Transcript: How to Override Fear with Dina Cataldo
One of the things that stalls us out the most in pursuing our dreams and achieving them is fear.
The problem isn't just that we're scared.
The problem is that fear drives our decisions, and we don't even know it's happening.
The clues are so subtle, we don't think that fear is steering our decisions and actions.
Today on the podcast, you're going to learn about the unexpected ways fear may be preventing you from achieving what you want.
I also want to give you some insight into how I've handled this awareness and how my clients have handled it to override their fear.
Before we jump in, I want to invite you to my latest Masterclass called Focus 101 for Lawyers.
The replay is up right now. Inside you'll learn the areas that lawyers focus their attention on that keep them spinning instead of taking measurable action towards their goals.
What we focus on is a habit, and the only way to change our focus is to get awareness and use the tool I'm sharing with you during this Masterclass.
When we learn how to change our focus, we start to change ourselves almost automatically. It just takes practice, and I'm going to show you a practice to help you with this.
Go to www.dinacataldo.com/focus101 to watch it.
Be sure you get out your notepad because you'll want to take notes then go back through the Masterclass. I made it my commitments to give $10,000 in value during this Masterclass, and if you are all in on it, you'll get exactly what you need.
Alright, so let's talk about fear.
First off, is there a problem being scared?
No. Fear is normal, and it's a great way to know if there's room for growth.
When I'm scared to do something, I know that chances are high that understanding and overcoming that fear will yield me big results.
This isn't the kind of fear that comes with jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. This is the kind of fear that comes up when you're being called to grow.
If we allow fear to steer the ship, we won't take actions that align with what we want in our life.
We have to get keen awareness of where fear show up, and then learn how to overcome it and take the action that's most in alignment with what we want.
For purposes of this podcast, think of a goal that's felt out of reach for a while.
I'll throw some examples out for you:
– getting your calendar under control, so you can make time to start something new
– increasing your rates
– promoting your practice or networking
– getting your practice organized, so you feel more in control of it
– maybe you want to get fit
– maybe you want to have more money or
– make more focused and present time with your family where you're not thinking about work
Have something in mind?
Just pick one. Got it? Good.
If you're not taking action towards your goal or you're taking a lot of action that isn't getting you the result you want, then chances are there's fear steering your actions.
Our thoughts create our feelings, and our feelings influences the kind of actions that we take.
Our actions create our results.
Here are 7 ways you can know if fear is influencing your actions or total inaction towards your goals. After I go through these, I'm going to give you some tips to overcome any one of these. And you may be experiencing more than one or two of these. That's okay. Awareness is the first step to changing things for yourself.
1. The first way you know that fear is driving your action is if you put things off. You may even put off making decisions or say you'll do things later when you know something will be helpful to achieve your goal. This can look like putting off networking to grow your practice; not looking at your bank account or making a budget; telling yourself you'll work out when you have more time. Of course you never do any of this because you never make more time.
2. Another way that you can tell fear is influencing your actions is when you say yes to commitments that you really wish you said no to. You may find yourself over-booking your calendar to take new consults in a practice area you're closing out because your brain tells you that it's the smart thing to do, but it prevents you from growing the new practice area that you're excited about. It might show up by you not looking at your calendar and clearing space in it, so you can make time to work out.
3. Another way you can tell fear is driving your actions is if you say things like, “I'm too busy right now.” And you've said that for a long time. The truth is, you're scared to do something that will help you grow. This can show up in you starting a blog or podcast that will move your business forward.
4. Another way you know fear is in the driver's seat is if you feel overwhelmed. You may be saying something like “I'm too busy” or you may be saying something to yourself like, “I don't know where to start” or “I don't know how to ABC, so I can't XYZ.” This might show up if you have a goal that seems like a huge leap compared to where you are right now. Like if you have a zero dollar business, and you want to create a $300,000 business or if you want to lose 100 pounds or even if you just want to make 90 minutes a night total and complete family time without thinking about work.
5. You focus on irrelevant actions. You focus on branding and website instead of networking, for instance. Maybe you focus on what other people are doing instead of what you want to do when it comes to raising your rates. I talk about this specific example in the Focus 101 Masterclass for Lawyers, so be sure to sign up and watch it if this is an area you're struggling with.
6. You indulge in something totally unproductive, but it FEELS productive. For instance, you stay late at the office even though you don't have a deadline to meet. You decide that you're going to empty your inbox instead of go to the gym for instance. You may also do things like clean, bake cookies, do laundry ANYTHING except take the action you told yourself you were going to take towards your goal. You might be laughing, but I've either done or had clients who have done all of these things to procrastinate and rationalize what they're doing as productive.
7. The last, and my favorite, way of knowing fear is in control of your decisions is when your brain completely forgets about what you told yourself you wanted. I have actually experienced this one myself. My brain didn't want to think about it, pushed it out of the way, and then didn't make time on the calendar for it.
Why does our brain do this? Why does our brain put in this fear stop-gap that made all the best actions towards our goals super easy? If something is supposed to help us grow and become the person we want to be, why would our brain do this?
The best analogy I have is a baby chick pecking its way out of its egg. The shortage of air inside the egg is one of the reasons the baby chick starts pecking at its shell. It's hard and takes a lot of energy. It takes about 12 hours to peck out of a shell. But they do it even though it's hard. And when they do, they're exhausted. But they've also gain a lot of strength from that effort.
If we don't do the hard things, we don't get stronger. When we get stronger, those things that used to seem hard and scary get easier. Then we move on to the next growth stage, and those things are hard and scary. Then we do those things, and so on.
We're so fortunate as humans to have this ability to grow.
It's the hard and scary that creates the actual growth.
Making decisions from your circumstances will never change anything.
Growth will always be hard and scary. We'll always need to have faith in ourselves that all this effort is going to get us out of the egg.
The reward for the effort is expansion.
One thing to be aware of is that our brain confuses comfort — staying where you are — with having the “right answer.” It tells us that the right answer is going to FEEL good. Comfort feels really good, but how much has it helped you expand and grow?
The flip side of this is that our brain tells us that if we're scared or something doesn't feel good, we shouldn't do something because it might be the “wrong” answer. We waste so much of our lives “trying” to decide because our brains are scared of making the wrong decision.
One way this showed up in my life big time was being a workaholic. I loved being busy. Busy was my comfort zone. I could work myself to the bone doing all the things all day every day. Then my coach said to constrain my actions to only the most important ones to my business. When I did that, I took Saturdays off and cut off more than half of what i was spending my time doing. It felt wrong at first. I kept thinking that I should be doing more. My brain kept telling me that I was making the wrong decision. But I decided that the discomfort was where my growth was. Sure enough, my coaching business started to grow more once I constrained my actions and took time off. But taking time off didn't feel good for me at first. It felt scary because I had the thought that I had less control if I did less work. Completely untrue. It was just a thought. But it felt real to me.
Think about the baby chick. That chick doesn't know if there's anything worthwhile on the other side of their egg. They just know that they need to expand their wings and breath and feel free. So they peck their way out without knowing if they're making the 100% “right” decision. They just decide it has to be better than where they are now.
So here's some suggestions I'll offer you to help you overcome any of the 7 examples I gave you.
– Say out loud what you want. Why do you want it? Then ask yourself why that's important to you? Ask yourself why until you can't ask why any more. Is that really important to you? When we're really connected to our why, doing hard things becomes easier.
– Write down what you want and why you want it. Look at it daily. This will help your brain begin focusing its attention on creating what you want.
– Write down all the things your brain is telling you that you need to do to achieve your goal. This brain dump will release some of the overwhelm you might feel.
– Look at your list and ask yourself if it's true you need to do all of these things. Cross out the things that your brain tells you that you don't really need to do.
– Then pick ONE item off that list to do. Just one.
– Schedule it.
– Follow through even if it's uncomfortable.
– Once that's done, go back to your list and pick the next thing to do.
– Wash rise, repeat.
Once you see something is scary, and you decide to have the courage to do it anyway, you start to exercise a muscle that gets stronger and stronger.
Courage doesn't feel like confidence. It feels like being scared and doing something anyway.
Learn to make decisions that are uncomfortable, then take action anyway.
When you do this, you'll start to learn that you're capable of anything.
Now, if this episode resonated with you, think about how fast you could progress if you had a coach. Having a coach helps you compress the time it takes to get results because you have someone who can show you exactly what's going on in your brain every week and help you overcome use it to achieve the results you want. It's not passive learning like the podcast. It's active engagement that reshapes how you think and take action on your goals. If you want to work with me, I help lawyers who struggle with overwhelm and procrastination achieve their goals with more ease. Book a call with me to learn if we're a good fit. Go to www.dinacataldo.com/strategysession to schedule a time that works for you.
Thanks for listening this week, and I'll talk to you soon.