Inside Sales Tips

Three Steps For Breaking Through The Fear And Doing The Hard Things

David Dulany

Reaching goals at work and in life involves facing and overcoming fear! Start walking towards the path of success by beating your fears with these tips.

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In this article:

  1. Fear Is Everywhere
  2. If You’re Not Afraid, You Are Not Growing
  3. Make the Hard Decisions Every Day
  4. The Three Steps to Break Through the Fear
    1. Beware of the Confidence Trap
    2. The Five Second Rule
    3. Write It Down and Make a Commitment

Overcoming Fear and Facing the Hard Things

Fear Is Everywhere

Fear is the number one impediment to our success.

It’s something that I have had to struggle with every day being in our profession, whether as a sales development professional, leader, or entrepreneur. The fear of failure gives you anxiety, preventing you from completing your tasks even before starting them.

This is why it’s so important to learn how to break through the fear and do the hard things every day for a few hours.

Fear is around us all day in sales development.

It’s crazy how much we have to break through. Overcoming fear needs to start with going through your daily tasks.

We have to talk to people we don’t know. We have to advocate for ourselves within the company to be able to get resources and be able to do our jobs. Furthermore, we have to explain to people what we do outside of the company.

Don’t let irrational fear stop you from doing your work well.

Fear is with us every day.

It’s something that nobody wants to talk about, but we all have to deal with it. Whether you’re just starting out in your career in sales development, or you’ve been running a team for 20 years, or you’re a super successful mega-billionaire, everyone has to deal with fear.

The truth is, if right now you’re in your comfort zone, it’s a trap. If you don’t do the things that you hate to do, it’s going to bite you.

Whether it’s cold calling, or doing research, or asking for a raise—you need to get up and do it.

If You’re Not Afraid, You Are Not Growing

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Facing your fears for success in life

The cool thing about it is if you don’t have fear in your life, you’re actually on the wrong path. You’re either not growing, or you are already dead. Fear is something that we all have, and it’s a good thing.

This is why I’ve researched some strategies to help sales development reps deal with it better and be more successful. I want you to be able to walk away with a game plan to identify the fear that’s holding you back along with a strategy—comprised of some tactics for dealing with it.

I need you to treat every day like a self-help exercise. Set aside negative thoughts in your mind, then let yourself grow by confronting them and making the best possible decisions.

As a manager, you run a team and you might need to choose between having a difficult conversation with one of your reps or digging through the data to do analysis.

As a rep, it might be way easier to send a couple more emails or ping somebody on social, instead of having that tough conversation with a prospect.

A guy told you to go to hell five minutes before on the phone. Now you need to pick up the phone and call somebody else.

That next call could be the conversation that makes a huge difference in your paycheck. That’s harder, right?

Make the Hard Decisions Every Day

The truth is, every day you need to make the hard decision versus the easy decision even if there’s no immediate consequence. To do this, overcoming the fear that stops you from making important decisions is important.

In “The Slight Edge,” Jeff Olson shows that if you eat cheeseburger and fries, you won’t drop dead of a heart attack immediately. You don’t feel any different.

Depending on whether you choose to eat a cheeseburger or a salad, you will start to make that compound interest over time.

There’s another book called “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy, which is very good and has a lot of information on this. Over months and over the years, making the right decisions will have a compound effect and impact your life.

It’s that one extra phone call that you made, that one extra conversation that you had, that one extra piece of research that you were able to find that was really hard—and all of a sudden, you’re breaking away from the pack.

On the flip side, by making easy decisions and easy choices, all of a sudden, as Jim Rohn says, “One day, you wake up and you’re like 35, or you’re 50, or you’re 60, and you’re driving what you don’t want to drive, living where you don’t want to live, wearing what you don’t want to wear, and blaming the Democrats.”

That’s what he calls it. He’s hilarious. You’ve got to check him out.

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The Three Steps to Break Through the Fear

Choosing to have the tough conversations every single time is not easy, but it’s not impossible. There are a few tricks that you can use to help you in overcoming fear.

1. Beware of the Confidence Trap

One that’s really stuck with me is that people just want to switch to confidence.

These people are thinking: “If I just had the confidence, then I would make those harder decisions. I’m just not feeling it right now. Let me just switch back to the easy thing.”

Dan Sullivan has discovered that confidence doesn’t just pop up. Some cool kids in high school were born with confidence, but everybody else had to earn it. It all starts with a commitment.

You have to make some kind of commitment to something. You have to put yourself out there and you have to make it so you are basing your name, your good graces with people based on this commitment.

You’ve got to commit to doing the hard things. That’s how you start to break through the fear because you’re used to operating in courage.

And then, you build capabilities. You prove to yourself that you have confidence.

2. The Five Second Rule

You need to push yourself to do the hard things, and there’s a simple way to do it. Mel Robbins, author of “The Five Second Rule,” has a great tip for this. “Everything you want is on the end of five seconds,” shows Mel.

It’s just this simple trick where when you need to do something you’re afraid of, and you have to operate with courage, you just basically give yourself five seconds to do it. Just count backwards—five, four, three, two, one—boom, do it!

If you wait too long after that, then you’re going to go back to the easy path and then there you go, you’re back on the wrong track. We’ll come back to this, but she gives you a little tactile thing that you can use to kind of trick yourself, boom.

Just count down and do it.

3. Write It Down and Make a Commitment

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Committing to facing your fears for success

Whether you are a rep who hates cold calling or a manager who hates doing research to get their team new tools for sales enablement, you need to push yourself to do these things.

Think about the three things that you’ve held back on but would really move the needle for you, and write them down. These are going to be your big rocks and you need to move them over the next month.

After that, just take the worst possible option and commit to it right now. Commit to yourself that you’re going to do it. And then, plug this is in your calendar every day for an hour for the next month. Make sure that nobody schedules meetings over it.

You’re going to mono-task during that time. You’re going to step out into that comfort zone, do the hard things, and make a commitment.

Overcoming fear may seem daunting, especially if you set a huge goal for yourself. Yet you can do this with these simple steps.

If you are struggling and something pops up, or you want to get up and do something else (check your phone, Instagram, or something else that releases the tension), then get back to the five-second rule. Just count down in your mind: “Five, four, three, two, one, and do it.”

Use that little trick in your mind, and just start doing it. If you can’t get through the whole hour that you blocked out to do this fearful thing, that’s okay. Do it for 15 minutes, do it for ten minutes, do it for five minutes, but never break the chain on the calendar.

In time, you’ll be able to see the compound effect of not breaking this chain, and you’ll get into the habit of doing the hard things. Breaking through the fear will become very easy for you.

Are you struggling to overcome fear at work? How do you face them? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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