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Fear Is Just Business As Usual

http://donnamerrilltribe.comI had 20 minutes left on the timer, so I decided I had time to make a cup of coffee. When it was done, I still had 12 minutes to go, so I jumped on Facebook to check my notifications. I lingered there until I saw the countdown hit 3 minutes.

I stopped all my work and focused on the countdown.

In 3 minutes, I’d be starting my webinar presentation.

I knew people would have lots of different expectations for what they’d learn, so I started going over my prepared slides to make sure I had covered all the major points.

There were still over 2 minutes to go when I realized I had left out a discussion of one thing, and didn’t include enough examples of another.

It was too late, now. Maybe I’d just throw it in on the fly, in case anyone was expecting that.

No, it was too late.

Only a minute left.

I couldn’t start altering the presentation now.

It would have been nice, though, if I hadn’t gone into the issues I raised in slides 40 to 43. I could have used that space, instead, to talk about…

10 seconds.

Fix my hair, reposition the mike…

“Hi everybody, nice to see you all out here today.”

The event was live and now I just had to settle in and go through my prepared outline, and stop worrying about how it “could be” or “should be.”

I’d just have to live with the fact that it wouldn’t be the most perfect webinar ever.

I’ll tell you the truth, too. For 3 minutes, I was getting myself all worked up to the point that I was losing focus.

As soon as I started talking, though, it all changed.

I suddenly had a sense of clarity and calm that only moments earlier seemed completely elusive.

I was now involved in the presentation.

It was in motion and moving steadily forward. I dropped all my fears, self doubts and second guessing.

I no longer worried about things being perfect, and focused instead on helping my audience to have a clear notion of what I wanted to teach them.

I’ve worked with a lot of people who couldn’t move forward with key aspects of their online businesses because they’d get frozen in fear.

Fear of not being perfect, or not good enough, or not clear enough, or not giving enough information or giving too much information. If they were audible, they’d worry about how they sounded. If they were on video they wanted to be sure they didn’t look nervous, or hesitant, or that their hair was not a mess or their eyes puffy or red.

So many fears hold us back.

I’m not talking about just fears of confronting an audience, either.

I’ve had students locked in the same kind of fear nailing down a Facebook ad campaign. All the pieces were in place, the creative ad, the copy, the ad spend goals, the target audience… all the pieces.

But when the time came to make the ad go live, they’d freeze in the fear that the pieces were not perfect, and therefore, they’d lose money… or simply not make as much as they might.

I’ve also seen these fears stall people from marketing their ebook, publishing a guest post or even sending out an email broadcast.

We all want to be perfect. We all want to address a perfect audience with a perfect pitch or presentation.

The reality is, though, that we will probably never do a single thing that is perfect.

My webinar was not perfect. There were things I didn’t talk about that I wished I had; things I did discuss that, in hindsight, I could have eliminated. The length could’ve been different, I could have used different images, I could have scheduled it for a different time.

My audience didn’t know about my fears and self doubts though. All they saw was a finished, polished product.

In fact, I received a great many wonderful comments, so many heartfelt “thanks” and more than a few requests to get on my notification list for future events.

During the 3 minute countdown, I had a rush of “second thoughts.” I was suddenly faced with the fear that things wouldn’t go perfectly.

Yet, people were perfectly happy with the presentation.

Now, this is not the first webinar I’ve done. In fact, I’ve done a great many presentations in the past. But no matter how many I do, I always get the “3 minute jitters” just before going live.

Then, suddenly, they disappear.

The presentation goes smoothly, people are very happy with it, and I’m on to my next.

But you know what?

I know I’ll have the 3 minute jitters again the next time around. It’s just the way things go.

But, it won’t stop me. I’ll continue moving forward. I’ll never lose my fears, but I’ll never let them stop me, either.

It’s just another day of doing”business as usual.” 

