Anna Maria Locke

personal development

Common Fears to Expect While Growing Your Business

2019Anna Locke
navigating fear as a creative entrepreneur.png

It takes what I call COURAGEOUS AUTHENTICITY to build a heart centered business that's an expression of who you are, because it forces us to (A) figure out who we are in the first place and (B) get super vulnerable and bare our souls to the internet and world !!

In my 5 years of online business I've realized that we all deal with pretty much the exact same fears: fear of rejection, judgment, failure, success, no one signing up for our stuff, not ever finishing what we start...

There’s a difference between what I consider legit fear (e.g. danger or harm coming to you or someone you care about) versus irrational fear (what our ego or crazybrain considers danger, but won’t actually put us in harms way).

The way we evolved, our instinctual brain can’t tell the difference between being chased by a knife wielding stranger down a dark alley, and going out of our comfort zone to do something we’ve never done before. Our fear instinct sends DANGER warnings to our nervous system in either case, and we react accordingly.

In the second scenario, whenever we go out of our comfort zone we’re placing ourselves at risk of failure, judgment, increased visibility, which are uncomfortable to our ego that just wants us to fit in and play small.

So are you going to run or hide? Or is your adult, logical, rational truth brain going to override your instincts and remind you that you are indeed safe, even if personal growth is uncomfortable?

Almost all of our “irrational” fears can be traced back to one of two core fears:

  1. Fear of not being loved/accepted

  2. Fear of not being enough

For me, the former manifests in trying not to rock the boat, trying to be strong and not show emotions, taking care of everyone but feeling guilty for having my own needs and desires. A sense of isolation and being separate or different.

The second manifests in crippling perfectionism and overwhelm paralysis, feeling like I will never be able to fulfill my potential. Like I’m always failing to reach my own expectations. A sense of anxiety and lack.

I sent a poll out to my Courageously Authentic Women in Biz community and they responded with similar fears too, which I could easily trace back to the core two fears of not being loved, not being enough, or a little of both.

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

I AM NOT LOVED (fear of rejection) … this could also be the flip of not enough: being TOO MUCH.

  • What people will think?

  • I’ll fail and push people away.

  • Being open and vulnerable will lead to being misunderstood or judged.

  • What if no one else will want to join me?

  • Fear of judgment or rejection.

  • Fear of success!

I AM NOT ENOUGH

  • I will never attract paying clients.

  • I feel incapable and unworthy.

  • I’m afraid of failing.

  • I’m afraid of not being enough.

  • I don’t have a unique experience to connect with others.

  • Who am I to be a (insert your type of business here)?

  • I’ll never be successful because I’m not a high performer.

  • If I put time and effort into something and fail, I’ll have wasted that time and energy.

  • I’m not cool/popular/extroverted enough to really build this into a sustainable, flourishing business or put the effort in to keep it there

  • If I need to take time to recharge and unplug for a few days, people will lose interest so I just have to push through even when my body/soul are screaming for rest.

  • I am afraid of not having enough time to achieve everything I want, both in business and in life. I have all these great things I want to do, but I don’t have the time to get to them and in turn I won’t be as successful as I feel I can be...

  • Fear of not finishing what I started and dreamed of.

  • Not having enough time to build a business while raising children, and having to sacrifice time with kids and partner. Will it all be worth it?

The crazy thing is that we are all the same. We all struggle with different flavors of the same fundamental “stuff” of being human.

When we get out of our heads, and realize that we aren’t alone, the fear starts to dissipate!

This is why I freaking LOVE being a life coach.

Because you can do all the personal development. Go to all the motivational seminars.

But sometimes we need someone else to guide us through the actual work of processing and releasing our fears and doubts, to guide us back to our truth and reflect back what we can’t yet see in ourselves - how powerful and whole and lovable we really are already.

This is why I’ve created a new 3 part mindset training, jamming on some of the most common fears that limit female entrepreneurs from reaching our full potential, as well as a secret to “manifesting” our dreams that I haven’t seen anyone else in the world talk about yet.

I’m calling it LET IT HAPPEN - get out of your head and create an inspired business.

Let’s stop trying to force or push through... and surrender to what feels easy.

We are going deep, we are doing the work, we are going to make some major shifts together!

xo Anna



Let it be easy and fun

2017Anna Locke
IMG_0832.jpg

WHAT’S UP MY FRIENNNNNDS!

