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Top Tips to Let Go of Fear

Image via Flickr user audiolucistore

Image via Flickr user audiolucistore

This is a guest contribution from Jennifer Louden. 

What I’m about to tell you is the most overlooked key to being a successful teacher – as well as a successful business owner, parent, writer, athlete, and all around happy human being.

It’s the precursor to more sales, to repeat business, to turning customers into raving fans, to your ideas having a lasting impact on the hearts and minds of your students, readers, and clients.

It’s also how you unlock your own potential to thrive.

Really it can do all that, and more.

The secret? Feeling safe.

You can’t make decisions, take risks, or learn when your nervous system is on high alert. Your brain’s learning and decision-making functions slow or shut down. That’s why people click away from your sales page, stop attending your course, or never sign up for another one of your classes. They’re afraid. And they probably don’t even know it.

They’re afraid they won’t get it, they’ll look stupid, they’ll waste their money and time. In a nutshell: they’re afraid they’ll fail. 

You’re afraid too, and you signal your fear to your students and potential clients. Do you worry if you have what it takes to be a great coach/website designer/Pilates teacher? If anyone will buy your services? If you can keep learning and growing? We all have these worries!

This low-grade state of fear keeps you stuck, and it keeps your customers from buying and from growing. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Safety is something you can experience – and offer – starting right now.

Nothing is Going to Eat You

My favorite in-the-moment safety move is to stand up, stretch, and exhale with a long “ahhhh.” Then I look around my studio and tell myself, “Nothing is going to eat me.” Yes, it makes me laugh, but it also signals to my reptile brain that a stressful day does not equal death. You need a similar trick up your sleeve to calm yourself in the moment of freaking out. Use mine or one of the many relaxation tricks you already know.

Make Feeling Good a Priority

Remind yourself that resetting your nervous system is not a luxury; it’s non-negotiable self-care, like exercise or drinking water. Become a devoted student of what relaxes you, both in the midst of a stressful situation and when you have an hour or a weekend to unwind. Weave more pleasure into your day – music, a tea you love, three squares of dark chocolate. Nourish your senses.

Extend Hospitality

Welcome your students warmly. At live events, greet people. Online, say hi (by name, if possible) as people dial on. I always include a short video welcome inside my online courses with a warm welcome, and I repeat info about how the course works for visual learners who might not read the welcome emails. Make it easy to navigate your website and sign up for your services; otherwise prospects feel dumb and unsafe, and they run away. Brainstorm simple ways to be a good host from the moment your customers and students come in contact with your business and you.

Where’s The Bathroom?

Clear driving instructions, sending the phone bridge number for each session, telling people what to bring to be comfortable – be meticulous in this area. Your customer is looking for reasons to back out. Making her feel safe by taking care of basics can feel like cheating – it’s so easy – but I’ve seen it prevent drop-outs, increase participation, and convert customers for life.

Include the Body

A few moments of calming yourself and your students or your client opens the space for learning and creates trust. It need not be woo-woo. You can joke that pro football players practice mindful breathing before the Super Bowl, then invite a few full, relaxed breaths and long exhales.

Preview Your Material & Review Parameters

I always want to skip this step because I think it’s boring. But many people need to know what’s going to happen next or they can’t relax. Remind them how long the session or class will be, when questions are welcome, how many revisions are covered in your contract, how long it takes you to answer emails, the nuts and bolts stuff. Do this often. You may think it’s overkill but that’s only because it’s obvious to you.

Less is More

One of the biggest shifts I see in teachers who take my TeachNow course (1006 students to date!) is understanding that information overload shuts down learning and hurts your bottom line. Too many teachers and business owners think being generous means flooding their customers with information and options. A big part of your job is making the hard choice of what to offer and in what sequence. Master this and your business – and impact – will soar. Discernment and focus is your friend.

I have a thousand more suggestions, but then I wouldn’t be following my own advice. I’ll stop here with this invitation: become curious about what feeling safe offers you and the people you work with. Investigate these suggestions and find your own ways to use safety as a path to growth. May it be fruitful!

Jen Louden is a best-selling author, speaker and teacher of teachers. She created the popular TeachNow course (1006 students to date!) for people who want to successfully teach what they love. Test drive TeachNow for free with the sample class, Dissolving Obstacles to Teaching Joyfully & Effectively

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Comments

  1. Asif Ahmed says:

    Hi Jen,
    Your first and second points are my favourites.
    There have been many times where I was on stage and that one stare of someone from the crowd used to make me forget everything I wanted to say.
    But then, I realized that nothing is going to eat me if I really talk.

