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Have you ever had one of those epiphany moments, where you think you are thinking about one thing and then suddenly realize you are thinking about something completely different, like in a cheesy rom-com where one best friend is giving the other best friend love advice and realizes Duh, I’m totally talking about the guy I’m dating? Yeah, I had one of those moments in a submarine 100 feet deep in the ocean. And it was all about fear- fear of failure and fear of success. So at the bottom of the ocean, I had a heart to heart conversation with myself about overcoming fear in direct sales.
Here’s the thing: I’m pretty much not afraid of anything. Except horses and baby diapers. I’m not so much afraid of baby diapers as much as I am disgusted and as a girl with a very low gross tolerance, simply thinking about baby poop makes me dry heave. Fun fact: I’m dry heaving now just talking about thinking about diapers. Yeah, it’s that bad.
I’ve always joked to my husband that I’m too stupid to get scared. Jump out of an airplane? Sure thing. Stand way to close to the edge at the Grand Canyon? Why not? Climb a 20 foot ladder in flip flops and paint with an eight-foot extension brush, while home alone? Of course. What’s the worst that could happen? I’m that girl!
I live in a safety bubble. Bad things don’t happen there. And my husband is Worst Case Scenario Griff. While I’m off believing in sunshine and rainbows and happy endings, he’s researching ebola and crime statistics and how to build a bunker for the apocalypse. That last one might be a bit of an exaggeration (or I might be required to tell you that so you don’t come looking for our bunker).
On a recent trip to Mexico, Griff decided he wanted to go on a submarine to the bottom of the ocean. Woohoo, this has Windy written all over it. An actual submarine. Going to the bottom of the ocean. In Mexico. How freaking awesome is that?
Only, the night before our submarine adventure, I started thinking about it. It’s a submarine. In Mexico. I could die. I mean, what are the safety protocols, when was this thing built, who’s driving this thing, how many people are going to be on it, who are these people, what if they have some funky airborne infection, what if we run out of air, what if it’s not safe, what if we die?
Where the hell was my safety bubble?
Fear. I’m not entirely used to this fear thing. And then I started analyzing my fear, because even though I pretend to be too stupid to get scared, I’m actually pretty darn smart. So, one by one, I broke down the thoughts:
What are the safety protocols? Who knows, but this adventure is promoted by my cruise line, surely, they have some safety protocols.
When was it built? Does it matter? Seriously, Windy, who are you, the NTSB?
Who’s driving this thing? His name will probably be Juan and he will speak pretty good English. (His name was actually Ramon and his English was great, except for the phrase Sea-A-Sponges.)
Who is going to be on it? Other people from your cruise, you big drama queen. Who else is paying $99 to get on a submarine docked 300 feet from the port authority?
What if we run out of air? Well, then we’ll die. But that’s probably not going to happen. And if it does, seriously, what a fan-freaking-tastic way to die. In a submarine. In Mexico.
As I sat 100 feet below sea level, in a submarine, with Ramon pointing out barracuda and stingrays and blue tang (I see you, Dory), and the point where the bottom of the ocean drops straight down from 140 feet to more than 2000 feet, I thought about how my fear almost stopped me from having this amazing experience with my husband. My husband who loves the fish and coral and can’t swim, so can never see these things up close. Fear. Fear is a liar.
Fear stops us from doing the things we love, the things we need to do to be successful. Fear is the voice in the back of our head saying we can’t do it, we are going to fail, we aren’t worthy, the risk is too great, people will laugh, they won’t like us any more.
My fear, I discovered through my epiphany at the bottom of the ocean wasn’t fear of failure. It was the exact opposite; it’s fear of success. Crazy, huh? What a weird thing to be afraid of. More on that later.
In direct sales, there’s no time for fear. As the CEO of your company, you have to be fearless and do the things- all the things- even the things you don’t love, the things that scare you. You have to talk to strangers and ask for the party, the sale, to join your team. Even when it’s scary. Because if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
Five Tips for Overcoming Fear
The next time you feel fear, talk to it, reason with it, explore it and analyze it. Break it down, dig deep and walk through it. Because the other side of fear is pure awesomeness!
Overcoming Fear Tip 1: Acknowledge the fear
I think this is the hardest part- acknowledging the fear. No one wants to admit they are afraid. It’s so much easier to just be too busy to actually do the thing they are afraid of. But, when you don’t acknowledge it, you have no way to overcome fear. So acknowledge that it exists so you can really look it the root of it and get past it.
Overcoming Fear Tip 2: Explore the fear
Ok, you’re scared. Maybe that was the easy part. Now, identify what the fear really is? Are you afraid the person on the other end of the phone is going to think you’re pushy? Or are you afraid that you can’t answer her questions? Once you can accurately identify the fear, you can move on to step 3, telling fear all the ways it is wrong.
Tip 3: Rebut the fear
Now, this can be a lot of fun, if you’re kinda sassy. Hey fear, she’s not going to think I’m pushy, she’s going to think I’m freaking delightful, because I am freaking delightful. Hey fear, of course she’s going to have a lot of questions. That just means she’s interested and I am prepared to answer every single question she has. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it, because that’s how rock stars roll!
Tip 4: Do it any way
Still scared? Yup, do it anyway. Do it scared. You want to know the true solution to stopping fear in it’s lying tracks. To do it anyway and not die. When you do it, whatever it is, in spite of being scared, you prove to yourself that fear is a liar and the next time it rears it’s ugly little face, you can remind it and yourself that it was wrong then and it is wrong now!
Got a tip for overcoming fear in direct sales? I’d love to hear it. Connect with me on Facebook or contact me. Really just reading to learn more about the submarine? Girl, I got you covered. Check out Atlantis Submarines.
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