So my friends,  I would like to know if and when you get those “fear moments” and how you deal with them.  Did it ever stop you from your journey?  Or have you plunged ahead anyway?  I would really like to know.  -Donna


Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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68 Responses to Fear Is Just Business As Usual

  1. sherman smith June 30, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Talk about fear. This doesn’t have to do with business, but I can remember when I first performed salsa on stage. I haven’t done anything on stage since middle school when I played the sax. It was pretty nerve wrecking, but then, I thought to myself “I’m going to act like this is a salsa club and just have fun with it”. which I did, and next thing you know I’m performing, and just thinking about having fun and enoying the moment. I’ve made mistakes in the club and played it off well, so if that happens on stage, then I’ll do the same.

    But I definitely understand the fear. Fear can make us look like deers crossing the road in front of oncoming traffic. When we stop and stare, it can be a catastrophe. This is why we should just keep on moving and roll with the punches! Sorry for that example, since I don’t like when animals get hurt, but that was the only example I could think of.

    I’m sorry I missed your webinar. I’m pretty sure it went quite well! Do you have a copy in your archives? I like to check it out if you do!

    Thanks for sharing Donna! I hope you have a great week ahead!
    sherman smith recently posted..Why You’re Not Generating Traffic From Your Target MarketMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      June 30, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

      Hi Sherman,

      Thanks for adding so much to this post! I can only imagine that fear when getting ready to dance on stage.

      In the old days, I would have to lecture sometimes and get on stage. I was all prepared, but those three minutes prior to it had made me sick.

      The thing is, when we become the “deer in the headlights” we can freeze and cause a catastrophe. But pushing ourselves over that first step, leads to ease.

      It happens every time I’m in front of people. But that moment when you just have to start makes you roll with the punches.

      Sorry, Sherman, the webinar was premium content, so the links are down now, except for people who paid for admission or who are members of my Whirlwind Success “VIP Club”. We’ll be doing lots more, though, so stay tuned 🙂 (FYI: all the premium webinars are free to club “members,” and include archive access). Thanks for asking.
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  2. Janet June 30, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    You are so right! We can second guess or have that fear that it’s just not going to be good enough… perfect enough. When really, we can reach people even when it’s not if we just be ourselves. Thanks Donna for a great reminder! 🙂

    • Donna Merrill
      June 30, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

      Hi Janet,

      I find that nothing really is perfect lol. If we get stuck on things being perfect, we will be in a stand still. We cannot move forward.

      Yes, just being ourselves is good enough! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  3. Adrienne
    June 30, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Oh hell yeah, fear has stopped me a many times.

    I’ve shared numerous times that when I would purchase a product, course, training, eBook, whatever I would always go through the entire thing. I’m good about that, they don’t just sit on my desktop never to be touched. BUT, if I was uncomfortable or fearful of a particular step or process it said we had to do then I just wouldn’t do it. I would get very frustrated with myself because I knew I couldn’t expect to get the kind of results they said I would if I had done everything. Fear held me back.

    I think it was just one day back in 2010 when I joined Alex’s course before I invested the money I had a serious talk with myself and made the decision right then and there that I would do every single darn step they taught whether I liked it or not. I was tired of not reaching the level I wanted to reach.

    I would love to say that I did them all but I still didn’t. The main ones were done though what I didn’t do were the giveaways which I could only see a slew of freebie seekers on my list that I was NOT interested in having and creating a product around interviewing some well known guru. Hell, I don’t even like those so I wasn’t going to do one too. I did everything else they taught accept those two things which I just did not want to move my business forward that way, it’s not that what I was doing wouldn’t work because of those two missing ingredients.

    We are fearful of the unknown, the what’s behind door number one. I don’t know what we think is behind there but it’s not as bad as we make it out to be. Nothing will ever be perfect, nothing will ever go 100% according to plan, that’s just the nature of it all.

    Thanks for that reminder Donna, we all need that girl.