  2. Galen says:

    I love your little reminder that “nothing is going to eat you” :) That made me laugh and I feel less stressed already… Thanks!

  3. Great tips. Fear hinders us from making progress. To achieve any meaningful thing, you must conquer all your fears. These tips are not just relevant for business growth but also applicable to other life situations in general.

  4. Debarpan says:

    This is indeed a great a post for you,I believe if you have the courage to face the fear this would be real helpful to you.

  5. You make a very good point. I think fear is our greatest enemy. It might keep us from doing stupid things, but it also keeps us from doing great things. My favorite technique to use when I feel fearful is to ask “What’s the worst that can happen”?

  6. JadiBlogger says:

    Less is More, I totally agree! I remember someone said, when you want to do something, start small and do it today, when we’re seeing so many information, it’s so hard to even begin to walk because we don’t know where to start, it’s like hearing so many voices in our head telling us to go into many different directions. So I think FOCUS is the key to start something and ends your fear.

  7. Pamela Role says:

    Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your post and wanted to mention that I have really loved browsing your post.

  8. Kent Chen says:

    Interesting topic! I guess fear is a part of our expansion and learning. Conquer uncharted waters, we will all get our own Ah Ha moments!

  9. Fakharuddin says:

    A great post to eliminates fears easily and forever. “Nothing is going to eat you” a good point to realize. Thanks for the great post.

  10. I. C. Daniel says:

    Motivational videos works wonders for me. I recommend to anyone search on YouTube motivational videos.

  11. Sunday says:

    “Nothing is going to eat me”. That is a good one! Fear could be challenging and crippling. Its important to get hold of it before it paralyzes our creativity. Thankfully, this post gives us more ideas in handling it!

    This comment was left in kingged.com – the content syndication and social bookmarking website for Internet marketers where this post was shared.

    Sunday – kingged.com contributor

    http://kingged.com/top-tips-fear/

  12. Man I love your content, I have you bookmarked. Look forward to reading more!

  13. Jayashree says:

    Thanks for these tips to get our fears out and give our best shot in whatever we do , whether we succeed or not it does not matter but if we have the satisfaction that we did our best is more than enough, when we are fearful we really cannot give our best. These tips will surely help everyone. Thanks.

  14. Tony C says:

    Great points! You always got to be thinking about your students, I’ve had so many teachers that just talk and talk without focusing on what their students need and I never learn in those sessions. Thanks for sharing!

  15. these all small thing which we can apply easily in our life and i am sure that all your suggestion is very helpful and result oriented.

  16. Motivational videos and stories provide boost-up charging. But if you are passionate about your work then there is no need of and motivational supplement your mind itself finding reasons and boost up your body every time. You will never feel fear at any stage.
    Nice Article .

    Regards
    Ritul

  17. Patrick says:

    The “nothing is going to eat you” is a fear I had when publishing my first blog post. And again when I first started teaching English in Japan a few years back.

    I’m sure everyone’s been through it though.

  18. Makeda says:

    I have discovered recently how important it is to me that I feel safe and how I shut down or stop being fully present whenever I feel unsafe. This was a great post to help me move through those moments. But also it was great for me to consider the importance of creating a safe place for my clients. Thank you for sharing these tips. They were very helpful.

  19. Terry says:

    I think I have the ‘Less is more syndrome.’ Thank you for a wonderful post to smack it out of me. As a tech head I probably scare away my ideal clients. This article has to be the best one i’ve read this week. Simple, to the point and full of small but useful tips. Thank god nothing in this room is going to eat me right now!

  20. Immer says:

    When I was a child, I was really restricted to socialize to the public, that’s why when I am growing, I still have some fears when meeting new people. Will I have that fear in my life forever?

  21. Kettle Folks says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    This is excellent advice on fear. “Nothing is going to eat you” – This sounds really simple, yet it’s a powerful self empowering tool. This can alone make our more stronger to face the stressful conditions.

    Thanks for this post.

  22. Michael says:

    Another good tip is to write a list of all the things you’re worried about. Then schedule a time to worry about all the things on your list. When that time comes you can either sit down and worry or throw the list away.

  23. Danny says:

    Yap, I think most of the time, the fear of failing that keep us from moving forward. However, if one takes the calculated risk, then we should be able to minimize the impact if something fail along the way. Anyway, I still feel the first security that can reduce the fear is the financial security.

  24. Lynne says:

    Great article that has helped me calm my nerves. Thanks for the share.

  25. Wow I like all points..Great Article

  26. MBlog says:

    these all small thing which we can apply easily in our life and i am sure that all your suggestion is very helpful and result oriented.