Ep #7: Feeling the Fear and Doing It Anyway

This week, I was planning on talking about time management, but as I was working on the original topic, today’s episode emerged instead. I felt compelled to share it with you immediately as it is something I am currently experiencing.

I’ve been studying life coaching for some time, but it’s only recently that I’ve decided to share what I’ve learned with others. I held back because I feared criticism and failure. Today, I wanted to talk about this fear because I know that many of you are also holding onto talents and passions that you could be sharing with the world.

Join me this week as I discuss how I got started with The Empowered Principal Podcast. After holding back for so long, I want to tell you how this creation has made me grow as a person. I took the plunge and did something I’d never done before, and I share with you why it was an amazing decision.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • How getting over your fear of failure can make you feel.
  • What putting your work out for the world to see can do for you.
  • Why we fear criticism.
  • How knowing that you’re contributing to the world will change your life.
  • The impact one iTunes review had on me.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Empowered Principle Podcast, a not so typical, educational resource that will teach you how to gain control of your career and get emotionally fit to lead your school and your life with joy, by refining your most powerful tool: your mind. Here’s your host, certified life coach, Angela Kelly Robeck.

Hello, Empowered Principals. Welcome to episode seven. How are things going for you guys this week? I am feeling so incredibly grateful this week. Let me share with you why I feel so grateful. But first, I need to tell you that I changed up my episode schedule.

Last week, I said that I was going to cover the common issue of not having enough time in this week’s podcast. However, as I was writing that podcast, this podcast topic emerged, and I felt this incredibly strong sense that I wanted to insert it and share it with you immediately, because I want to share this experience with you as I was actually experiencing it.

So thank you for allowing me to do this. And that’s the beautiful thing about owning your own business; you get to decide what you want. But I have to say, I spent quite a bit of time feeling conflicted about adding this podcast in when I stated last week that I would be addressing time management.

I had a lot of chatter in my brain about how I was going to disappoint listeners and I shouldn’t do things in a different order than I had planned. For those closest to me, you know that I lean towards being very methodical and very schedule orientated. Or as my family likes to tease me, they say I’m a rigid person; I’m a little rigid.

But I do, I thrive on structure, routines, schedules and committing to my plans. And these all serve me well in many ways, and it is my ability to take action, even when I don’t feel like it, that has led me to all of my successes; or many of them. However, I have to remember that not being willing to shake things up once in a while, to go off schedule, to embrace present experiences and emotions, and to share self-coaching in real time with you does not align with my integrity as a coach.

I believe that we are always both the teacher and the student. We are always instructing and learning from both ourselves and others. I want to coach from a space of living what I am teaching. I want to be a role model for you; in the art of teaching and the art of learning in the present moment.

And in the teaching world, we call this a teachable moment. It’s when we stray away from our lesson plan because something occurs in real time and we want to stop our students and highlight that situation in the moment for them. It’s something the students, most likely, would have otherwise missed or overlooked.
So for me, guys, this is one of those moments. Thank you for indulging me as I share this story.

So I’ve been studying life coaches for a long time. I’m fascinated with the idea that the mind can overcome whatever matter is happening in a person’s life. I have been practicing mind management tools for close to a decade now. However, it was only recently that I decided to become a coach to share these tools with others, and even more recently – I’m talking just the past couple of months – that I chose to focus on educational leadership.

Actually, the very last thing I wanted to talk about was the field of education, because back when I was in it, I believed that I was completely burnt out, I was totally exhausted, and frankly, I was just over it. I thought I wanted to coach other people on more, like, fun topics – quote end quote fun – like divorce and dating and relationships and breakups, because at the time, these were things I was dealing with in my personal life when I began studying life coaching. And I thought that I wanted to help other women navigate these life situations.
So actually, years went by. I continued to learn everything I could about thought work, applied it to my own life, but I did not share my interest, really, with anybody else. I kept it to myself. I kept it a private part of my life. I didn’t think anybody else would think it was that cool or interesting, or they thought I was a geek; whatever, I just didn’t share it.

So, eventually I hired my personal coach, Stacy Smith, who is an amazing coach. She’s a very dear friend and she’s a colleague who I met through The Life Coach School. After 18 months of coaching with her – and I’m still coaching with her today – she insisted that I combine my expertise with education with my extensive experience training under various coaches.

I’ve studied Martha, I’ve studied under Brooke, I’ve studied under Susan Hyatt, I’ve gone to Tony Robbins events; so I am in it. Oh, and I love Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin. There’s so many people out there, guys, like, I’m obsessed.

So I thought I might start a part time coaching business on the side, and Stacy convinced me that this combination of education and coaching was desperately needed in the world. And although I believed her, I agreed that it was needed, but I still found myself holding back for quite a while because ultimately I feared the criticism.

I feared not knowing everything about education. And the thoughts that kept popping up were questions like, “What are your former educators and colleagues going to think about this venture? Who are you to be coaching educators? You struggled all the time as a principal, and at times as a teacher. The job can be rough; who are you to talk about this?”

I also thought about things like, “There’s so much you don’t know about teaching and learning. The field is so vast. Why should people listen to you, of all people?” So I was just self-deprecating and not wanting to talk about education because I didn’t believe that I was enough or I knew enough or whatever.

So with the help of my coach, we did some serious mind managing – well, more like thought wrangling, because as Stacy can attest, I’m not always an easy client. I can be difficult at times. But this past October, she and I went to a VIP business incubator weekend in San Francisco, and I finally agreed to give it a try.
I dropped the resistance and I wrote and recorded the first episode of The Empowered Principal Podcast. You guys, it felt amazing to be able to share how I used the coaching tools myself in the context of school leadership. It felt even more incredible to work with one of the best podcast producers ever. I’m shouting out to Pavel right now. Oh my god, you guys, this guy is amazing.

