• Leah DeLong

Navigating Fear and Stress

Have you ever stepped so far out of your comfort zone it terrified you? Did the thought of it alone stop you from doing something you really wanted to do? I don't know about you.....I have had many of these moments where I have stepped out in spite of fear and where I froze because of fear. I write about this because I find it interesting how it is I can leap at moments and stand still at others. What is the difference? Why am I more courageous in certain things than others? Do you ever wonder this about yourself?

Seven years ago I left corporate America. I had no savings, nothing to start my business with - I just did it. Through that action, door after door opened. I started in a chiropractors office where I would show up and the office I was renting would be being used - I cannot tell you how many times. It was terrible, yet, I was determined and through asking, I found a space that I could really call my own in a multi room office and that person gave me a step up plan on rent meaning I started at a very very low rate and over six months worked my way into paying the full rent rate and I continued to grow from there and finally I landed in the quaint space I am currently located where I am defined as my own business completely.

In the journey of being an Entrepreneur, I learned how hard it is for me to step out and be seen. I freeze at the thought of setting up a training or a talk at a doctors office, or a business or within a group to enlighten my community about the services I provide and why. I do believe the why is important. What are you missing as a result of fear?

Two years ago, I decided to go back to school to acquire new tools for my business to create a pathway to better serving my clients. It was rough, I had to back off my hours in the office, so I slowed marketing and I lost some clients due to moving out of the area. Again, I was faced with; wow, what am I going to do? I just kept doing and showing up and learning. Then COVID hit just as I was nearing the end of my program. I had to close my practice, my classes went online, my kids were at home and it was scary as we did not know how to make ends meet, and keep all of life in the balance and "feeling normal." Can you relate to this in any way?

Now I have been back open fully since August and it has been so hard to build my practice back. I finished the educational program I was in and I am excited about the expansion and am left wondering.....How is this going to work?! People seem to still hold great concern and are quite leery about being interpersonal inside still. I appreciate this. Its another layer to navigate. I have been working on creating more space in my office through re-organizing, changing out furniture to smaller pieces and I spent much of COVID searching for rubbing alcohol. Thinking about how to best sanitize my office and the materials of the variety pieces in the space especially my massage table, rubbing alcohol just seemed best to me as it kills ALL GERMS and virus's. So, I gapped the time between clients an additional 15 minutes to allow the alcohol to dry and the space to aerate before the next client. I have had no issues and I honor all clients for where they are on the spectrum of COVID.

Why am I writing all of this? It is because when I look out to others in doing their business, it is always so polished. No one ever shows their struggle or the challenges they face in the process. I believe something is lost in that, it skips over how to over come fear, walk through it, it skips over how the process is often messy, it skips over the blunders and wonders. Where is the texture and truth in that?! Everyone says be messy, make mistakes, fall down. just do something and yet, I never see that part of the process. For me it creates doubt and self criticism because I do not seem to be so graceful!

This is what I personally do with my stress and fear. I love breathe work, I take deep breathes and if I am repeatedly called upon by something that terrifies me (more than twice) I say yes without knowing if I can really pull it off. Like yesterday I was on Business Talk Radio that airs on IHeart Radio and Pandora. A live eight minute segment. I did not do that perfectly! I froze a little in the beginning, but I took a deep breathe and the host without skipping a beat led me into the next thing. After it was over, I understood what I could have done and should have done and then became very excited - I WANT TO DO THAT AGAIN! That was a first for me, normally, I am more of - well, I will never do that again.

So what changed? I chose to be an observer of the experience! Do you know how to self observe? Would you like to learn? What would you like me to discuss around this - overcoming, walking through stress and fear?

Are you ready to start learning how to step up and out in your life? I would love to hear from you!

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