How to face the scariest monster under the bed (yes, I’m talking about FEAR)

Even though I’m a grown-up (cough*middle-aged*), I still check for monsters under the bed before I go to sleep. And yes, I KNOW it’s ridiculous. (It’s all Idris Elba’s fault: I blame a creepy episode of Luther that haunted my dreams.)

I’m freakishly timid at the best of times, so I’ve learned to navigate the world with some illogical safety precautions and a few Hail Marys. But handling fear is not just about crossing our fingers and hoping for the best.

The big question is: how do we face our stupidest fears and loudest insecurities? How can we move forward in the world and do the work we want to do when there ARE monsters lurking in every corner?

If you’re struggling to become a confident speaker, you’ve probably shouldered your fair share of shaky nerves. To stop your fears from keeping you sidelined, try these tricks that I use when I’m at my scared-cat worst:

  1. Tune in: Take some time and figure out your specific pain point. What step or stage of the process is really freaking you out? Walk through the scenario in your mind and pay attention to your body (freezing up or getting tense is the big clue).

  2. Tackle It: Now that you know your “Pain Point” place, identify all the tasks that you’re avoiding. Are you refusing to make that phone call, send that email, book that gig? What action are you refusing to take because you’re afraid?

  3. Trim it Down: To really make progress, break each of your “Pain Point” actions down into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Don’t let your ego fool you - this is a powerful step that will help get some energy back into your routine. (Still getting stuck? Break tasks down into every smaller, micro-tasks…and knock them off one by one.)

No matter how small your action steps are, don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishment (dance party in the office, anyone?) Breathe deep, stand in a Wonder Woman pose to tell the world you mean business, and get back to your real job...kicking some serious ass.

And send those dumb fears back under the bed where they belong.