Owning Your Fear by Christen Shefchunas

What if I fail? What if I disappoint everyone? What if all my hard work doesn’t pay off? What if I embarrass myself? What if I’m not good enough?

These are just a few of the fears that I hear when I ask women what they’re thinking before a competition, before a presentation, before a test, before an important meeting. Basically, what is going through the mind of a woman when she’s feeling pressure. 

As I always say, when pressure hits a woman, the first thing to come is fear and doubts, and the first thing to go is our confidence. So, FYI, if you’ve ever had those kinds of thoughts and “what if’s” going through your mind, you are not a weakling, you are not a misfit, you are not alone. You are a woman. 

But as women, we feel alone. We feel like we are the only ones experiencing the fears, so we never talk about it because we are embarrassed. And then we use our “tap dancer”, the woman down deep in us that we pull out and tell everyone we’re “fine” while performing and tap dancing as if we are.

We think if we pretend that the fear isn’t there that it will go away. It doesn’t. We think that when we keep telling everyone we’re fine, someday we will be. We won’t. Fear is powerful, and it will affect you, regardless of how much you pretend it’s not there. 

The only way to beat this fear is to own it. We must face it and own it; I’m afraid, and that’s ok. 

And once we own it, now we can do something about it. I call this the “Flip it”. 3x Olympian Elizabeth Beisel explained the “flip it” as this: We as women have 1200 thoughts going through our mind at all times. When the fears come, it’s like we are shining a flashlight on those thoughts. Those thoughts are our focus. The “flip it” is when we move the flashlight to shine on positive thoughts. We move our focus to the positive. 

And when we move our focus to the positive, we find some hope that this might turn out ok. 

But let me be clear, these positive thoughts that we are going to focus on must be believable. They must be true to you. Almost every female athlete that I’ve ever worked has been told from a young age that they should stand before a competition focused in on, “I will win this, I will be great, I will go fast." The problem? They didn’t believe it. And focusing in on something that we don’t actually believe isn’t going to help us one bit. 

What do you believe? Like, seriously believe. When the fears and doubts come and the confidence goes, what can you focus in on that’s going to give you some hope walking into these pressure filled moments? What is your truth? 

I know most women are fighters. We do what we need to do, and we will always find a way. That’s definitely my truth. But you tell me. After you own it, what can you focus in on that you actually believe? That is your “flip it”. And when you find your “flip it,” and focus in on it, this will give you your greatest chance at reaching your fullest potential! And if you need some help (as we all do), wear your Confidence Nuggets bracelets as a constant reminder of your truth! :)

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About Christen Shefchunas

A former Division I college coach, now a Confidence Coach, Speaker and Author, Christen Shefchunas, aka Coach Christen, has had the honor of working with some of the best athletes in the world; Olympic Gold Medalists, World Champions and NCAA Champions.

 Frustrated from years of watching athletes full of potential miss their dreams because of their lack of confidence, Christen created Confidence Nuggets to help them build their confidence.

Having a visual reminder of their truth was a game changer, and Confidence Nuggets have gone on to help not only athletes, but all women move forward confidently, and reach their dreams.