    Adrienne recently posted..Jon Morrow Said To Ignore Most Popular BloggersMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      June 30, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

      Hi Adrienne,

      I appreciate you sharing your awesome comment. I know that feeling so well. But Kudos to you for not choosing those two particular things that you know darn well wouldn’t fit for you.

      When it comes to giveaways, it will only attract freebie seekers. They will come in and run. I wouldn’t do that one either. The only way I give things is to put a contest up on my FB Fan Page here and there…well you know that..you won that bracelet lol.

      This was only offered to a closed group that I know, so I didn’t get anyone coming in that would do me no good at all.

      The other thing about not creating a product around some well known guru is another good choice you have made. If you have done so, then you give your brand and power away to the guru! That’s not in your plan. The main focus of your product has to be YOU!

      I don’t think that was fear, but instead a wise business decision.

      I know fear will pop up always, now matter how we go on our journey. But the important thing is that we keep walking on that journey, despite the “fear.”

      Nothing is perfect!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  4. Monna Ellithorpe
    June 30, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Great post. I’ve had those fear moments for quite a few years now, UNTIL I joined Lesly’s accountability group and things have changed quite a bit. I don’t know whether it’s 3 minutes or no but I do hesitate sometimes to hit send or publish or whatever the case may be, but learning more to just do it and not think about it and give myself no room for hesitations.

    I very much enjoyed reading your post. Have a great day. Monna
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted..#4 LinkedIn – 6 Part Social Media Series -Cross PostingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 1, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

      Hi Monna,

      Glad you enjoyed this one! I think we all have those moments of hesitation, but it is what we do that counts.

      We may hesitate, but as long as we move forward, we are OK. “Mistakes” can and will be made, but the point here is that nothing is really perfect.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  5. Maxwell Ivey
    June 30, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    Hi; thanks to adrienne for sharing this on g+ just goes to show that even the teachers get nervous before class starts. none of my hangouts have gone perfectly. several weren’t even close, but we keep doing them. and i wasn’t sure about starting the new blog, but i went ahead and did it, and just like you I’ve gotten lots of good comments. more people just have to expect that feeling fear and getting past it is the price of admission for anything really beautiful in life. thanks for sharing, max
    Maxwell Ivey recently posted..The story beginsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 1, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

      Hi and Welcome to my blog Maxwell.

      I just read your blog and you are an inspiration to so many people. Yes I too had goofed up many Google+ hangouts, but you know what? They were the best ones of all. People seen that I was there to teach something, and things went wrong, but I laughed and so did they.

      When we make some mistakes, it is always a learning experience and as long as we have a good sense of humor, it becomes easier.

      You are on the money when you mention that people have to expect that feeling of fear and getting past it is the price of admission for anything really beautiful in life. I love that phrase and I thank you for your input.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  6. nick catricala
    June 30, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

    what a topic and what a write you have here.. so genuine and so common at the same time.. most of us go through similar situations at one time or another in life… and guess what, my experience and the help of many books on the subject 🙂 taught me something that is universal.. FEAR is just a word and as long as we do not focus on that word, fear does not exist .. something new for you haah 🙂

    Thanks so much for all you wrote here.. there is so much to learn from and for certain many of us pick up some here and there or a lot at the same time and will be able to use in our own life thanks to you.

    Be your best at all times.. and have fun.
    nick catricala recently posted..A Lifetime Commitment -Part 4 of 5My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

      Hi Nick!

      Fear is a word that can encompass many different emotions to a small or large degree. When we feel that emotion, even if it is a small one, we have to push it away and go on our path no matter what.

      If, however, we allow it to stop us from anything we want to accomplish, then we have a problem. But, when there is a problem, there is ALWAYS a solution.

      Yes, I agree that if we don’t focus on that word fear, it will not exist. It’s all part of business and life. Here, people who are trying to run a business, will come up with some fears of new things. I see it as a challenge.

      Many fear to do videos. When they take a 30 day challenge, I see these people grow past that fear and become very successful at it. It surprises them how easy it is. It is that first step.

