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How to Move Past Your Fear of Success or Failure

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramDo you feel confronted by the specter of fear or success?

When you start to take action to move your career forward, does it feel like you’re pushing against a wall? Or does that wall stop you dead in your tracks?

This question comes up often, “How to I move past my fear of success or fear of failure?” The essence of this question is a misunderstanding of what fear is and how to manage it.

In this class we will discover:

  • How to identify the root source of the fear
  • How to handle the nay-sayers that feed the fear
  • How to turn fear into motivation and momentum

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson

Will you allow your fear to stop you? Will you allow your fear to keep you from fulfilling your purpose, the purpose you were born to fulfill? If you’re answer is, “No!” then this class is exactly what you’re looking for!

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Manage Your Emotions – the 4th Key to Maintaining Focus in the Face of Chaos

Just to refresh your memory, in the 1st Key, we looked at the big list, and in the 2nd Key, took everything off the plate that we could.  In the 3rd Key we talked about getting help and delegating.  But one of the biggest problems in maintaining focus during times of chaos and stress are the emotions that overwhelm us.  Emotions like anxiousness, worry, and fear can muddle your thinking, sap your energy and at their worst, stop you dead in your tracks.  So, what do you do?

Well the best thing to do is to practice your skills for managing your emotions when you are NOT under stress.  Of course, that doesn’t help you much now, does it.  Here are a few things that might:

Name the Emotions

Sometimes just saying – I feel anxious right now – can actually reduce how anxious you feel.  Notice I didn’t say I “am” anxious.  The difference may seem subtle but it’s profound.  The first is identifying a feeling.  The second is defining yourself by the feeling.  You are not your feelings, right?  You have feelings, they don’t have you…

Here’s my theory.  Your emotions’ job is to get your attention and bring your attention to a particular belief or issue.  If you ignore, suppress, push away your emotions – well, they just have to shout louder to get your attention.  If you dive into them, use them to define who you are or in some other way wallow in them, they still aren’t really doing their job. And so they don’t dissipate then either.

See, it’s not about the emotions.  It’s about the underlying belief or issue that your emotions are calling your attention to.

Try this phrase:

“I’m feeling XXXX right now.  Huh, isn’t that interesting (said in a tone of wonder and curiosity).  I wonder what I’m thinking/believing right now that is having me feel XXX?

The first part of this statement is simply naming the emotion.

Identify the Belief

The second part of that statement is about allowing yourself to become aware of the thought/belief that is stimulating that emotion.

Now, if you’ve taken my Transform Your Belief – the Key to Success class, you already know that I subscribe to the belief that no beliefs are right, real or true.  (I know it disturbs the time/space continuum).  So, identifying the belief isn’t about deciding if it’s right, real or true – because I already know it’s not.  And it’s not about proving that it’s not true or even really engaging with the belief in any way that leads to taking any of this too seriously.

For example:

I’m sitting down to do some work and all of these other things float into my head and I start feeling really anxious.

“I’m feeling anxious right now.  Huh, isn’t that interesting?  I wonder what I’m thinking/believing?  Oh, that’s interesting.  I’m believing that I’ll never get it all done and as a result I can’t succeed.”

There.  I’ve said it – that’s the belief.  Now remember, I’m not taking it too seriously.  I’m not surrendering to that as “truth” and then wailing about the injustice of it all.  I’m just observing – that’s the belief.  Huh.

What you may notice at this point is that you already feel a bit better.  Just naming the emotion and naming the belief connected to it can relieve some of the emotion that is overwhelming you and give you the ability to set it aside and focus.

Going one step further, if you can name the emotion and the belief with both respect while maintaining the knowledge that no belief is right, real or true, that can give you the perspective and clarity to release both the emotion and your attachment to the belief.  And with practice that can become second nature.

What are you noticing about your emotions and beliefs?

Overcoming Fear

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramFEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real

Simple, right? Yet, when we’re in the grip of fear, the logic (or illogic) of it is completely beside the point. It cripples us. It fills us with the quaking, heart-pounding, hands and voice shaking, inability to move.

And sometimes it undermines us in very subtle ways.

Courage (according to Encarta) = “quality of being brave: the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action.”

Fear is an emotion. Courage is a skill. Debra will show you ways to develop the skill of courage in response to the emotion of fear … so you can move forward and achieve your desired level of success.

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Transform Your Inner Critic into Your Staunchest Ally

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramAre you plagued by internal doubts and self-criticism? Think you’re not good enough, or don’t deserve the success you long for? Do you find that even when you know what to do, you find all sorts of reasons not to do it?

