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How to Kick Fear in the Face… Hardcore

Being in biz has been a lot about kicking fear in the face for me.

When I started Central Soapers Workshop, my social anxiety was so bad that I avoided phone calls with vendors, speakers, and attendees. The night before CSW 2013, I couldn’t sleep because I was terrified of having to face 50 other strangers soapmakers the next day at an event *I* was hosting. And the second day of CSW 2013? I had to face my fear of public speaking to give a presentation on masterbatching.

I’m still afraid of public speaking, but I’ve had a little practice and I’ve gotten better. This year, the next fear to tackle was recording myself speaking on video. See, a video is like speaking at events, except in my head, the audience is the whole world. Which makes it a little more frightening. Okay, a lot more frightening. PlusI’m super self-conscious about my appearance. It’s part of the reason I went to cosmetology school and never pursued a career as a makeup artist or stylist.

For Get Busy Blogging for Beauty Biz Owners, I was presented with the opportunity to face the fear of video and kick it in the face. So I did. My husband stood by my side for what was probably thirty (or more) attempts on getting a two-minute video. The end result isn’t perfect, (I could name hundreds of things wrong with it). BUT I did it. That’s what matters, right?

So, how have I been kicking fear in the face left and right? Let’s talk about it.

Don't worry about a thing cause every little thing's gonna be all rightI’ve realized you just need to trust yourself. We’ve all been in sticky situations, and we survived.

My husband always says, “What’s the worst that can happen?” And I have to ask myself that when I start letting fear take over, to remind myself that public speaking or recording a video isn’t going to kill me. The worst thing that could happen is maybe I’ll look silly, maybe I’ll feel self-conscious, or maybe I’ll mess up or fudge some words. It happens, but it’s not going to kill me.

I have this distressed wooden sign in my kitchen, to remind myself every morning that worrying about little things isn’t going to do me any good. Public speaking or recording a video? Worrying about it is going to make it harder, not easier.

I learned to take little steps to kicking my fears down. First, I forced myself on the phone to talk to strangers vendors and sponsors. And then I spoke to a little room of twenty people. After that, came a room of thirty-five people or so. And then a little two-minute video.

Taking a step in the right direction is still exerting effort. Which gets you further than not doing anything!

And when I was messing up? I laughed. A lot. Failure happens to everyone. EVERYONE. If I was failing, it wasn’t a stop sign. It wasn’t someone telling me I couldn’t do this. It was a sign to keep going.

Learning to laugh in the face of fear is one of the most empowering things I can recommend. So, sure, I had to dig through a few hours of absolute silliness and laughter to put together a two-minute video for Get Busy Blogging. And I might have spent a grand total of about ten hours on this two-minute video. In the end, what matters is that I did it.

And to put the nail in the coffin so to speak, I’m going to share the outtakes.

Yes, I trimmed down all the bloopers, laughter, and insanity that is my husband and I working together for your pleasure. Because this is me, this is who I am, and I’m not afraid of sharing that with you.

(Okay, I am a bit, but fear, meet the bottom of my shoe, k?) 

You might have to adjust your volume, I didn’t edit this footage at all except to clip it together.

That wasn’t so bad, right? If you want to see the finished project, hop on over to my Get Busy Blogging course page and check it out. (p.s. There are only eight spots left in the course as of writing this!)

What fears do you need to kick in the face? Let’s do it. I’ll be right by your side (in spirit) to cheer  you on.

Leave a comment and tell me about one of your fears, I bet there are plenty of other peeps who share it with you. 🙂

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21 Responses

  1. Woa! I am so surprised to hear that someone who is outwardly successful… reveal such inner turmoil… and I thought I was alone! If I let myself obsess, I cannot talk on the phone. If I don’t give myself any time to think, I’m fine doing what I need to. It’s kept me stuck… for years… until it has jeopardized both my business and my finances. I figure I HAVE to snap out of it now, as I have no choice and I don’t want to forsake my business and the last 15 years of hard work. The next few months will show how well I am at overcoming this. This gotten harder with age, which is surprising to me.

    1. Awwww, that is so sweet, I can’t even explain. 🙂 Like I said earlier this month, we all have our things! I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t afraid of something.

      We each hold our businesses back by our own weaknesses and fears. In order to be successful and dare I say, happy, we have to put ourselves aside and do what matters most for the business. You CAN do this. I’ll be your personal cheerleader. Go, Jill, get on that phone and remember that it CAN’T kill you, and that your biz is WORTH IT.

