Stop Trying To Overcome Your Humanness & Say Hello To Co-Existence
This is how women co-exist with fear without succumbing to the stories we tell ourselves.
Female entrepreneurs face many flavors of fear from impostor syndrome to stage fright, or even public speaking to even the thought of being in front of ANY camera.
We all know that person...or maybe you are them?
'Overcoming' this emotion is a common phrase, but technically...there's no way around it. This blog is about sitting with it and doing what you want anyway.
Sound scary? Perfect.
Let's get into it.
Say hello to our little friend:
“An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”
-Thanks to Google I can look things up and know things.
With this, comes the knowledge that fear is pretty much a basic human emotion and will be with us until the day we die.
Fear...It's giving... caveman.
It's giving...natural human instinct that keeps us from being eaten by tigers and jumping into fires.
It's giving...the pre-installed app that you can't off load...
Luckily, we live in a world where we don’t have to worry about lions n' tigers n' bears. Instead, lions and tigers have been replaced with:
Heartbreak, rejection, perfection, anxiety, and failure.
So...that's cool. *looks around awkwardly*
You'd be surprised (or not at all) that the majority of our hiding, hesitation, and even settling is a direct result of these damn things. Actually, hiding in our metaphorical caves can keep us from chasing BIG dreams, finding MEANINGFUL love, and even seeking self expression.
Idk who said it, but at the heart of every negative thought is fear dressed in different pants.
Okay maybe they didn't say it like that, but you get it...
" But JESSICA, like... how do we face the fact that our brains have substituted sheer survival for lame expectations ingrained by a society that's not built for everyone?! "
If you're curious about how to co-exist with our caveman bestie then maybe you can find a little relief and a whole lot of courage (or a little is fine too) by simply discovering that you're not alone.
After all, finding your tribe is one way to lower your daily fear. Is that fact? Technically, No.
Does it have some merit?
Why yes, yes it does.
History or Science?
One might ask, why does society even create trends, fads, and why do we let them work if they oppress us so much? Other than by patriarchal force, capitalism, and systemic racism...that's for another day, on another blog; but if you listen closely, you'll see that even those deeply rooted patterns are driven by, yep...you guessed it...FEAR.
You see, villages and tribes for our ancient ancestors meant survival. So, the saying, 'it takes village'...actually holds some truth, which is probably why it's so hard for us to raise kids and get enough adult time when we've all learned to isolate for self preservation as a by-product of living in this country.
Back then, being cast out, leaving the tribe, or getting lost meant almost certain death. Together they had food, shelter, protection, awareness of the environment, and built immune systems.
But today...we don't need to worry about that. Cue the pandemic. We were all pretty happy on our own until 2 weeks became 2 years and we realized we hadn't hung out with a group of adults in an unknown amount of time.
Some people were ready to bust out, some are half and half, and others are wondering...do we really have to?
The hesitation lies in fear. Even if we love being alone, we could be afraid of having to worry about what we look like again, wear, or how fit we are.
Dodging judgement is a blast! Said, no one ever.
But connection with our tribe, village, or friend group; it's what need.
“Connection is why we're here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.”
Submitting to fear or allowing vulnerability?
There are many outcomes of submitting to fear, such as self-preservation. This can come from within, even stemming from our childhood. Think about that for a second.
When we submit to fear we let go of our dreams, think smaller, and learn to blend in. We begin to unsee ourselves.
But vulnerability, THAT'S how we are able to feel fear or even the possibility of it, while not letting it hold any power in our decision making.
Let’s begin to understand and think on a whole new level.
Are you ready to think about what's possible? Maybe allow yourself to accept fear for what it is? A basic human emotion. The moment we do that - we experience GROWTH… and damn, THAT feels good.
When self doubt creeps in, it can get tricky. So, instead of avoiding the things that scare you: you can choose ahead of time to face them head on. Life isn’t supposed to be comfortable or easy.
Ya wanna live with fear? Vulnerability is accepting that growth is possible when feeling fear at the heart of discomfort.
Have you heard the saying, “practice makes perfect”? Well, I don’t want us to be perfect but we could definitely use some practice! Practice doing the things that make you uncomfortable. Practice making videos, giving speeches, or even taking pictures of yourself. Saying hello to strangers, calling an old friends, or trying an activity you KNOW you're not great at, but have been wanting to do.
Even practicing these little things can help you on the path to co-existing with this emotion. (Don't worry, keep reading to get some better examples of how to do this.)
Confronting what you need to work on might feel vulnerable (at first), but just remember... You’ve got this. And if you're brand new to building your tribe or support system, I'm here to help you conquer your fears so that you can live your life.
What women do...
So, what happens when we give into our fear-induced thoughts? We trip and fall, maybe waste a few years on a bad relationship, and instead of getting back up - we lay down and stay down?
That's gonna be a hard nope.
If we do that, we become stagnant. Whah, whah, whah... What kind of life is that? If I could do one thing with this blog, it's to simply plant the seed in your beautiful and intelligent minds that FEAR is simply what YOU make of it.
Me? I laugh. Bringing light to the situation and never taking myself too seriously always helps with grounding myself.