Happy freaking December! Winter has officially arrived here in Chiberia, our little Christmas tree is twinkling (even if we haven't put the ornaments up yet), and I'm trying to be present and enjoy every last bit of 2017 and the holiday season.

It's been a while since I wrote a blog post. Where have I been?

Leveling UP.

This is going to be more of a "personal update" post as I catch you up to speed on the top life lessons I learned in November. It was a crazy expansive month, and I've never felt this connected to myself, empowered, and confident.

As soon as November arrived, it's like I saw the end of the year coming and all of a sudden a fire lit and I woke up from my cozy comfy 10 months of 2017 "flow" and realized there were still a lot of projects and things I wanted to accomplish and finish before the calendar flips to a fresh year, and I couldn't keep holding myself back for one more second!

So I burned the boats, joined a group mastermind, invested in a high end business/life coach, raised my rates to be in alignment with the value and transformation I facilitate for my coaching clients, decided to stop playing small and over-thinking my life, created and shared my new powerful vision for my health coaching team, did a mini cleanse to kick my sugar addiction and re-calibrate my energy, started waking up at 5:30 to prioritize my self care, and had about a bajillion breakthroughs and mindset shifts.

Oh, and I chopped my work hours (bye bye "busy work") and still ended up making more money in November than I've ever made in a single month in my entire life.

WAAAA told you it was a big month.

I've been learning that our external "success" is proportional to our level of inner growth and personal development, which is why it’s so important as creative entrepreneurs to prioritize the deeper inner work it takes to get clear on our mission, vision, WHY, and work through all the fears and limiting beliefs that hold us back from taking action and growing into our goals and dreams.

I feel like God/the Universe is always sending us messages and signs through the universe that point us back to where we need to be and what we need to remember.

One of my favorite parts of life coaching is when my clients unconsciously mirror back a message or insight that's deep inside myself too. In the process of holding a safe and sacred space for them to meet themselves where they're at, figure out how they want to feel inside their vision, unravel what's blocking them from moving forward,  sometimes it feels like I'm actually coaching myself too and guiding us both into action.

And pretty much all my coaching calls and conversations this week have been pointing me back towards two main messages:

  1. Let it be easy

  2. Trust yourself

LET IT BE EASY. Because I’m done with making life and business hard and complicated. 

I’m releasing the belief that money and success are a product of sacrifice and hard work.

I’m not afraid of deep, soul work. Easy doesn't mean effortless. But it CAN feel aligned.

Easy doesn't always mean comfortable. But like a hard workout, it's exhilarating.

And TRUST. Ohhhhh trust.

At the beginning of 2017 I chose “open hearted” to be my word of the year and it was a great guide for several months but TRUST is what I keep coming back to again and again in my journal and conversations.

The biggest lesson I’m working on right now is to trust that everything I desire is coming my way. To trust that I’m enough right here, right now. To trust that I’ll grow into my goals and vision as I go...but I’m safe to take action from where I’m at right now.

I can be a control freak and perfectionist, which combined with my background in science and tangible results makes it really hard for me to feel happy and successful if I can't SEE things happening.

That's why trust is so important. Even though I can’t see all the tangible results I desire yet, I can trust the inner change, trust in a higher power, and trust the transformation that’s already happening inside of my mind and heart and energy.


So I'll leave you with a couple questions to reflect on:

Where can you let it be easy?

Where can you release your tight grip on control and surrender to trust?

xo Anna

p.s. I have two spaces open for life coaching in December! If you're a visionary, ambitious, high performing, multi-passionate creative entrepreneur or simply someone who feels called to forge your own path and you'd like some support in taking your happiness and biz to the next level, click here to book a complimentary 30 minute call!

What I learned from "The Art of Fear" (book review!)

2017Anna Locke

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”

You’ve heard that quote, right?

It sounds inspiring, but what if your dreams are TOO big?

What if they scare you so much that you’re paralyzed with so much overwhelm and fear that you can’t take action to actually achieve them?

To an extent, that’s what’s been happening with my life over the last couple of years.

This post is half book review, half stream-of-conscious braindump of some thoughts and feelings that have been on my heart lately.

I’ve become an expert at dreaming, goal setting, visioning, planning, strategizing, and envisioning a crazy amazing and limitless future for myself.

But the problem is that I’m too good at dreaming, I always have been. My dreams have been an escape from reality.