  2. Kenna, Thank you for being so honest about your challanges. Your previous blog mentioning May being Mental Health Awareness Month has been on my mind. You have overcome a lot! I can so totally relate. Even when I was a little girl, I remember suffering from panic attacks and depression. It got very bad in college and comes and goes (mostly the anxiety). It has affected work, relationships and my self esteem… I loved attending CSW but found it a bit intimidating networking with other people. yikes! Anyway, I think you are super smart and so awesome to put CSW together and I remember you being so helpful to me when i had many soaping questions on Joanna’s fb page, Soapers Retreat. THANK YOU!

    1. You are so welcome, Alane! If we aren’t in this together, that leaves us alone. Stumbling in the darkness alone sucks, I’d rather share and hold hands with other makers who get it. That’s what it’s all about. 🙂 Thank you for your support!

  3. Wow, I had to double check who wrote that, it wasn’t me, but it could have been. I too have many of the same fears, some I’ve overcome (public speaking), some I know really aren’t as bad as I make them out to be (talking on the phone to vendors and people I don’t know), and I’m currently in the middle of a colossal failure elsewhere.

    As for public speaking: Toastmasters! It took me a few times to get over my fear, others will take longer or shorter, and now I’m working on better structuring arguments, but it does work! As always, you have to walk through the door first, which for me I put it off for a couple decades, but I’m glad I finally did.

    As for my colossal failure, I tell people I didn’t want to go through life never having taken a risk; I learned some things, others simply reinforced what I already knew, but I’m still glad I did it – though ask me again in a year or 2 when I’m flat broke 😉

    We are our own biggest obstacle to success.

  4. I just found your blog (beginner soap maker here!) and I love it already! I need to practice speaking with authority and knowing that I know what I’m talking about. Being an authority on your products is kind of important haha I agree with jumping right in and facing your fears. You’ll have nothing but regret if you don’t!

    1. I think that it gets harder to take risks as you get older. It doesn’t make sense to me… wouldn’t it get easier with experience, etc? I’ve been in the biz for 15 years and didn’t take the risks I now feel I should have taken 8 or 10 years ago, when it wasn’t as crowded. Now it feels doubly hard to go and talk to vendors and cold call, even though my product is better, and I truly am an expert in my field! Maybe you allow yourself more failure when you are young? Or maybe you have to be perfect now?

      We all have doubts. The trick is not to let them incapacitate you.

      Today, age doesn’t mean what it used to mean. If you have a dream, then cast away your excuses! You’ll always wonder “what if?” And to me that is a greater shame than trying and having things NOT go as you planned.

      The only caveat that I consider is whether I have something different to offer. I don’t see the point of duplicating what is already in the market. Beyond that, limitations are truly only in our minds. If you want it, then DO IT!

  5. Kenna – I was there for the first CSW (well, all three of them!) and you were great! I am having my own struggle with anxiety and stress management right now, and my soaping has not been as fulfilling for me as a result. You give me strength by sharing your own struggles. I’m so grateful for you, this website and all the other wonderful friends who have crossed paths only because of YOU! I’m working on my “face kicking” skills 🙂

  6. Kenna, this post meant the world to me! I’ve got no problem getting in front of a group of people and talking … I used to be an adult instructor, so my training kicks in. I’m absolutely terrified of talking to people one-on-one, though! Cold-calling businesses cause me days of terror before I take the step, and following up with customers can be scary. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one struggling with fears 😊

  7. Hello i appreciate you sharing your experience on fear, i have the interest to start my own soap making business, but dont know how to go about it.

  8. I am afraid of not being liked and then extend this to my soaps: i am afraid that somebody will say something bad about my soaps (hadn’t happened, yet, btw) which of course means that everything about me is bad….i am aftaid to fail. And i am afraid that adding this to my plate will overextend me…except that i really, i mean REALLY love making soap….hmmm, some thinking and facing fears to do….thanks for sharing this and yourself with us. You seem sooo confident and successful, so to see the fears is kind of a surprise. Again thank you for sharing the inside or the underbelly of the beast. I love your blog and what you stand for and who you are.

  9. So relatable! I am still struggling with those exact fears- but with your bravery, sharing your experiences- it’s inspiring AND empowering 🙌
    I am a former freelance make-up artist, my body simply couldn’t handle the physical demands. That was soul crushing, deep dark devastation. I had to pivot and unleash the creativity into a new found love of creating Bath and Body cosmetics. And Thanks to your education maybe earn some $ doing what I love even more than Make-up! Thank you so much for being your wonderful genuine self ❤

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