      Thank you so much Nick,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  7. Sylviane Nuccio
    June 30, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    We are always so hard on ourselves, that’s why we even add fear on top of fear. What about this and that and the other 🙂 The truth is even if we know we could have done better, the public we entertain doesn’t though, and in their eyes everything is fine, even great.

    I like the way you’ve written your opening here, that’s very interesting and it keep us reading. Great job!

    I’m sure your webinar was great. You’re probably becoming a pro at this 🙂 I wish I could hear that!

    Thanks for sharing your thought on that so important topci.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..How To Tremendously Improve Your Writing StyleMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 1, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

      Hi Sylviane,

      I started this as story telling because I wanted to share a moment that I’ve experienced that could help others.

      Sometimes the only way to do it is to write it in story form. Glad you liked that because it means a lot coming from you.

      It is so much like stage fright. Although I’ve done webinars, every time I do one, I watch that clock so I can be on time and that’s when fear creeps up. But I do know that once I get started, all will be fine.

      When I used to lecture in a Community College, I had the same feeling. But once I opened my big mouth, I never used any notes prepared. Things just flowed and all was fine.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  8. Mary Austin
    June 30, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

    I am blessed, I think, that public speaking has never scared me. The largest crowd I have ever spoken to was 80,000 and I was just fine. I think I might be terrified to conduct a webinar for the first few times just because it would be something new and if I screwed up, other people would bear the consequences. I think the cure for that type of fear is just to practice a new thing until it becomes easy. Well, easier anyway.
    Mary Austin recently posted..Include A Call To Action In Your Video Or Blog Post For Best ResultsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

      Hi Mary,

      You are blessed! I’ve spoken in front of large crowds, had a radio show in the past and do webinars. It is always the same thing. A few minutes before, I do get the jitters, but I also know that once I open my big mouth, nothing can shut me up lol.

      It is a fearful emotion that comes up all the time and I am used to it. But here I wanted to share with others my personal fear as an example to all.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  9. Cararta
    July 1, 2014 at 12:39 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Doing something new always has a fear factor. Or even doing something old in a
    new way.
    I loved this share, especially when you started questioning yourself and trying to
    figure out how to do last minute add ons.
    Glad you managed to calm down and follow your plan.
    Reflects what happens off line as well.
    Even though we seldom think about it, we all have a plan or presentation that we live by. Problems appear when we start
    making changes without forseeing the results of the changes.

    I can remember (like Adrienne) part of a program I bought. Very simple directions for
    uploading a zipped pdf file to my site and delivering it. Did all the work, but it sat on
    my hard drive for three months before I could assemble enough moxie to do that 30 second task. In my head I called it a mind block. Finally conquered this Mt. Everest by putting
    a note on my computer….do this task or stay off the computer.
    Still don’t know why I wouldn’t do it. Not a clue.
    Cararta recently posted..Reality Hacks Daytime Fairy Tales?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 2, 2014 at 11:30 am #

      Hi Cararta,

      Thanks so much for illustrating what you have gone through. I know that so well. We get all the work done and before we press that button, it hangs out on our desk top for a while.

      It is what I call “Eating The Frog” because we have to do the most difficult task first, before we do anything every day.

      You conquered your Mt. Everest by putting a note on your computer and that works so well.

      Glad you did! Sometimes we don’t know why we procrastinate. Call it fear, or mind block, but when it comes down to it all, it is usually some underlying fear that stops us from doing a task.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  10. Neamat Tawadrous
    July 1, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    Hi Donna,

    First, I want to tell you that the webinar was awesome and I took lots of notes while watching it. You and David did a great job and you jam-packed it with value. Great Job!!!

