How to Challenge Fear, Instead of Believing It
I desperately wanted to be a cheerleader but I had fear around if I could actually do it.
See, I knew my chances of actually getting selected for the squad were slim to none but it was all I could think about.
I wasn’t like the other girls. They were popular, had money, and looked the part.
I was none of those things.
But when I saw them performing on the field or on the court, I was in awe! People paid attention to them. They were important. They mattered.
I loved their uniforms and their dances. But more than anything, I was intoxicated by their confidence.
I wanted that too.
So, when the time rolled around for tryouts, I signed up.
I know. #facepalm I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
Was I afraid? Fear of what people would think? Worried I would fail and look like an idiot?
Yes, yes, and OMG YES!
But I couldn’t think about being afraid.
So, I put blinders on and just focused on taking the next right step.
Which is how I found myself at the first practice, feeling like a fish out of water.
I was nauseous, nervous, and my palms were so sweaty I could have cleaned the gym floor with them!
I wasn’t very coordinated, didn’t have a lot of rhythm, and I certainly didn’t look the part with my faded shorts and t-shirt.
Was that hard to feel unworthy in that moment, surrounded by other girls who were clearly born for this?
Did I want to cry, give up, and run away?
Was I so embarrassed I wanted to hide under the bleachers?
But I didn’t do any of those things. Instead, I just kept taking the next right step.
I showed up to every practice, went home and practiced late into the evening and I got up early and practiced before school.
I visualized my future SELF – a cheerleader wearing that red, white, and blue uniform. Being seen as someone who had risen up and made one of my dreams come true.
I visualized how it would feel stepping on the court as a leader. A cheerLEADER. It felt good.
When the day of tryouts arrived, I felt like I was going to vomit.
I knew one of the judges didn’t like me or my family at all. She thought we were white trash. And to be fair… if the shoe fits, wear it!
When my name was called to go through the tryout process, I gave it my all.
I stepped into my future SELF and I cheered, jumped, and danced my face off.
Finally, tryouts were over and it was time for the squad members to be announced. I sat cross legged on the gym floor and held my breath.
“This year’s squad members are… Amy, Stephanie, Joy…”
“Tara, Hope, Kelly…”
On and on.
Then, the cheer coach said, “This is our new squad for this year and we’re so proud of you all!”
My name hadn’t been called.
I didn’t make the squad and I was too shocked and disappointed to even cry. I just hung my head and tried to pretend I was ok.
Then, the cheer coach said… “AND… we have one more announcement.”
“This year we’ll have an alternate member of the squad in case someone is injured, sick, or can’t make a game for another reason. And that person is…”
And then… she called my name.
ME! She called MY NAME! 😱
I wanted to mouth kiss her! (Yes, it would have been HIGHLY inappropriate and my success probably would have come to an abrupt end but stilllll )
I had done it! Against all the odds – even my own thoughts and stories – I had done it.
I went on to cheer at almost every game that year since there was always someone who couldn’t make it for one reason or the other. #teenagegirls
And I worked harder than anyone there. I was the one who showed up first and left last. And I got really, really good.
When the time came to tryout the following year, I was one of the first names called as part of the new squad.
In fact, I went on to be named “Most School Spirited” in my senior year. (When I set my mind to something, I do it right, you know what I’m saying?) 🥳
So the point of this story is to decide what you want and just take the next right step.
Don’t let fear cloud your judgement. Just keep taking the next right step.
AND… be so good they can’t ignore you.
That’s what today is about.
I know there’s something YOU want to do. Something you want to FEEL. To experience.
And I know you’re holding yourSELF back.
Everything you want is on the other side of fear and today I’m going to help you push through that so you can finally create a life you’re obsessed with!
“What’s the worst that could happen?”
I ask mySELF this question a lot when I feel fear trying to hold me back from doing what I know I need to do.
Because here’s the truth… fear can be a real asshole. 🤬
It can be a sneaky little devil, whispering doubts and uncertainties in our ears. I know, I’ve heard it soooo many times.
The next time that happens, take a deep breath and whisper right back, “Yes… But what’s the worst that could happen?”
Fear is gonna trip out a bit, stumble, and wonder where YOU came from but don’t give in to it!
You see, our minds tend to blow things out of proportion. We conjure up the worst-case scenarios that never actually come true.
The next time that happens, instead of believing the fear, challenge it.
Ask yourSELF… “What’s the worst that could happen?”
And spell it out! Put the cards on the table. Think of the absolute WORST thing that could happen. Then ask yourSELF this question…
“If that happens, can I handle it?”
Spoiler alert: You sure the fuck can!
Let me remind you (again) that you’ve successfully made it through 100% of the most horrible, “what the actual fuck is happening” times of your life and here you are… still standing like a BOSS.
Remember, you are resilient, capable, and deserving of greatness.
You can handle anything that happens in your life – just like you always have.
So take the next right step TODAY toward living the life of your dreams. What’s the worst that could happen?
One of my favorite ways to help my clients build confidence is through a Confidence Journal.
Here’s how it works… Find a journal and at the end of each evening, write down 3 things you experienced that day that made you feel confident. ⚡
It could be an accomplishment, a compliment someone gave you, a strength you realized you had, or some step you took toward living your unapologetic life. It’s up to you!
The next morning when you wake up, read one of the previous day’s entries. It doesn’t matter which one.
The goal here is to remind you of how amazing you are and to build confidence for the things you will do that day! 🥳
A Confidence Journal will help shift your focus from worrying about what other people think of you to recognizing your own worth and abilities.
Plus, celebrating yourSELF is a powerful form of self care that supports your mental health. 🧠
By taking just 60 seconds every night and morning, you’ll gradually build a stronger belief in who you are and what you’re capable of so that fear doesn’t stand in your way!
SELF MADE SUCCESS
I’ll be honest with you. Years ago when I decided to try out for the cheerleading squad, I didn’t have what it took.
As you know, I wasn’t coordinated or naturally talented and I had about as much rhythm as a river rock.
But I had something that I knew those other girls didn’t. I was willing to work harder, for longer, to get what I wanted.
All these years later, I’ve found it to be one of the biggest secrets to my success. ✨
Lady O (aka Oprah) says it well in this video. (It’s 17 seconds, give it a looksie!) 👀
In a nutshell… Drop the fear. Be so good that they can’t ignore you.
Ask yourSELF… What is it that YOU want to do and what are the skills you need in order to become so good they can’t ignore you?
I had to learn to be more flexible, to have rhythm, to smile and act like I was having the time of my life while in a split that I thought I might never get up from.
All of these things are skills. And anyone can learn them.
So again… What skills will YOU choose to learn so YOU can be so good they can’t ignore you?