This week I had to prepare myself for something that was pretty darn scary for me. It was an interview with a big name in the industry, essentially someone I view as Internet Marketing royalty. It may well be viewed by thousands of people. Note: if you are wondering how to get these kinds of opportunities I have some great content coming up about publicity.
As it was my interview got rescheduled 2 hours before it happened, BUT it did allow me to pull together everything I’ve got on preparing for a BIG SCARY THING.
If you do choose the path of an entrepreneur at some point something will be put in front of you that you know lots of awesomeness is on the other side of – but it’s really stretching your comfort zone to do it.
This just comes with the territory so if it hasn’t happened so far, just know at some point you will want these tools.
Not that challenges don’t come up at a 9-5, they do, but the likelihood is you and going to care a whole lot more about the results when it’s your own work.
Here’s how I prepared this week and what I recommend you do too.
Step 1 – Write a list of all your successes (and ask others what they see as your successes if you want too)
This is one of my favourite exercises. We all tend to focus on the negative – the things we haven’t done yet, future goals that feel out of reach and those instances where we plain and simple just messed up.
If you write a list of your wins though – big and small – you’ll be amazed of how much you have achieved already in this lifetime.
The key is to write down everything that is a win to you. For me getting my driver’s license was a big deal for other people not so much as an example.
Once you get going with this you’ll be able to think of a long list of projects you’ve finished, relationships you’ve improved, meaningful accomplishments, amazing experiences and who knows what else!
Don’t hold back, it’s just for you :-)
Once you’ve done this you’re going to be looking at what you are capable of through a completely different lens.
Instead of thinking “This is impossibly hard. I can’t do this. What if I mess it up?” you’ll be thinking “Oh, I should be able to handle this. Look at all the other things I already did!”.
That sets the baseline.
Step 2 – Think about what you taking this leap will mean for you and about you
Next write down what achieving this goal or taking on this challenge will mean for you or about you.
Here are some examples so you can get your head around what I mean:
For me , doing the interview means I am an accomplished business owner who is spreading my message and valuable content to a bigger, broader audience.
Being offered this opportunity means I am respected in the industry and I have supporters who want to help me do more good in the world.
For you it could be:
Speaking to this prospective client will mean I am someone who steps up to the plate and is ready for success.
Buying this domain name means I am committing to starting my business. I am a person of my word who gets things done.
Increasing my prices means I have reached the next level of success and am confident in charging my worth for my services.
By adding meaning to it, it becomes bigger than the motions you have to go through, it attaches a status and something you want to it.
You want to be the person who steps up, takes on challenges and wins and this exercise brings that part of you to the forefront of your mind.
Step 3 – Imagine the worst case scenario and if it really would be that bad
Personally there are some cases for me where this doesn’t help and some cases where it does, so use this one where you think it will support you rather than scare you more!
Generally your fear of the unknown is bigger than the fear of the actual, real, worst case scenarios that could happen.
Often the worst case scenario isn’t that bad and sitting down and thinking ‘What would I do if that actually happened?’ makes you realise it actually wouldn’t be a big deal and you’d just move on.
Step 4 – Prepare how you want to “feel’ during it
I learned this recently and preparing for the feeling I wanted to have during the apparently scary thing made me think of all the aspects of the experience that would likely go well. I realised in this case I would feel knowledgeable, valued, intelligent and those are things that matter to me.
When I imagined the interview going well it actually became something I was looking forward to.
I find that usually once you get good at something it gets added to the list of things you do like, even if it used to be on the list of things you don’t.
Try it! You might be surprised :-)
Step 5 – Prepare, prepare, prepare – the actual thing you are going to do
Now of course the way to do well at anything that is out of your comfort zone is to prepare for it.
If it’s a particularly challenging client situation think about what you want to say. How can you handle the parts of the conversation that you are unsure of how to handle?
If it’s running a workshop make sure you have your materials ready and prepare for questions that your participants might ask.
Literally write down your answers.
I used to prep and write down my answers for potential job interview questions in the old days and this really helped me solidify my thoughts and communicate effectively.
Whatever it is that you have coming up it’s likely that you can prepare in some way.
Then you can go in knowing you gave it your best shot.
And that’s all you can ever ask of yourself, right?!
What do you think?
Do you have any particular techniques you use to overcome challenges?
How do you handle situations out of your comfort zone?
I’d love to know in the comments!