    I agree with you, fear sometimes can stop us in our tracks. We have a saying back home, I don’t know if it makes sense here but I will say it anyway: “Nothing is better than what you fear from”. In other words, what you feel fearful from, do it anyway because the outcome will be much better than what you expected. I see that is true in my experience, lots of things I fear from and I do it any way and the result is much better than expected. I think the idea here is the same as you said it in the post to keep moving forward inspite of the fear and not let the fear has its grip on us and freeze us where we are.

    Great Share Donna and a great reminder to move forward anyway. Have yourself a great week ahead.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat Tawadrous recently posted..10 Mistakes That Can Kill Your Blog Success!!!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 1, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

      Hi Neamat!

      Thank you so much. I’m sure glad you liked the last webinar David and I did. Once a month is our goal. Q&A’s are also done every week. We want to keep things fresh and up to date.

      I love that saying because it makes so much sense. We only learn when we face our fears. Oh boy do I know that one! I had many along my journey in life and every time I faced fear, something beautiful has enhanced my life.

      When it comes to our business, especially on line, there is always changes to keep up to date. We just have to push on and do it anyway.

      I remember when I did my first video because I know that to embed a video in a blog is a good thing to do. I had to get in front of that camera…I put on tons of make up – did my hair, had the lighting done and I still wasn’t satisfied. But the more I did, the more relaxed I was and now I just pop on in front of the camera and am not self conscious.

      Doing things live sometimes causes the jitters. I have done so much live stuff and always get them. But I do it anyway.

      I remember a guru in the field sharing personally that he actually gets a severe stomach ache every time he has to speak. I’m not a liberty to mention his name because he told me this in confidence, but he is one of the most known speakers in the internet world.

      The important thing is to keep on doing it no matter what!

      Thanks again!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  11. Mark
    July 1, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    Thanks Donna!

    Thanks for making my song of being in constant fear not seem so bad! It’s a comforting thought to know that even your coaches and mentors occasionally have to confront these same nerve racking issues as well!

    And like you, typically once you start moving forward, you realize it’s not nearly as bad as you made it out to be.

    But still it was awfully nice to have you pull the curtains back and share what’s going on emotionally, behind curtain # one.
    Mark recently posted..Why Really Simple Marketing Ideas Seem To Work Best!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 1, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

      Hi Mark,

      I like to share with my readers some of the things that I personally have to plunge through. I find that many others share the same feelings sometimes.

      I once met a famous guru that did tours around the world as a living. He was my coach at one time and he had shared the same thing with me. After years of doing this…that 3 minute count down got him sick to his stomach.

      I like to bring out this topic because even when doing something we are used to doing, we still can have those butterflies in our stomach. As long as they don’t make us fly away, we are doing just fine!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  12. Monisha Kapur
    July 1, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    Hi Donna

    Great post Donna!! Thank you for articulating exactly what many people feel. Fear most definitely can be, has been, and continues to affect me. There was of course the fear of starting my business. I would constantly ask myself if it will / will not work, will people understand what I’m doing, will my family understand what I’m doing, etc. etc. But after a LONG time deliberating I decided just to start it because the “what ifs” were paralyzing me… Now, I’m so glad I started my business. I’m no where near perfect, I’m constantly learning as I go, I’m still fearful, however, I’m trying something that has taken me out of my comfort zone and I love it 🙂

    Thanks again!
    – Monisha
    Monisha Kapur recently posted..What to Wear on an InterviewMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 1, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

      Hi Monisha,

      I remember you tearing yourself apart just thinking about starting your own business. We do go back a long time my friend 🙂

      I also know how you fight your fears. And you do it so well now. If this was a few years ago, you would laugh at me suggesting that you start your own business lol. But here you are, and beside being fearful, you do get out of your comfort zone.

      Now you are loving it and I love your business! Fashion has always been my passion! Every time you post something on your blog or on Facebook, I go out shopping lol.

      You have helped me so much…it all started with the stripes! I got out of my comfort zone!

      If any of you, my friends don’t know Monisha, and are reading through these comments, give her a peek! She has been in the industry for a long time and has her own consulting business.

