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Stop believing your fears

As I walked my boys home from school last week, I felt something fly into the collar of my shirt, followed by a short, sharp pain on my neck.

I’d been stung.

When I touched my neck, a little stinger came away in my hand. 

That was fortunate for me, because when a honeybee stings you its stinger usually remains in your skin, pumping toxins for several minutes after the bee has died.

It doesn’t matter whether you flick off the stinger, scrape it off, or pinch it off, it’s only essential that you remove it quickly. 

Even a few seconds’ delay in debating how to remove it can lead to a lot more pain. 

When your clients are caught up in their fears, doubts and insecurities, make it your job to snap them out of it quickly.

Fears fester and doubts deepen, the longer you let them stay…

When a client says, “I’m scared…” try saying, “You don’t look scared…” 

It’s a pattern interrupt. 

Fear vs Anxiety

There are a few things that should scare us – such as hearing footsteps behind you on an empty street, smelling smoke in your house, or feeling an unexpected touch on your back.

Fear is an emotional reaction to a specific, real danger. It’s designed to prepare your body to run, or to fight. 

Fear makes your brain become hyper alert and your pupils dilate. It makes your breathing accelerate, your heart rate increase and your blood pressure rise. It floods your body with hormones and it makes blood drain quickly from your tummy to your limbs, in order for you to run.

When you’re afraid, your body takes over, with the singular focus to remove you from the danger. Your gaze narrows and you cannot focus on the bigger picture, or think clearly or creatively. You don’t need to. You need to get to safety. Period. 

Fear is a valid and valuable response to a real or potential danger. 

Anxiety and fear feel similar but anxiety is a feeling caused by imagining the possibility of something bad happening, rather than an immediate threat. Anxiety stems from your mind’s interpretation of possible dangers. It’s often a vague feeling of apprehension. 

My boss might fire me… I might run out of clients… The world is in chaos… The stock market might crash… My kids are late home… The client didn’t call me back…

The problem is that anxiety creates the exact same effects on your body as fear. 

Your brain becomes hyper alert, your breathing accelerates, your heart rate increases, your blood pressure rises. Your body is flooded with hormones and blood drains from your tummy to your limbs.

The fear response is designed to massively impact your body, to get you to safety, fast. But the anxiety response is very long lasting and can result in chest pain, dizziness, headaches, tension, shortness of breath, trouble sleeping, an upset stomach and a feeling of tightness throughout the body, especially in your head, neck and jaw.

These effects can last a really long time and they can be self-reinforcing. The more your body feels anxiety, the more the fear response is triggered and the more anxiety you feel. 

Coaching past anxiety

When you’re coaching most clients they aren’t actually as scared as they think they are…

I was coaching a senior executive who was preparing for a high-level negotiation and I asked her, “Are you scared, or do you just think you should be scared?”

She looked a little confused and then a little surprised. She smiled as she slowly responded, “I just think I should be scared…”

I was talking to a coach who told me, “I want to raise my fees to $19,000 but I’m terrified…”

“You don’t look terrified.” I said. “Be careful with your language because we can speak our thoughts into existence.”

Here are some counterintuitive thoughts on fear:

  • Fear is often a sign that you are heading in the right direction… 
  • Your fears are often just an echo of the voices of your ancestors, trying to keep you safe. Worth paying attention to but you don’t have to take action based upon them. 
  • Fear is sometimes a sign that you’re not dreaming big enough! 
  • Fear often means you need to make a commitment to something bigger than yourself… 
  • Resisting fear creates complexity. When you’re afraid you fill your life with busywork. Anything to distract you from what you want to do that scares you. 
  • Courage isn’t the absence of fear. It’s doing what needs to be done, even though you feel afraid. 
  • Fear can lead to indecision. Stop waiting for confidence and take one small act of courage instead… 
  • Put action ahead of perfection. Perfectionism is often a mask for fear. Done but messy beats perfect but never finished

Snap your clients out of their fear-based thinking. 

Provoke them.

I’ll do it with YOU, right now…

  1. Who would you love to coach but you’re afraid to tell them? 

Let them know that a mentor of yours asked you who is the most fascinating person you know. Tell them they were the first person to come to mind – and ask them if they have a big mission where they’d like support right now… 

What are you afraid of? They’re currently not a client. The worst that happens is they remain not a client.

  1. That decision you’re wrestling with, write down the possible solutions on separate pieces of paper. Put them in a bowl. Commit to doing the first one you pick. 

Close your eyes and pick one. Now go do it. 

  1. That big project you have: tidying your office, writing a book, doing your taxes… Take one TINY step. 

File a single piece of paper. Write one sentence. Send one receipt to your bookkeeper. 

That bee sting hurt for just a few minutes because I pulled it out fast.

Fears fester and doubts deepen, the longer you let them stay… 

Create a pattern interrupt. 

Take a tiny step.

It will shift everything. 

Love. Rich


PLUS… Whenever you’re ready, here are 5 programs that will help you increase your income and impact, as a world-class coach in the coming months:

  1. Join Transition Excellence, my 6 month, self-paced training for high performing leaders transitioning into coaching.  You’ll learn the skills, mindsets and strategies needed to create powerful, profitable coaching practices.  Plus, you will join our private member only community.  And, TE is ICF Accredited. 
  2. We’ve opened the doors to Project Kairos 2.0. This is the most in-depth way to get my support on creating clients – for an entire year. You’ll massively increase your professional confidence. You’ll learn world-class skills for enrolling and coaching highly successful clients. You will 10X your impact, your income and your inner peace. So you can do the same for your clients.
  3. Join the 4PC Accelerator, a high pressure environment where you can be challenged and supported by the members of 4PC. We’ll help you develop your own community and become known as the expert in your field. You’ll find it hard not to grow, surrounded by the most talented, driven leaders I know…
  4. Money. Money. Money is an immersion training to help you coach clients to live a Prosperous Life, as you live yours. In this new training you will understand how to master the game of money, help your clients handle their limiting beliefs around money, and become financially fearless.
  5. My favorite program over the past two years is back.  In How to Coach a Superhero I’ll be mentoring and coaching 5 highly successful coaches.  I’m going to teach you how to coach extraordinary top performers.  At the very same time, I’ll be teaching you how to do high-level group coaching. 
Transforming world-class leaders into world-class coaches.
That’s what we do.

If this sounds like you, let’s talk and explore if working together is a good fit.

Learn more about ways to work together