YOU control your feelings. YOU control your thoughts.
" Female Entrepreneurs Make up 43% of All Global Entrepreneurs. Data from 2021, shows that women now make up 43% of all business owners in the world. While women entrepreneurs are closing the gender gap in business ownership, they still aren’t quite halfway there. However, 43% show there is potential for a halfway mark in the coming years."
Read more at EarthWeb: Women Entrepreneurs Statistics 2023: U.S., U.K., & Worldwide https://earthweb.com/women-entrepreneurs-statistics/
WOAH. and Also. High Five ladies.
Here’s a little taste of that as we dive into what fear means to a few special women and friend’s of mine.
Some Fempreneur Perspective
A dear friend of mine, Lynee Palacios believes in the theory that “fear is a state of mind”. Lynee is the CEO of VIAA, and has created and sold multiple businesses successfully.
When asked, she shared that she believes that it is the product of our imagination; "we only feel it if we believe it."
While, she is a successful entrepreneur, businesswoman, and mother, she wasn’t always this way. Learning to empower that little girl deep inside her soul through mindset work and self discovery, she became the woman she is today.
Ahhh, self-growth at its finest.
“Remember, courage doesn’t happen without feeling fear first” - J
It's been said that if you change the way you THINK - you change your life.
Let this sink in for a minute.
When we co-exist with fear, we can turn it into fuel…..
Time to Use Fear for Fuel
For another dear friend of mine, Lisa Hyde, USING fear as fuel can help propel us forward.
I remember when we were getting to know each other and how she told me she wanted to puke the first time she stepped on a stage. As a retired Hollywood talent agent, she was used to putting others in the spotlight, not stepping into it.
Today, she’s the CEO of The Confidence Crown, & Podcast Host, Author, Millionaire Mentor & Skincare Guru, and travels the world. Wanna know what she thinks?
As Lisa so gracefully says,
And I think it’s safe to say we can all resonate with that.
“We are not who we were when we were young. The same things that scared us when we were children don't have to scare us TODAY...
How you use fear is your choice. So, let’s turn it around and USE that energy to accomplish our dreams and goals." - Lisa Hyde, Author of BE #StrongHER - A Guide to Building Confidence
She used to be scared of public speaking - but now she gets PAID for it!
How did she do it?
She JUST DID IT, despite the fear.
She created a vision of what she wanted, wrote out her presentation, and kept repeating it and practicing it until it was her OWN. She didn’t let the fear (or the possibility of puking) control her ability to share what she cared about.
But how did she turn fear into fuel? Is that just a cool saying?
The Science Behind It | Did You Know :
" The feeling of fear is similar to excitement. Our brains don’t know the difference between the adrenaline rush we are experiencing."
When this happens, you have to take control of your mind. When Lisa got up on that stage, instead of telling herself she was terrified, she tricked herself into feeling EXCITED by simply repeating, “I’m EXCITED to speak in front of all of these people.”
Just, Check her out now. *Flex*
She Went On Despite The Fear
The Courageous Life Theory, is based on the scientific evidence that fear has been pivotal to human evolution and survival. This theory is based on the concept that fear is caused by the “primitive brain” or the amygdala, which is the collection of cells near the base of the brain. This is where EMOTIONS are given MEANING, remembered, attached to associations and RESPONSES to them.
Thoughts in today’s world of big love and even bigger dreams come from a different place altogether; the prefrontal cortex. This is where reasoning, decision-making, and planning happen!
It’s where you can MANAGE emotion and think of a logical response, and even plan it AHEAD of time...yay for evolution! When it comes to fear in our world the prefrontal cortex gets to OVERRIDE our amygdala so we can respond in the most efficient way...
...but only if we want it to.
So, while we know fear exists, we DO NOT have to invite it in when it comes knocking.
We don’t have to live with it.
And we certainly don’t have to ask for its opinion for every major decision in our lives!
“She was powerful, not because she wasn’t scared, but because she went on so strongly despite the fear” - Harper Lee
When I built my business, it was this quote that helped me do new and terrifying things, and those were the things that mattered.
When I started out I didn't know how to change my thoughts or my mind. Turns out by using this quote, and repeating it for so long, was a total accident that worked. It became a belief. I would become powerful by moving forward even when I felt scared. A common experience among female entrepreneurs.
While this isn't blog to sell you on fear, here are some benefits of the little bugger.
10 Ways Fempreneurs Can Tackle Their Fears:
Tackle Public Speaking
Scared? That’s okay. Remember, use this fear as fuel.
Join Toastmasters - No, this isn’t about breakfast. Toastmasters International is actually a nonprofit educational organization that helps people learn public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. This club can help you become a more confident speaker, leader, and/or communicator.
Go Live on social media more often- We love to see our members go live in the Membership. Doing helps them level up, especially when it comes to confidence and even business. This gives people the opportunity for interaction, and normalizing impromptu speaking. Bonus! It’s also more effective than creating a post for people to comment on.
Joining a community or starting one of your own - When you join a community (such as Coach Curator Insider) you learn the basics behind navigating your creative career, but also, how to show up powerfully. Joining a community is the first step creating a supportive network to bounce ideas off of, share your goals, and get unlimited empowerment.