We all carry an internal critic in our heads, and it never shuts up! And the more we fight against it, or try to argue it away… the more we know intellectually that it isn’t real… the louder and more insistent it gets.

Fortunately, there’s a better way. You can actually learn to befriend that voice, and turn it from your worst enemy to your most steadfast and supportive ally.

In this class you’ll discover:

  • Where that voice comes from and why we all have it
  • A range of tools and techniques to retrain the critics voice to be your ally (this can work with external critics too!)

Learning to work with your critics voice can transform your relationships, your business, your creativity, your life.

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Confidence

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramBelieving that confidence is something that you have, something you can get, something someone else can give you – that is a misunderstanding.

Confidence is defined as: a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers. If you believe in your own power and ability, you will FEEL confident.

Confidence is an emotion. It is an emotion that is inspired by beliefs. As such, it is neither right, real or true. Therefore, you can choose it.

In this class you will:

  • examine the true nature of confidence
  • explore the beliefs that block your confidence
  • learn how to build your confidence

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Confidence

Confidence, as an issue, comes up for my clients, in one form or another, on an almost daily basis.  Over the years, I’ve worked with them to build their confidence and spent a lot of time reading, thinking and studying the issue.

I’ve observed that those who struggle with confidence can get a boost when something good happens in their life.  They experience some success or get positive feedback from someone they respect.  They go to a Conference or do a workshop and get pumped up and excited.  But often that feeling doesn’t last.  That’s because the emotions are externally motivated and don’t signify a true internal shift.

I think one of the challenges around creating confidence is a foundational misunderstanding of what it actually is.  Without really understanding what is happening and why, it is difficult to create a lasting internal shift from lacking in confidence to feeling fully confident.  And feeling fully confident will lead you to taking the actions you need to take to create success.

What is Confidence?

We tend to use the word in two ways:

  • Confidence is a feeling – I feel confident, or I feel unsure.  It is a description of how you feel and how that feeling causes you to behave – I step confidently up to the podium to speak.
  • Confidence is a belief – I am confident I can achieve this.  And it often implies a deeper set of beliefs about the nature of reality, a trust in the benevolence of the universe.

As I teach in Transform Your Belief – The Key to Success, the relationship between belief and emotion works like this:

And so confident beliefs/ideas/thoughts lead to being in a confident state or feeling confident.

In my experience, trying to change things at the level of feeling is extremely difficult and doesn’t tend to stick.  And “Acting as If” is exhausting.  While a positive result may make you feel better for a little while, because the underlying disempowering beliefs driving those emotions still exist, they will pull you back into the lower emotional state.  The only real lasting change comes from changing your beliefs/ideas/thoughts.

What I’ve found very interesting in doing this work, however, is that changing those thoughts is usually not nearly as hard as people expect.  Because you are a complex being, you have many different beliefs in your belief reservoir.  And those beliefs range from very disempowering to truly empowering. We just have habits about which belief we tend to inhabit.  Which belief we energize or activate moment-to-moment.

So, next time you find yourself feeling uncertain and need a confidence boost, try this:

Step One – Notice and Decide

Notice that you are feeling badly, unsure, self-conscious.  And decide that now is as good a time as any to feel more confident.

Step Two – Identify the Thought

What are you thinking/believing at this moment that has you feeling badly, unsure and self-conscious?  Can you put it into language, specifically?

For example, let’s say you’re going in for an interview, calling for a booking, auditioning for a gig.  And you’re feeling scared, nervous, and unsure.  Perhaps the thought is: “What if they don’t like me?”  Well, what would that mean about you?  Perhaps the underlying belief is, “I’ll never be successful.” Or “I’m a failure.”

Step Three – Choose a Different Thought

So, now that you’ve identified the thought that’s creating the feeling, pick a new thought about these circumstances THAT YOU ALREADY BELIEVE.

See that’s the key.  The mistake most people make with affirmations is that they pick an affirmation they wish they believed, but they don’t.  That’s too hard!  So, pick a belief that you really can get behind.

For example:

  • “The more I practice, the better I get.”
  • “If this opportunity doesn’t work out, there’s another one down the line.”
  • “However this goes, I’ll learn from it and improve.”

See, it doesn’t have to be in direct opposition in order to shift how you feel.  Try just tweaking it by about 10 degrees.