Deep down it's hard for me to believe that I'm good enough or worthy of my dreams, so I procrastinate and keep myself in my comfort zone by gaining more education and training, making plans, and making sure that my next dream is JUST out of reach so I can always have something to work towards without actually giving myself permission to go for it and dive into the discomfort of taking emotional risks and facing my fears (of rejection, success, going out of my comfort zone).

Change is hard, even when it's good change!

Will I even like or recognize who I am once I arrive at where I want to be?

Will I like what I find?

Will I like the person I become?

Will other people like me?

Will I lose my friends or family…will they accept me if I change and grow?

I know that they accept me for who I am right now, so that must be good enough, right? But deep down I still want more. I know I’m made for more. I am not made to play small, to hide my gifts and talents, to limit myself and my potential by not “going for it.”

I want to listen to my HEART, not my head. But I have listened to my head my entire life, so I’m not really sure I can 100% trust my heart and intuition. That I can trust myself!

That’s why I was intrigued by this book, The Art of Fear.

Tagline: "Why conquering fear won't work and what to do instead."

YES PLEASE! Teach me the ways!

If I really want to create the life coaching business of my dreams, buy a house, raise kids, move somewhere with mountains, share my art with the world, write a book, start a charitable foundation with Ben (my ultimate dream is to be a philanthropist! Well, my real ultimate dream is to be the princess of a small and wealthy nation buttttt I already screwed that up by not being born or marrying into royalty, oops), I need to start taking action now.

Even though I am so far away from where I want to be and it’s messy and uncomfortable and awkward. I hate feeling like a beginner. I love control. I love knowing what I’m doing, feeling competent, and having a level of success underneath me. But it’s a catch 22because in order to gain the confidence I need to reach my dreams, I have to do the messy work NOW…

I’ve always been driven by fear. Not in a good way.

I am realizing that the fear never goes away (new levels, new devils!). So I am looking for new ways to deal with it.

I loved this book because it was a new perspective on how we hold ourselves back. The author, Kristen Ulmer, is a former extreme skier and "fear addict" who now teaches people the tools to build a healthy relationship with this complex emotion.

She doesn’t tell you how to overcome your fears, punch fear in the face, feel the fear and do it anyway...which was refreshing to me because I know that at least personally, fighting my fear just makes it more aggressive and that is what leads to panic attacks, no thanks!

I need a gentler approach.

I wanted to learn how to make fear my friend instead of my worst enemy that holds me back.

I know that personally, anxiety (for me) is generally unused creative energy. When I get caught in my head, I start overthinking and under-acting. Once I get into action, no matter what I’m doing the anxiety and fear goes away because my brain feels that I am doing something

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the publisher to review with this post, but I feel like it was a sign from God because I NEEDED to read this book. It came at a perfect time.

WHO THIS BOOK IS FOR

  • Anyone who is tired of being controlled by their fear (or any other manifestation: anxiety, stress, overwhelm, anger, over-thinking, etc) and is ready to get emotionally uncomfortable and do the hard work to build a new relationship with themselves. Because in order to reach our potential (in life, love, relationships, career, everything!), we have to love and accept ourselves including our “negative” sides and darker emotions.
  • Soul searchers who want to discover their purpose and potential as a complete and whole-hearted human being.
  • If you love Brene Brown, Jen Sincero, Martha Beck, and similar authors.
  • If you want to get out of your head.

WHAT I LEARNED FROM THE ART OF FEAR

1. Everything we know about fear is wrong.

Our relationship with fear is the most important relationship of our lives, because it's the relationship we have with ourselves. 

Fear itself isn't the problem -- it's how we react or interpret it. Fear is an emotional and physical response produced by what Ulmer calls our "lizard brain," our amygdala, our oldest part of our brain in terms of evolutionary history. Our Lizard Brain is constantly on the lookout for anything that might kill us, and it can't distinguish the level of the threat so it sees mortal danger everywhere! It communicates by sending physical sensations of discomfort (aka FEAR), which trigger our fight or flight instinct.

This in itself is fine, except that our "thinking mind" creates stories around the feelings our Lizard Brain is sending. Our thinking mind is that voice inside our heads, basically who we believe ourselves to be. It's the furthest thing from our body and intuition, but it creates stories that shape who we are and create our perception of ourselves and reality.

