I had a client once, well, he wasn’t even my client. He was my client’s husband. He thought he was brilliant. Really a “God’s gift to mankind” kind of guy… you know the type. 🙄 He went on and on about all of the follower on his blog, and the tons of comments he was always getting.
I was really surprised, and a little skeptical, but I knew he was telling the truth. He begged me to look over his website to critique it, although he knew the content was some of the best on the internet.
I logged into his blog and looked at his comments with a sinking feeling. I applied a spam filter to his comments and all of them disappeared, and in the emails that followed he lamented dramatically, that he was a “leader with no one to follow him, so he was nothing.”
After that, he gave up writing completely and resigned himself to working for his wife’s business as her lackey.
One of the biggest things people don’t realize is that as a leader, the biggest thing you can do for your students has nothing to do with what you’re teaching. At this point in my career, I didn’t consider myself a leader. I was just a business consultant, and a poorly paid one at that.
Teaching someone to fish is easy. Teaching technology to people is easy – some people take a little longer to learn, but with the right tools and technology to help make the process easier… it’s not as hard as it could be. Teaching them to get over their fear? That is the challenge.
I see the fear every day in my Facebook group and in my email inbox. People have the skills, they don’t have the confidence. They may not always use the words “I’m scared” but they say things like this:
- I’m not techie enough
- I’m too old
- I’ve failed before
- I’m not making instant, earth-shattering leaps of progress
- I’m hung up on (something small)
You’re not alone. We’ve all been there! Well, not all of us are old… but besides that. We’ve all messed up, none of us are perfect. Everyone has failed, and there is no magic secret to success besides the determination to get up one more time when you’re afraid you’ll fail again. You have to learn to recognize the voice of fear and tell it to go to Hell. The fear whispers lies like these to you:
- You can’t do this! Who are you kidding?
- You’re not smart enough to learn this new stuff
- If you were going to succeed, you would have done it already
- Why do you even bother try?
How do I know what fear says? Because it’s the voice I hear when I go to write a new blog post, when I make a vulnerable video or when I launch a new product. It’s the same thing I have to hear whenever the non-supporters in our families say stupid things like this:
- Christina’s business isn’t as secure as your job, Ian (They have no idea!)
- People who come form underprivileged areas can’t have success like privileged people, so giving them hope is taking advantage of them
- Stay at home moms should focus on making food from scratch, making bread and raising their kids instead of working – husbands are the providers!
The voice of fear may sound like someone you know. A “friend,” a family member, an old teacher, or a blogger whose article you read once that stuck with you. It may sound really convincing. It may even feel as real as if they were standing in the room with you, telling you to give up.
But don’t you dare let it get to you. Don’t you give up. You can’t control what other people say, but you can control that you think. Tell fear to go take a walk, then go be brave. Do it scared. Make mistakes. Fail and get back up again, over and over. That’s how success “magically” happens.
I don’t care what business you’re in: you’re always going to have hurdles. You’re always going to have new things to learn and new challenges to press on through. If you let the voice of fear get to you, you won’t succeed and it’s that simple.
So do whatever it is you’re scared of! I dare you.