If you don’t have a network like this...why not?
Reject Negative Self Talk
Be aware of it, and know when to intervene with journaling or meditation
This is easy! TALK BACK! Literally, when you have a negative train of thought, tell it to go away! Disrupt disrupt disrupt. When you say for example, an affirmation or incantation, out loud you are rewiring your brain.
Create Affirmations: Try this one if you don’t already have a go to, “I will ONLY create positive and POWERFUL thoughts that move me forward, Nothing else exists!”
How to Defy Social Expectations
It’s natural to want to be accepted or included, but don’t let this make you fall victim to perfectionism.
Have the audacity to be ambitious. Do what you’re “not supposed to” or take the hard way if you feel that it’s right for you. Don’t live your life within the boundaries of someone else's comfort zone.
Dare to Be Different. When they want you to be quiet, get loud. When they don’t like what you have to say, get louder.
How to Access Funding
Over 90% of new businesses get going without the help of a loan or a grant, don’t forget you can start from nothing!
Crowdfund! With the help of personal resources and investors you can accumulate money to help with the start of your business. (This takes major vulnerability! Time to be brave!)
Angel Investors and Venture Capitalist! First, identify your own demographic, THEN, looks for individuals who support YOUR particular mission. Aka WOC, Hispanic Female Entrepreneur Association, etc
How To Set The Tone
Boundaries. HAVE THEM! It’s okay and actually recommended to say no; when you don’t wanna do something or be around someone. It's simple, say yes to no.
Use your voice! Believe in your message. It will be the most commonly tested thing you encounter. When you are questioned with doubt, don't invite it in with justifications. Either don't respond or simply state that you do what you want, then end.
Allow others to have thoughts, opinions that differ from yours, without letting it affect your reality. When "they" say those things, it doesn't have to be YOUR truth. POINT BLANK PERIOD.
Own Your Accomplishments
Track your goals, journal about them, and write in that gratitude journal when it's done. When we express gratitude for our own growth, we release dopamine and serotonin. Thus, rewarding ourselves for perseverance AND ALSO, associating positive experiences with challenging growth.
Celebrate your wins, it’s one of the best gifts to give to yourself, because when we do this - it creates acknowledgement. The journey we’re on is REAL. Go to dinner, make a post, write a blog, create a reward system for yourself!
Highlight the hard work you put into your goals and your business. You deserve to give yourself credit where it’s due, and strengthen that belief in yourself. No more "awe, that was easy, anyone can do it".
Build Support Networks
Take risks and get to know people outside of your current circle.
Practice making connections with people. This develops interpersonal skills which helps in EVERY aspect of your business. From making the first sale to building a team for a growing business, connection enables trust, and healthy relationships.
Find other like minded women and support the heck out of them! When you support other people, then reciprocation happens. You open yourself to the same thing!
Balancing That Family Life
Unplug, but finish reading this blog first! Then watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix, Which will have you unplugging in no time! From your laptop, your phone, anything that has to do with work or the internet.
Communicate, acknowledge, and PLAN time with your partner . This is so important, if you’re running a business - your partner most likely will have more work to do in other areas of your lives so it’s always great to empower your connection this way.
Also, do this with your closest friends and support system so they feel appreciated.
AGAIN, do this with your FAMILY and CHILDREN. This helps particularly with mom guilt, which stems from the fear of not being enough for them.
Coping With Fear of Failure
Write about it. Journal! When we write things down we understand things more clearly and can better decide a path for healing from there.
Get curious and try to understand where this fear is coming from. If you find the source of your fear, you can discover powerful ways to grow. The source, might be a story or thought you've been repeating for years, it may have also been adopted or taught by someone from the past.
Growing on your journey to self-acceptance will help you give yourself space. Understanding that failure is actually necessary on the path of success. Failure means that you tried something and it didn't work. Failure is NOT falling short of expectations made by others.
Use Meditation & Visualization To Create Confidence
Meditation helps connect with your innermost self. It can help you create and solidify a unique foundation of self respect which accompanies real growth.
When you use visualization, it inspires and motivates you to actually do something about it. This gives you the clarity to take the action needed. This also activates your prefrontal cortex, because imagining a goal help the brain begin to look for ways to actualize it.
It helps with the Law of Attraction. When you open yourself to what you want, and you KNOW that you’re worthy of it, it’s more likely to come your way. Even if you don't believe the Law of Attraction, as stated before, these exercises activate the part of your brain that begins to look for you vision. Bringing you closer to encounters and opportunities to seize your goal, that otherwise go unnoticed.
“My entire life people have called me lucky. They mistake that for resilience, hard work, and courage” - Jessica Mejia
I built this to give you the support you need to create sustainable success yourself, no matter what that looks like for you. Together we face our fears, shake hands with it, and move on despite it.
We can do that through friendship, support, encouragement, and empowerment.
We can move through life without regrets, and more get back ups than giving ups. Not only reaching our own versions of success, but being all the more courageous for it.
Coach Curator Collective is about accessible personal development for women who are changing, becoming, and chasing down their dreams without losing sight of balance and well-being along the way.
All my best,