The thing is that there is really no such thing as "good" or "bad" emotions, but if an emotion feels uncomfortable, we label it as "bad" and then do anything to shut it down, avoid it, try to let it go, or overcome it. But it will never go away unless we allow ourselves to feel and experience it fully!

The good news is that when we allow ourselves to feel our emotions (good and bad), they usually run their course in 10-90 seconds and then we're on to the next feeling.

Therefore, if you aren't actually in physical danger, practice feeling into your fear/anxiety/overwhelm/anger/stress and see what happens!

I've been practicing this and it honestly works.

Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and notice the sensations in your body and where fear is showing up. Breathe through it, notice what's happening, remember that you are safe, and allow it to tell you what it wants to say and then move on.

2. Repressed fear causes all sorts of issues.

Because feeling our uncomfy feels is so hard, we’re pretty much all struggling with repressed fear.

Judging yourself or other people, blame, having an overactive crazy mind, not being able to sleep, stress and anxiety, mental or mood disorders, burnout, physical problems, feelings of unworthiness, all of these and pretty much any emotional hang-up comes from fear.

Suffering = discomfort x resistance

It’s not the discomfort itself that’s causing suffering, but our resistance to feeling the discomfort.

So even though it sounds counterproductive, accepting the discomfort and leaning into your fear is the only way to truly release it.

3. How to build a new relationship with fear and yourself

This was my favorite section of the book. All is not lost!

To build a healthy relationship with fear, it’s not about accepting our fear (because that leads to passivity), but about honoring it. Listen to what it is telling you, because it just wants to keep you safe.

Stop vilifying your inner critic and think of her like your no-BS bodyguard or best friend.

Let the fear give you the message, and then instead of immediately reacting or running away, respond wisely.

Do you feel anxious about a big presentation or interview at work? It’s ok – your fear just wants you to be prepared and do your best. So instead of getting in your head, channel that anxiety into focused energy so you deliver your presentation with an edge.

Because at the end of the day, that’s all that fear is. Energy.

If we use it to motivate us instead of paralyze us, we’ll go farther than we ever thought possible.

I have so many more thoughts on this book and this subject in general, but I’m going to let it all marinate and practice on myself.

That’s another important thing to remember: When we push ourselves out of our comfort zone and expand, we’re going to then contract a little bit in response. So if you ever have a “vulnerability hangover” after a big day, don’t freak out, just give yourself time to grow into the new and bigger version of yourself that you’re becoming.

You are stronger than you think!

xo Anna

Wanna chat more about this topic? I’d love to jam with you! Click here to send me a note.


Grab a copy of The Art of Fear here!

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About The Art of Fear

• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: Harper Wave (June 13, 2017)

A revolutionary guide to acknowledging fear and developing the tools we need to build a healthy relationship with this confusing emotionand use it as a positive force in our lives.

We all feel fear. Yet we are often taught to ignore it, overcome it, push past it. But to what benefit?  This is the essential question that guides Kristen Ulmer’s remarkable exploration of our most misunderstood emotion in The Art of Fear.

Once recognized as the best extreme skier in the world (an honor she held for twelve years), Ulmer knows fear well. In this conversation-changing book, she argues that fear is not here to cause us problems—and that in fact, the only true issue we face with fear is our misguided reaction to it (not the fear itself).

Rebuilding our understanding of fear from the ground up, Ulmer starts by exploring why we’ve come to view it as a negative. From here, she unpacks fear and shows it to be just one of 10,000 voices that make up our reality, here to help us come alive alongside joy, love, and gratitude. Introducing a mindfulness tool called “Shift,” Ulmer teaches readers how to experience fear in a simpler, more authentic way, transforming our relationship with this emotion from that of a draining battle into one that’s in line with our true nature.

Influenced by Ulmer’s own complicated relationship with fear and her over 15 years as a mindset facilitator, The Art of Fear will reconstruct the way we react to and experience fear—empowering us to easily and permanently address the underlying cause of our fear-based problems, and setting us on course to live a happier, more expansive future.


Photo by Meaghan M. Golden

Photo by Meaghan M. Golden

About Kristen Ulmer

Kristen Ulmer is a facilitator who draws from her tenure as the best woman extreme skier in the world for twelve years and from thousands of hours facilitating clients on the subject of fear. Her work has been featured on NPR and in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, Outside magazine, and many other publications. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Find out more about Kristen at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

 

I was provided with a free copy of the book to review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!