I haven’t even met him in person and I feel like I know him. He’s so, so freaking good. He’s just awesome. So Pavel and I have been working together, creating these podcasts. And to hear it professionally produced, and he sent me complete episodes with episode specific artwork. To see that happen and create and manifest itself, like physically, in the physical world, was an accomplishment I never knew I wanted.

Seeing the podcast go live on iTunes and listening to my own teaching, it felt like nothing I had experienced before. It was almost like giving birth to a new baby. I’m on a baby kick, aren’t I, this past couple of weeks.
Anyway, its creation was the culmination of months of time, effort, mind drama, some small wins in there, but basically filled with tears and frustrations and some serious work on overcoming my fears; serious work, guys.
Yet, the moment that it was released into the world, my creation became its own entity, and all the thoughts and emotions that I battled with during the creative process were no longer an issue. They just left. But what was left was just this pure unbridled joy and pride; the pride over creating something new, pride that I had managed my fearful thoughts and I took action, feeling joy over sharing my story, feeling joy in contributing to the world in a new way. It felt so good.

And I know that I shared this excitement with you guys on the first few podcasts. I was in such high energy from the excitement of recording and launching that I know it bubbled into my podcast and into my coaching work, and actually, into all of my areas of life, right; into my personal and professional work, it just was consuming.

Now, what I didn’t anticipate was that I could feel even more joy and pride than I was already feeling; not until I read my first review. To be honest, I kept telling myself not to worry about the ratings, that they weren’t a big deal – even though, of course, deep down inside of course I wanted them. I wanted the acknowledgement, the accolades; I wanted some kind of feedback for the work. But I actually did not go on iTunes for the first few weeks because I didn’t want to experience the sting of seeing no reviews.

I was making no reviews mean than no one was listening, that nobody was interested in my work and that ultimately I was going to be seen as a failure. So, as a life coach who obviously still has some learning to do and some self coaching work, I chose inaction. I chose not to take the action of peeking at iTunes to see if I actually had any reviews. Isn’t that interesting?

It’s especially interesting to me because we have been talking about how our thoughts create feelings which impact our approach, and here I was doing the very thing that I had been warning other people about on my previous podcasts. This is what I love about coaching; the mind is never fully clear of thoughts that do not serve us. The work, my friends, is constant.

So, I finally decided that if I was asking listeners to take the time to review the podcast, then I had better be taking time to review the reviews. But what happened next was magical. I clicked onto the podcast, I saw that it had some ratings, and then I saw that one person had taken a moment to write a review, and this is what it said.

“I can’t wait to hear more podcasts. I am currently a teacher looking to get my administrative credential to become a principal. It is great to hear the good, the bad and the ugly form someone who has done a little of everything. I am looking forward to continuing the coaching exercises and hearing more about her personal experiences.”

You guys, when I read this, I wept. I actually burst into tears crying. It hit me so hard. I feel the energy right now just telling you this story. The time, energy, effort and all the self-coaching I put into creating this podcast was immediately 1000% worth it. I created something that was not yet in the world. I contributed without knowing its outcome. I contributed not expecting a particular outcome. I simply created, contributed and released.

I believed that the self-pride and joy that came from creating something valuable was enough; and it is. But what I found to be even more exhilarating is the thought that my efforts impacted one other human being in this world.

I don’t even know who this person is, other than Beautiful Chick. It could be someone I know, because I’ll admit, I was asking my teaching friends and my colleagues to listen and review the podcast. I wanted their feedback. So it might be somebody I know. It might not be somebody I know. I don’t know, but that doesn’t matter.

What matters to me is that I created something from a place of wanting to contribute to the world in a new way. That was satisfying in and of itself. But, knowing that I impacted one other person with my work was beyond mind blowing to me. It taught me the importance of believing in myself and believing that I had something of value to offer. It taught me to do the work, even when I think no one is paying attention. It taught me that I am enough, that I do have what it takes, and whatever I have to offer is meaningful.

I share this story with you guys today because I want to mark this moment in time. I want to model for you, in real time, the coaching I had to do to get past, first of all creating the podcast, and then the mind chatter I had to get past in even looking at the reviews. I want you to see that we’re all working on our mind. We’re all navigating emotions. We’re all working on choosing an approach that works best for us. We’re all working towards goals.

And I want to highlight Beautiful Chick, because I want her – I’m assuming it’s a her; that’s an assumption – I want this person to know that because she decided to take action and write this review, she impacted me in a way that I have never before experienced. It is my dream and my goal that three months from now, I will have over 100 reviews from fellow educators, and we will all be engaged in a dialogue on how to get and stay emotionally fit in the field of education.

But until then, my hat goes off to Beautiful Chick. Beautiful Chick, this one is for you. You are a leader. You are not afraid to be first and put yourself out there. You are willing to take the time to do things you feel are important. You create. You put beautiful words into the world. You inspired me to keep going and reminded me to believe that contributing value in this world is worth all of the hard work. Thank you for being one of the most amazing beautiful chicks out there and putting your work with children into the world. Your effort is being noticed.

Thank you all. Thank you all so much. Please write reviews, as you can see their impact on me, the world, and on you. Your efforts do not go unnoticed, my friends. Have a beautiful, beautiful week. Stay empowered, and I will talk with you next week about time management. Take care; bye-bye.

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Empowered Principle podcast. If you enjoyed this episode and want to learn more, please visit www.angelacoaching.com where you can sign up for weekly updates and learn more about the tools that will help you become an emotionally fit school leader.


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