I tried on about 6 different dresses before I headed out the door.
Needless to say, I was incredibly nervous.
A few weeks earlier, I had received an email from Andrew inviting me to a mastermind meeting in NYC with a few other entrepreneurs that he knew in the city.
The other names that he casually mentioned caused me to get a mixed feeling of excitement and terror in the pit of my stomach.
I was equal parts flattered and confused as to why I was being invited to this meeting.
You see, I was just getting started in this industry and although I had other successful businesses, I was still fumbling around a bit, trying to figure out what I was doing.
I didn’t want anyone to discover how little I really knew.
As my cab pulled up to the restaurant where we were to meet, I could see everyone was already there seated around a table by the front window.
My heart started racing as my clammy hands grasped the door handle.
I’m betting you know exactly how I was feeling, because most people feel a certain amount of fear when they put themselves out there. Will these people like me? Will they all be smarter and more successful than me? Will I have anything to add?
The funny thing is, the people you’re worried about have probably felt the exact same way.
We all are confronted with this kind of fear now and then, but the difference between people who see incredible success and those who stay stuck is the ability to move through the fear.
Are you dealing with some fear in your business? I created this journaling page for you to help you identify what’s coming up and help you move through it. Click here to download it and then read on…
How to move through your fear
Notice I didn’t say, “How to get over your fear forever!” because that just doesn’t happen. As I said, I already had two successful businesses when I went to my first mastermind meeting — and I still felt nervous! It doesn’t matter how successful or expert you become, you’re still going to have these anxious moments. (What makes you anxious might change, but believe me, it still happens!)
The good news is that you don’t have to be a slave to the fear. There are steps you can take to move past it:
- Become aware of how you’re feeling.
Awareness is the first step. Clammy hands, changing clothes six times, racing heart — oh! I must be feeling nervous or anxious! Once you’re aware of how you’re feeling and can name it, you can start to move through it.
It really works: take a moment or two and focus on your breath. Maybe you can use the cab ride to an event that makes you nervous, or you might just pause for two breaths before you open the door, turn on the camera, or answer the phone. Focusing on your breath short-circuits anxiety fast.
One great way to combat fear is to prepare yourself ahead of time. Ask someone in the know what to expect, prepare what you’re going to say, pick out your clothes ahead of time, etc. You can take this even one step further and prepare by visualizing yourself feeling calm and peaceful while doing the scary thing. (It works!)
- Tame your imagination.
If you notice that your mind is playing all kinds of video clips of you falling on your face, getting laughed out of the room, spilling your soup, and so on, stop and notice it. It helps to actually say to yourself something like, “Wow, my imagination is really running away from me.” Once you’ve named it, it helps to quiet the anxious chatter.
- Expect the best.
What if, instead of jumping immediately to the worst case scenario of what could happen, we jumped to the best? Instead of worrying that people wouldn’t like me, what if I imagined that I was the life of the party, that everybody listened to my ideas, that they said how glad they were that I came, etc. It can be helpful to reframe your anxieties. And if that little voice in your head says, “Yeah, but that’s not very likely!” you say right back, “Well neither are the bad things!” The reality will almost certainly fall somewhere in the middle.
Of course, maybe the most important thing you can do to move through fear towards success is to get some support! And if you feel nervous or anxious about joining a mastermind, as I did, I want you to know I’ve got your back. In fact, a mastermind is one of the best ways I know to get support in your business and help you move through other things that might be leaving you paralyzed with fear.
And that’s what happened to me at my first mastermind. After everyone had introduced themselves, the meeting began and each person was asked to share two things:
- Something cool.
- Something that they needed help with in their business.
To this day, this is the initial format that we follow inside of our Business Class masterminds. I love our mastermind format, because I think it really takes a lot of the fear out of joining and participating in a mastermind. Asking just these two questions helps put everyone on the same level — because everyone can come up with two things to contribute!
However, sometimes it is still difficult to know what to talk about during your mastermind meetings. That is why as a part of the Business Class masterminds I create a theme for each month with specific content for each one of your calls. We even designate specific pre-work and action items for you to discuss with your group.
In fact, we’ve taken a lot of different steps to take a lot of the fear out of joining a mastermind. For example, you don’t have to reach out to other people to ask if they want to join you (fear of rejection!), we match up the groups for you based on where you’re at in your business. You don’t have to worry about joining a group that’s out of your league, and if it’s not a good fit, you don’t even have to worry about that because we’re happy to help relocate you to another group.
If you’re ready to move forward through fear, please download this simple journaling page, which will help you identify the fear and how you can move through it. Take the first step and click here to download it now.
As for my first mastermind?
We met a few more times virtually before our group fizzled out — a casualty of complicated schedules and conflicting time zones — but it made me a believer and I actively sought out my next mastermind without fear to continue the incredible work we had started.