      Don’t know what to wear? Follow her on her blog and Facebook! Sorry, but I just had to give this fairly new blogger a plug because I know like and trust her.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  13. Marquita Herald
    July 1, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    Love the article Donna! YES I can think of one occasion in particular where I was truly blindsided by a sudden bought of fear. I’d been training and conducting sales presentations in front of audiences of all sizes for years so who’d have thought doing telephone interviews would throw me for a loop! It was the first time I chaired our county food drive and all the local radio stations lined up to support us but the problem was I hated (hated!) talking on the telephone!

    Man I really struggled with that until I had the idea to request a personal interview – they thought I was crazy because nobody ever wanted to take the time to drive to the stations to do them in person, but they agreed. So for each interview I cooked up a batch of my famous homemade chocolate chip cookies. After that first round of interviews the radio stations nicknamed me “The Cookie Lady” and I never had a problem getting interviews (about anything) after that as long as I brought my cookies. 🙂
    Marquita Herald recently posted..Standards Shape the Quality of Your LifeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 2, 2014 at 10:37 am #

      Hi Marquita,

      Thank you so much for adding your wonderful comment (cookie lady) Look how you took hold of that situation, turned it around to your favor and then baked some cookies to boot!

      Seems like you were more comfortable with people instead of that telephone. It is a different energy isn’t it?

      When I need to talk to someone, I rather do it face to face also, even via skype or Google+ (Thank goodness for technology)

      As long as we recognize our “fear” and take hold of the situation – as you did – then we can push through just about anything.

      Thanks again for sharing your story and enhancing this post.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  14. Chery Schmidt
    July 1, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

    Hello Donna, What an Awesome Article, I bet your webinar Rocked, Wish I would have been on it.. Fear Oh Yeh! This can stop us dead in our tracks if we let it HUH? This is something we all need to face,, the best thing is to JUST DO IT!! I love that Nike Saying..

    Thanks for sharing..Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..Time to Get To Know Me “Chery Schmidt”My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 2, 2014 at 10:39 am #

      Hi Chery,

      I get the jitters each and every time I’m about to do a live event. I’m fine all day but when it comes down to that few minutes right before getting out there, my mind races and I think of so many other things I want to talk about.

      I still try to quiet my mind, but it is an ongoing thing with me. So I get a little stage fright….the good news is I push on! 🙂

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  15. Mi Muba
    July 1, 2014 at 11:19 pm #

    Hi Donna
    Good to read a post written quite a different style with much informal tone. We are fed up with reading educational posts where we just get a lengthy list of to-do though our own is yet to get done in the meantime.
    I do agree with you fear is our one of the worst invisible enemy that stops us from doing something new and if we start it then keeps forcing us to compromise on its quality and wind it up soon. Its actually a fear of failure or fear of poor performance which always stops us from attempting.
    I once read somewhere winners are those who lose for some time while losers are those who lose their courage all the times. So we must have to shun all types of mental distractions while doing a task. It is good to consider all the ifs and buts before venturing but once you get into a work then you just have to focus on its quality and never compromise on it.
    Thanks a lot for sharing another wonderful post that helped a lot to overcome the undue fear and take the situation realistically.
    Mi Muba recently posted..Do you know how you are dumping your each blog post?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 2, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      Hi Mi Muba,

      Thank you so much for your wonderful input on this topic. I wrote it in story form so that I could share my own experience of fear to my readers. I find this effective when I’m sharing an emotion to others.

      Fear is a quiet enemy and it does creep up on all of us from time to time. But the question is what do we do about it? Do we give in and never complete a task or change something disturbing in our lives? OR….do we face it head on and have the knowledge that Fear is just an emotion that can be controlled?

      It is so true what you mention that we must have to shun all types of mental distractions while doing a task. It doesn’t mater what it is, we just have to go forward!

