What keeps you from staying in action towards your desired goals? I can bet it’s that four letter word...FEAR. Maybe your first few baby steps toward your goal were a breeze. And then...it’s time to make a specific request from someone or get out to a networking meeting and say “who you are and what you do” in 30 seconds (when you’re not exactly sure who the heck you are yet!). Taking what feels like a big risk can stop you cold.

Now…you’ve probably heard that you’ll have to “fake it till you make it.” That all successful people have had fears and doubts but persevered with apparent confidence…even if they weren’t feeling it. Well, I don’t care for the word “fake it” so much (my business name is AUTHENTIC Life Institute!). So I say “Faith it Till You Make It.”

I do believe you have to take steps that scare the pants off you...those are the ones that really move you toward your goal AND even more importantly, these scary steps are the ones that stretch you more fully into who you truly are as a human being (not just a human doing). Have faith that these are the steps that bring you closer to your essential self and not the self you’ve created to get the world’s approval.

To help you past this fear, I’m going to share 3 things I did as I grew from my “feeling trapped but secure university professor self” into an entrepreneur who feels freedom, ease and grace while providing products and services to the world that ideally fit my life purpose and lifestyle choices.

Problem #1. Fear stops you when you are doing something for the first time and don’t know how. I’ll never forget the first time I attended a networking meeting –I went in with much trepidation and absolutely no clear intention of what I wanted to get from it. I hadn’t thought about how I’d introduce myself and did it badly. What could you do in this situation?

Solution: You could ask a friend who attends many networking meetings to tell you what to expect when you go to your first meeting. You could also ask her to tell you what her introduction is to get an idea of what’s expected.

You can look up “elevator speeches” on the internet to get tips you can use. You can write up your first draft and practice it aloud, editing it and practicing until you can at least get it out without totally tripping on your tongue.

Problem #2. Fear about lack of experience. For the many of you who have been reading my ezines, taking teleclasses with me and participating in our Success Circle, you’ve witnessed my many “fall flat on the face” efforts. And I can gladly say, that it doesn’t bother me a bit to make mistakes, learn from them and move on now. I couldn’t always say that though!

Solution: You must be willing to tell people if you are brand new to something.
It’s fine to admit it’s the first time you’ve done something AND don’t forget you are bringing tons of valuable experience and skills to this first time situation.

I once facilitated a group on preparing yourself to attract a relationship. I have no training in relationships...I wanted a group to work with me as I was preparing myself for a relationship! I was honest. Right at the start of the group I shared that “I’m not a relationship expert, I am looking to be in a relationship myself…AND I have facilitated hundreds of teleclasses on many subjects and I have a natural gift for this…so I know together we will learn a great deal about ourselves and how to attract the right relationship while having a great time!” And we did. (And I met a man exactly 12 months later who I am now married to.)

Problem #3. Lack of support. When you’re stuck in your rut and not doing anything new to stretch yourself more into who you REALLY are, everyone around you is probably comfortable with you just the way you are. Then, when you decide to step over a threshold and begin to make changes, everyone around you is going to get shook up.

When I announced I was leaving my “secure” job, I got all kinds of responses and none of them was supportive. "You’ll lose your health benefits and retirement." "Do you REALLY think you can succeed in something so different from what you’ve done?" "You’ll be lonely working from home." Get the picture?

Just when you need support the most, those who have given it to you in the past, just might not be able to. They are afraid for you. Some are even envious because they have a buried dream and are not courageous enough yet to move towards it.

Every successful person has at least one supportive person (and most have more!) to provide a strong foundation on which they can lie their dreams and ideas and not have them get squashed. You need people that will say “yes you can!” and help brainstorm ideas with you when you’re stuck. So early on in any change you are making, get some support!

Author's Bio: 

Ann Ronan, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, certified career coach and self employment expert, and vision generator.

Ann delivers smart, simple ways for people to acknowledge what they love to do and do more of it. Her articles, products, and books have motivated and inspired readers in numerous print and online publications. She regularly leads coaching programs, tele-seminars and live retreats, bringing the message to audiences internationally that living a passion-based life will bring prosperity and success.

She was recently selected from a nationwide search to be featured in Discover Your Inner Strength. The book features best-selling authors Stephen R. Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), Brian Tracy (Million Dollar Habits), and Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager).