How I Overcame My Biggest FEAR…

August 12, 2009

What would your life look like with NO FEAR?

What would you be able to do, create, and experience?  If you really take the time to imagine this, you’ll feel a HUGE sense of relief… Like a big weight has been lifted from your shoulders.  Without fear, you would be able to experience complete and utter freedom.

It’s FEAR that really keeps us chained to our limiting beliefs and insecurities and holds us back from expressing the inherent power that’s inside each of us.  If we didn’t believe the fear, it would hold no power over us.  But that’s really the hard part… How do you overcome fear?  How do you stop giving fear any reality?

Well, I just wanted to let you all know HOW I overcame my biggest fear this past weekend… And hopefully this story will inspire you to let go of YOUR fears and step into your true power!

If you read the ‘About Katie’ section of my blog, you’ll see that I grew up incredibly shy and introverted.  It was extremely difficult for me to speak and express myself at all and I was constantly consumed with fear… Fear of what others thought of me, fear of how I appeared or looked, fear of being rejected, fear of not being loved (I could go on and on).  But as I grew older, that fear slowly dissipated and I was able to grow more and more into my true self.

Overcoming Fears, One Step At A Time…

Being an entrepreneur has been a HUGE catalyst in helping me overcome many of the insecurities and limiting beliefs that I was still holding onto…

The first time I ever had to make a video, I was extremely nervous and intimidated… But I did it, and now I’ve been able to use video to create a massive online presence and profitable business for myself.

The first time I ever had to do a training call for my team, I was very nervous… But as I overcame that fear, team training calls became less and less scary.  It was the same experience with doing webinars… In fact, the big webinar I did for the community last week even made me nervous at first.  But the more I pushed myself to ‘just do it’ and overcome my fears, the less of a grip fear really had over me.

My Ultimate Fear…

But my BIGGEST fear is, without a doubt, public speaking.  The mere thought of it still makes my body quiver and my stomach nauseous… It is the one thing I dread the most!

The very first time I ever had to speak in public was last year.  I was asked by my company to fly out to Las Vegas and speak at an event in front of about 150 people.  I was scared to death, but I tried to hide my fear as I walked up to the front of the room with the microphone in hand…

As I started speaking, my throat became extremely constricted and it was very hard to breathe all of a sudden.  My heart was beating out of my chest and I was convinced that everyone could hear it through the microphone!  Like a deer in headlights, my mind completely blanked on the speech I had prepared.  An overwhelming feeling of weakness started flowing throughout my entire body and I realized that I was about to faint!  My knees started buckling and before I hit the ground, I ran back to my seat and held my head down before I went unconscious.  My body was trembling, sweating, and I felt incredibly sick and nauseous.

I was absolutely humiliated…  I wanted to just shrivel up into a little ball and disappear.  Thankfully everyone around me was very understanding and compassionate and tried their best to make me feel better.  That day was one of the most embarrassing, but yet one of the most growth-inducive experiences of my entire life!

Facing It Again…

After that, I knew I needed to overcome my fear of public speaking if I wanted to fully step into my own power.  So when my company asked me to speak again this past weekend in Orlando, Florida, I had to say yes.  My mind was resisting it and I was tempted to start coming up with any excuses I could think of to NOT do it… But my heart was telling me that this was important.  I needed this chance to truly overcome my biggest fear and really walk the walk when it comes to personal growth and development.

So the morning of my speech, I spent some time alone in my room and did some deep breathing.  I sat there with my eyes closed and envisioned myself walking out on stage with power.  In my mind, when I looked out to see the crowd of people staring back at me, I felt the feeling of being completely and utterly FREE.  I consciously invoked the feeling of freedom from any fear, worry, anxiety, or inhibitions.  I chose to see this moment as a step towards the realization of my own power and freedom, not as something to fear.

Instead of worrying about nearly fainting again or imagining another awful scenario, I consciously chose to only focus on feeling empowered and free.  Whatever we focus on, we create… And there was no way I was going to sabotage myself by creating mental pictures of what I DIDN’T want.  I mentally rehearsed the outcome that I DID want.

I also decided to feel my inner body and get very connected to myself beforehand.  I spent some time observing my inner state and accepting whatever it was I was feeling.  My body was still experiencing the physiological response of being scared and nervous, but instead of resisting it, I just accepted it with compassion.  I had the sense of, ‘Oh, that’s just my body feeling nervous.  That’s completely ok, and I see it as part of the growth process.’

After getting grounded and centered, I made my way down to the event.  There were about 400 excited people in the room.  I made my way backstage to get hooked up with a microphone and waited for my turn to go out on stage.  As my name was called, I walked out there with a smile…

When I looked out to the crowd, I remembered what I had practiced about feeling empowered and free when I saw everyone looking back at me.  I will admit, I was still incredibly nervous and started trembling when the words came out of my mouth.

Instead of focusing on how I looked or what others thought, I chose to focus on what I could GIVE to my audience.  The more I spoke, the less nervous I became and the words flowed out of me clearly.  When I finished and walked backstage, I was greeted with big hugs from everyone helping out behind the curtain (Most everybody had heard about the ‘incident’ the year before!).  I felt so relieved and really proud of myself that I did it!  I overcame the biggest fear of my entire life!

I sat back down in the audience and the speaker who went up after me decided to share the story of what happened to me the year before… The audience was so impressed and everyone was clapping proudly for me!

An Inspiration For Others…

For the rest of the weekend, I had TONS of people coming up to me and telling me how much of an inspiration that was for them to see.  They witnessed a huge tipping point in my life and watched me overcome a tremendous fear.  They were all inspired to now go out and conquer the fears that were holding them back in life.  Although they were inspired, no one could tell it was my first time really speaking in front of such a large audience… They all said it looked like I’d been doing it for years!

It is such an AMAZING feeling to overcome a fear that had such a strong grip on me… And I can’t even begin to express how empowering it truly is.  When you overcome any fear you have, whether large or small, you move one step closer to freedom.  And you start to see just how darn powerful you really are when you no longer let fear control your life.

Personal Growth…

This is really what the personal growth journey is all about.  Without challenges, we would never grow.  And the people who are the most successful are those who have GROWN the most.  So how do you really overcome fear?

Face it head on.

The more you run from fear or run from things that challenge you, the more you run from success.  So I encourage you to ‘seek out’ experiences that terrify you.  Challenge yourself to face your fears and regardless of the outcome, you’ll be growing by leaps and bounds.  There really is no such thing as failure… Only experiences that challenge us to grow.

I don’t see my experience in Las Vegas as a failure at all.  In fact, that was exactly the experience I needed to have to help me overcome this crazy fear of public speaking!  Now, I’m sure I’ll still experience nervousness again next time I have to speak in public… But now I have an inner strength that will keep getting stronger and stronger the more I challenge myself to grow.

One of the biggest reasons people don’t experience the success they’re looking for in life is their FEAR.  They run from their fears, they run from what challenges them, and then they wonder why they’re not more successful.  It’s actually a very simple thing to figure out… But not always an easy one to do!

So when it comes to building a business for yourself and creating the life you want, what’s holding YOU back?  What are your biggest fears?  I’d love to hear from you, so please share them in the comment box down below.  Just by acknowledging them and writing them down, they’ll already have less of a grip on you.

And if you’ve had the courage to go out and FACE one of your fears, I’d love to hear your story as well!  The more transparent and real we are with each other, the more we’re able to really support and help each other along the path of personal growth and transformation.  Our stories of courage are true inspirations for others!

It was so great to share this story with you here today and I hope I was able to inspire YOU to overcome your fears and start living a life of true freedom!

And please TWEET this out to your Twitter followers!  I’d love to share this with as many people as possible!


Yours In Freedom,

Katie Freiling

P.S.  I had asked a friend to record my speech, but unfortunately the flip cam ran out of juice right before I went on stage.  I’m in the process of getting a copy of it from my company, so I’ll keep you updated and post it when I get it!

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