tuesday, the day before I was travelling.

And I started to get really anxious.

I couldn’t concentrate on the work that I had to do, I was quite grateful that a lot of clients cancelled their appointments with me, for their own particular reasons, which gave me time probably wasn’t the best thing for me. Because what it meant was that I had time to think, not always the best thing. It got to a point that I started revising and reviewing my slides.

Most of you would probably think that that’s a good thing.

But for me, it’s not you see, I’m speaking about something that I know a lot on. The psychology of social media, and how to tap into the client, your users’ psychology and had leverage that online.

So what happened was, I was reviewing the slides going over them, and the more I went over them, the more nervous I actually got.

Now I could feel that building up inside of myself. And so I realised that I broke the pattern. And I actually took myself off for the rest of the day, I shut up shop, and I went out, I left my desk, I had to do that I had to actually change location. So that’s the first thing that I wanted to get you guys to think about. One, notice how it feels in your body. If, for example, like me, you’re starting to do things over and over again, you’re starting to second guess yourself, and just starting to check and double-check things that normally you wouldn’t do, because you actually know what, then this is a sign that you’re starting to get nervous and fear is starting to take over. And you need to break the pattern and do something else.

That was the first one.

The second one was on Wednesday night.

OMG, They want to talk to me!

Wednesday night, there was a pre-dinner conference. And what I thought was going to be justice speaker dinner turned out to be a speaker and VIP event, which meant that attendees bought tickets and access to the speakers. I was actually incredibly anxious by this. I was okay with going and meeting all of my speaker colleagues. But having VIP access to me maybe a little bit nervous, it kind of blurred the lines of who stood where.

So, I spoke to a trusted colleague and friend who speaks internationally and speaks on social media. And what he said to me was Kara,  it’s not about you, it’s about them look at it as them buying consulting time.

So here’s the next thing I wanted to tell you about. Get off self, it’s not about you as a speaker, or it’s not about you, as a business owner. It’s about your audience. And when your outreach into them, think of it as a service to them, and not as a way of them accessing you and your product, turn it around.

And then came Facebook!

The next thing was, I actually spoke after Facebook, pretty big shoes, I had to feel. So I was sitting there in the audience watching Facebook speak. And the two women that were speaking for Facebook, they were nailing it, they owned the stage, they were brilliant, captivating, and had everyone’s attention.

And sitting there, I started to feel incredibly nervous that I could not make the grades.

 

Once again, the problem was, I was making it about myself. So the third lesson, more of a reminder than anything, get off self. Especially when you’re speaking to somebody if you’re doing video even, it’s not about you. It’s about the audience that you’re serving, they don’t deserve your nerves. They’re not here for your nerves are actually here for your knowledge. So it’s not about you and get off self.

All the eyes!

The fourth instance that I had, where nerves took over, was at the pre-dinner awards ceremony. The fourth time that nerves took over, and this is only in the space of three days, was at the post-conference awards ceremony. So that was a formal dinner. And I walked in, and I’ve got to be honest, I felt that every face in the room was staring at me, I was set on the head table. Because I’m a brand ambassador. I was also an award judge. So I was given a different position to the awards nominees.

So, I was looking around the room, and people were looking back at me. And I felt that I was being judged. Not for what I was wearing or looked like, but as if I actually even belonged there! “Who was I to be there?”

Later in the evening, ironically, I was announced as one of the brand ambassadors and invited up on stage. And later in the evening, when I’m turn around the room, and I saw people looking at me, they seem to be looking at me differently. Now, the storeys that I had in my mind was at the start of the thing that we’re thinking, “Who is that woman? What is she doing here? I don’t know her? And why is she on the head table?”

And then after I was announced, I felt like it was more of a story of all I know who you are. And that’s where your place is. “Well done. Kudos to you.”

The fourth lesson I want you to know about fear is that our brain is incredibly clever. It will fill in the gaps of the facts and the knowledge that we have with the storeys that we tell ourselves. I don’t know that those people looking at me at the start of the evening, we’re actually thinking that they could have been looking past me for all I know, they could have been admiring something about me. But my brain filled in the gaps based on my storey and my self-doubt, and went, Kara, they’re judging you. And then afterwards, the story had flipped to power, they know who you are. And they’re looking at you differently.

Remember, your brain is smart, it will fill in the gaps for you with this story that you play. Sometimes that story’s wrong.

What I wanted you to get from this is that I’m not immune to fear, it still creeps up on me.

Yes, I’ve got these four tools in my tool kit. But the only way that I’m able to get them to work is through one additional tool. And that is being mindful. The only reason why I was able to pick up on these points is that I’m able to see the signs and then act on them.

So what I’m encouraging you to do is like me on Tuesday, tapping into how feeling nervous or feeling fear actually feels in your body. And when you feel that, stop, cut the cycle.

If you’re feeling fearful, and you’re about to go and do something for somebody else, stop realise that this fear is actually you putting the focus on yourself, not on them.

And finally, if you’re feeling fearful, or judged or doubting about your own ability, just remember that what you’re doing is filling in the gaps in the story.

I hope this has helped. Let me know in the comments below which of these tips have helped you the most. And if you’ve ever been in a similar circumstance. If you’re looking to talk to someone about overcoming fear, you can book a FREE 30-minute session, to learn these and other tools, right here: https://www.bookme.karalambert.com/

 

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