Step Four – Keep Thinking That Thought – On Purpose

Keep thinking it, find evidence for it.  Notice how and where it’s true.  Notice when you’re thinking something else and choose to think this thought instead.  Look for all the ways its true some more.  And think it again.

It’s not that you’ll never have those other thoughts again.   It’s not that you’ll never feel badly again.  It’s that when you do – you’ll know that you can always change your mind.  Just think a different thought.

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Transform Your Belief – The Key To Success

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramJust get into action, right? That’s the way to succeed.

Then why does it feel so hard all the time?  Dig a little and I bet you’ll discover that you have beliefs that work against you, undermine you, and even stop you dead in your tracks. Those beliefs can be very strong and they can be very subtle.

I can’t say this strongly enough: your beliefs determine your level of success.

Just as strong muscles help you win a ball game, strong empowering beliefs boost your energy and confidence, create opportunities, attract powerful partners, clear obstacles from your path, and propel you effortlessly into action and results.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.
– Henry Ford

So how do you move forward, easily and joyously?  Create beliefs that give you buoyancy, that clear the tangle of weeds from your path and that fuel your energy and excitement.  And once you’ve created those beliefs, you have to strengthen and reinforce them.

In this Workshop you will discover:

  • How your beliefs are working for and against you
  • 3 Steps to build beliefs that work for you
  • Actual practice building some new beliefs

In this call, you’ll learn tools to create and maintain beliefs that will give you any results you choose to believe in!

I was blown away by Debra Russell’s “Transform Your Beliefs – the Key to Success” workshop at the TAXI Road Rally. It set the stage for the rest of the conference and created a powerful focus for both me and my husband throughout the conference. Since the Rally, working privately with Debra and in the Artists Marketing & Business Academy has given me the confidence to follow through on my goals.”
Tina Claxton, Artist Manager, Barnville Music Productions
Despite a certain old, dark resistance, I caught Debra Russell’s “Transform Your Beliefs” seminar at the TAXI Road Rally. I remained a bit uncomfortable and squirmy throughout the talk, actually staying to the end because what she was saying seemed so true, clear and right. It helped that Debra is an exceptionally relaxed, focused, well-prepared speaker. I left feeling that a light had shone onto some areas that have plagued me for most of my forty years as a musician.
Bill Gordon, Pianist, Composer, Teacher

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Unblock Your Creativity

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramAs professionals in the field of creativity, we rely on accessing our creativity to create success.

That creativity needs to be engaged, not just in creating your product, but also in your marketing, your systems, every aspect of your business.

But our creativity can be like a sensitive child. And it can shut down for many different reasons. In this class we’ll examine:

  • The blocks that get in the way of accessing our creativity
  • How to get unblocked
  • And ways to prevent those blocks from happening in the first place

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An Act of Willpower – the Process of Perseverance

Artists MBA, Professional Program“How do I get to Carnegie Hall?
Practice. Practice. Practice.”
Saadi

We’ve all heard this quote as a tribute to consistent action and perseverance, right?  And some people make it look so easy.  They just do it.  But for many of us, the ability to choose consistent right action, particularly in the face of disappointment and rejection, is a real struggle.

So, how do you develop this ability, if it doesn’t come naturally to you?  The good news is that Will can be developed and built like a muscle.  In this class, we explore:

  • Will, Perseverance, Commitment – Oh My!
  • The biggest obstacles to will power
  • 3 keys to developing will power and perseverance in your life
  • Specific exercises you can do to strengthen your will power

The skill of applying your will to your choices consistently is critical to making your systems work (including, time management, organization, marketing) and creating consistent and sustainable success.  Start developing your will power today!

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How to Use Feedback and Criticism Constructively

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramThe most successful artists (and people) have made an art of receiving and implementing feedback. But for the rest of us, feedback can be really hard to hear.  It can be painful.  It can trigger all of our negative beliefs both about our own worth and about the probability of our success.

And feedback can come in a lot of different forms.  If you subscribe to the idea:

There is no failure – only feedback*

*(The Leadership Principle that I talk about in “Mindset of a Leader – Part 2”)

Then everything can be taken as feedback, right?  So, using the feedback becomes an even bigger opportunity and challenge.

In this class you’ll discover:

  • The most effective way to solicit and receive overt feedback
  • How to glean feedback from your most challenging experiences
  • How to maintain your equilibrium and faith in yourself when receiving negative feedback
  • The best ways to interpret feedback, particularly conflicting information
  • And how to implement feedback constructively in your life and your art.

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