How to overcome fear (part 3 of 3)

Overcoming your fear in everyday conversations is important.

If you can’t feel the fear and do it anyway, you’re leaving a lot of your life on the table.

You might be feeling afraid to talk to your boss about that promotion he/she mentioned six months ago.

How much are you losing by staying afraid and not taking action? Money, yes, at the higher pay rate, but also job satisfaction. Personal fulfillment. Intellectual challenge.

Or perhaps you’re afraid to talk to your spouse about sharing more of the household duties. You’ve hinted at it and he/she hasn’t taken the hint. You don’t want to be seen as a nag. And you’ve spent your whole adult life thanking others for doing the dishes…but no one, not ever, has thanked you. It’s scary to have a conversation around and change that dynamic.

How much are you losing by staying afraid and not taking action? You may feel annoyed at your spouse, which leaks into your conversations, often through passive aggressive comments which eventually poison your relationship.

You may be feeling afraid to reach out to a contact on Linked In when you want to switch jobs. She works at a company you’re interested in, but how do you ask for an introduction without coming across as desperate? And what if she says no? How embarrassing is that? You soften your request by saying, “Would you introduce me to the hiring manager in this department? I totally understand if you don’t want to or don’t know the person, it’s ok either way. But I’d be sooooooo (smiley face emoticon) grateful if you would do me this huge favor!”

How much are you losing by staying afraid and not taking action? Or diminishing your message with overly flowery language and emoticons? You stay at your current job for way longer than you should. You’re losing money, job satisfaction, and personal fulfillment.

How to Overcome Fear
In Week 1, I wrote about Fear and Assumptions (you can read it HERE) and last week, Week 2, I wrote about Understanding Your Fear (you can read it HERE).

Now we’re getting to the action….how to overcome your fear.

There are three steps to help you overcome your fear:
PART 1) Practice using a process for managing your emotions.
PART 2) Practice what you’re going to say.
PART 3) Practice what you’ll say if the other person says YES and then practice what you’ll say if the other person says NO.

PART 1) Practice using a process for managing your emotions. 
Your body is perfectly designed to outrun danger. When you feel fear, your body releases stress hormones to prepare you for FIGHT or FLIGHT. Daniel Goleman coined the term an “amygdala hijack” in his book Emotional Intelligence. You may have heard Brene Brown or other thought leaders (or me!) talk about this moment as “being triggered.”

When your amygdala takes over, your body automatically moves into a response designed to keep you alive. Not helpful when you’re in the middle of a meeting! When your mind goes blank or your stomach churns or your face turns red or you break into a cold sweat, you can thank your amygdala for that.

Overcoming your fear response is a process. There’s no quick fix and it feels like you start from scratch every time. Therefore, having a process for managing your emotions in these moments is a more realistic approach. Rather than thinking, “Well, I’m not afraid of THAT anymore!” you think, “I know what to do when that feeling starts.”

[[Did you know that you can book time with me right on my website? Take action, plan for your negotiations, big and small with me HERE.]]

STOP: Notice your early warning signal. 
Fear usually shows up some place in your body first. It’s your early warning system, when your body says, “WARNING! DANGER!” Listen to that, it’s a gift.

My stomach starts churning. Maybe your face gets hot or your mind goes totally blank. When you feel it coming on, STOP your habitual response by doing something different.

Try taking a deep breath, count backwards from 5, or stand up (movement is especially helpful for those of you who go into total mind freeze).

DROP : Change your standard response. 
You broke your habitual response when you did something different with your body in the “Stop” phase.

Next go into your mind. You have a choice in that moment. If you typically go into FIGHT mode, your deep breath gave you a pause, a moment, to make a choice.

ROLL: Make your next move with intention. 
You’re not at the mercy of your emotions. Once you pause and make a choice to ROLL toward a different response, you can choose.

You learn 4 skills in my Negotiate With Confidence course to ROLL with intention:
– Confident – The Secrets to Confident Communication
– Clear – Ask for What You Want and Get It
– Curious – Getting a No & What To Do Next
– Connected – Getting Ahead & Getting Along

Watch a video overview of STOP-DROP-and-ROLL HERE.

PART 2) Practice what you’re going to say. 
Everything sounds different when you say it out loud, so your next step is to create a script and then say it out loud a bunch of times.

Say it to yourself, out loud, in the car, on a walk, in the mirror. Say it to your family, your friends, and your cat. Say it out loud A LOT OF TIMES.

You may have heard the theory popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers that claims 10,000 hours of practice will get you to the highest level of expertise (though in later interviews, Gladwell does admit that there’s a certain amount of natural ability involved in that number…that he could play chess for 100 years and never get to the grand master level). But the basic premise is still true: practice will help you improve, no matter your level of ability.

We’re not going for PERFECT, anyway. We’re going for CONFIDENT.

PART 3) Practice what you’ll say if the other person says YES and then practice what you’ll say if the other person says NO. 

One of the best things you can do to control your mindset and get better results is to PLAN and then PRACTICE.

I’m not a fan of sports analogies, but one reason we use them is because the results are VISIBLE. No one can see your results when you plan for a conversation and it goes really well. Practice in sports shows you visible results. You practice more and you’ll do better.

I love this Michael Phelps Under Armour video, “It’s what you do in the dark that puts you in the light.

You want to change FROM worry and fret and feeling anxious about your negotiations TO control and confidence. And you do that by planning: Prepare and practice.

What will you say if the other person says YES?
Write it down and practice it!

Same for NO, especially NO.
If you’re prepared with a question when you get a NO (watch this video for some ideas), you won’t be as emotional.

The Bottom Line 
Understanding and facing your fears is a huge part of negotiating a better life for yourself.

Unexamined, fear in your life will keep you from getting what you want, what you long for most.

Your better job, your better relationship, your better life.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield

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