Three Keys to Quieting the Loud Voice of Fear Once and For All

You are meant to grace that stage one day…your time will come.

We all give off a vibe, a certain type of energy. Last week, at the National Mobile Teledentistry conference, I noticed a woman who matched the demeanor I enjoy being around. She had kind eyes and gracefully interacted with other doctors and vendors. That’s my favorite kind of people-watching…human connection in real time. As I walked by her booth, she stopped me and introduced herself as Kendra. We instantly hit it off and I walked away with a warm heart after just a few minutes with my new friend.

Later that evening, the Denobi Awards (the most glamorous event in dentistry) lit up the room with everyone dressed in black tie gowns. Kendra looked exceptionally beautiful with her long hair up in a fancy bob and I almost didn’t recognize her! The awards had just finished, and the atmosphere was filled with gratitude, inspiration and excitement for the future. The award nominees blew us away with their acceptance speeches as each one articulately expressed their passion and expertise for creating innovative change in the profession. Kendra and I mutually expressed how daunting it would be to get up on that stage….ever.  There was an instant of truth in our conversation where she expressed how one day, she would love to share her story and passion publicly too. To join this tribe of powerful women who were leading the way for the rest of us. She quickly shrunk back and expressed her doubts. Why does she deserve a moment in the spotlight? Why do any of us?

Inadequacy is the condition of being not enough or not good enough. We all struggle with this feeling at times. We’ve conditioned our brains to listen to those internal voices that tell us “we’ll never be enough”.  Some days, they are loud and scream for our attention. Some days they’re quieter and subtle but still we give them power over our thinking.

The fear of inadequacy paralyzes, robbing us of opportunities right around the corner.

The voice of fear sounds different to everyone. For some it behaves like imposter syndrome and for others perfectionism. The thoughts we default to vary from person to person, but the driving force behind it all is FEAR.  Our thoughts are always a surface symptom to something deeper. Let’s jump into a conversation centered on a few simple solutions that will help you conquer the relentless voice of fear!

3 Keys To Quieting the Voice of Fear

1) What are you afraid of? Identify the thing you fear most. Give it a name and even say it out loud. It may feel silly, but words spoken out loud lose their power when they’re not true.

I am obsessed with podcasting and love listening more than I love reading. Last year, my podcast launched, The Story Project where I interview one doctor per month and we chat about their story. /My fear has always been that I would fail as a solo guest on someone else’s podcast./ I believed that my story wasn’t as interesting or worthy of a conversation. Saying it out loud immediately helped me recognize that my own fear conflicts with my personal values. I believe that every single human on this planet has a story worth being told, so that would include my own.

2) Why are you afraid of it? Name the consequences or implications you may experience if you “go for it”. Sticking with my solo guest podcasting fear, what’s the worst that can happen if I accept a podcasting invitation and agree to be on a show? Well, I might say something I wish I hadn’t, or maybe I get stumped and don’t know how to answer a question.  When I identify the “why” behind the fear, the reasons shrink in importance.

3) What can you do to overcome the thing you fear? Having a disposition towards action will always serve you. Fear tries to immobilize us, so coming up with a plan is the antidote. In my experience, there are three steps I’ve taken this year that have helped me tremendously overcome the fear of sharing my story.

>>Find a coach. This year, I have had the honor of working with Minal Sampat, one of my favorite humans. She is the Marketologist author and queen of creating connection through content creation. Because connection and story are so important to me, I knew it would be the right fit. We’ve only done a few calls, but every time I reach more clarity on which pieces of my story make sense to share with my audience. If you don’t follow her, then check her out here! @minalsampatllc

>>Surround yourself with empowering humans. One of the things I love about the dental profession is the amount of genuine connections that happen along the way. The past six months, I jumped on phone calls with a lovely lady who’s become a dear friend, Dr. Summer Kassmel. She’s not active on social media, but she is incredibly intentional to check in with me. Our calls have no agenda, other than catching up but I am always deeply moved by the wisdom she shares. Connecting with friends who take the time to jump on a call to empower and build you up will be a time investment you’ll never regret.

>>Prepare and Run Through’s.  My background in the nonprofit sector, led to opportunities where I directed all things production (behind the scenes) and worked with entire teams to ensure a seamless experience for the attendees, start to finish. One of the critical parts to make sure cues weren’t missed and everyone knew the role they were playing, was something we called a Run-through or Pre-trip. We would go through the entire flow of the experience, including every element with every team member present. All high production events do this, so it’s not anything new, however you can apply this to anything. Begin preparing for the “thing you want to conquer” and run it play by play. I’m super Type A, so my podcasts are all planned out. I always feel better having a road map to default to. Some people would call it rigid, I like to think it sets me up to win and stay focused. When it comes to the things we fear, preparing and running through “the plan” is a big confidence boost.

The photo I’m sharing in this post is a real one between Kendra and myself. My husband happened to look over and grabbed a shot of the magical connection we shared. If my role in this profession is to simply encourage and inspire other women to step up and conquer the voice of fear that’s holding them back, then I will sleep well at night. What I shared with Kendra in this moment is true for all of you too. You are enough, your story is important, and there’s countless people out there who will connect with the vulnerable pieces you share.

I believe Kendra Curry will grace that stage one day soon, and when it happens I will be sitting in the front row cheering that beauty on.