      I appreciate your input on this subject.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  16. Monika Sharma
    July 2, 2014 at 2:14 am #

    Well Said Donna ! You are absolutely right with your words “Fear Is Just Business As Usual” ! Most of people be very confuse & Fear to start a Business ! I just understand. It’s nature of Human that feat to start a Business but it should not be done ! Every work is need to set up & take little time ! so no one should fear.
    Monika Sharma recently posted..5 Steps to Sleep – Student Funny PicMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 4, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

      Hi Monika,

      Yes, there is always fear associated with something new: A business, a video series, webinars, Google+ hangouts, etc.

      We just cannot let fear stop us from our path, especially in business.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  17. shiwangi shrivastava July 2, 2014 at 4:26 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Fear has many faces and you presented the form of fear is amazing and you have done a great job in overcome the fear.

    Thanks for sharing and I always adore your post.
    shiwangi shrivastava recently posted..How to Make your Blog Primary Marketing ToolMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 2, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      Hi Shiwangi,

      Yes, fear has many faces. It is the silent enemy. And looking at fear from this point of view, we can cast that enemy away!

      We all experience fear at different levels, but as long as we get past it and not let it get hold of us, we can win!

      Thanks for coming by,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  18. Susan Cooper
    July 2, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    Fear is something that can hold us back from so many adventures in life. It may be the fear of failure, the fear of the unknown, or the fear of our ability.

    Don’t let the fear hold you back…. Charge forward and if you mess up use it as a lesson. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted..Asking For Help, When You Need It: #StoryMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 2, 2014 at 11:26 am #

      Absolutely Susan!

      If there is one major thing that most commonly holds people back it is Fear! That’s why I shared a little story to illustrate it.

      But…we have to face our fears now matter what shape or form they take and push on! 🙂

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  19. Nathaniel Kidd
    July 2, 2014 at 7:52 pm #


    You inspire al of us. I think we all get that fear and doubt creeping in but for me the key is to move forward no matter how uncomfortable the current situation may be. Most people won’t even notice the little things, but it is us that is too hard on ourselves at times and we try to find any excuse to not move forward because many times it is uncomfortable to do so.

    I agree we will never get it perfect and if we did perfect to us may still not be perceived to be perfect to the next person. The key is to overcome our fear each and every time and move forward with our business. We have something to offer that others need. If nothing else, we should use that as motivation. Thanks for sharing.
    Nathaniel Kidd recently posted..Become a Frugal FarmerMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 3, 2014 at 11:19 am #

      Hi Nathaniel,

      True, we all get that fear and doubt creeping in our minds from time to time. I think that as long as we acknowledge this it is the first step.

      Once we do, and understand that it is merely just a “feeling” we can then find ways to circumvent this and push forward to the path we intend to be on.

      No sir, there is nothing that is perfect! If we aim to be perfect, we will be stagnant in our growth.
      This is why I wanted to share my experience, in story form, to bring up the topic of fear.

      Thanks for your great comment,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  20. Corina Ramos
    July 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Wow, this is a great post. I know your webinar was a hit lady! I learned a lot from you so I know your attendees did too!

    I can totally relate to fear and yes it has held me back from a lot of things. Just like you I get the last minute jitters but I back down. Sometimes those thoughts are too overpowering and that is something I desperately want to change this year.

    Your post was so inspiring Donna. You made me realize it’s only a phase and that the moment will pass.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us! Happy Wednesday. Hope you’re having a great week!
    Corina Ramos recently posted..Work-from-Home Job Spotlight: EFIMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 3, 2014 at 11:22 am #

      Hi Corina,

      Yes, once I got past that fear and anxiety place, my bit mouth just went on lol.

      There is one thing of having the last minute jitters, then there are those overpowering thoughts.
      I used to have them and had to overcome many things. I couldn’t do it myself.

      I finally found a solution for my huge fear problems and that was EMDR (rapid eye movement) therapy. I just couldn’t shake my fear of lightning storms for years….now, so far so good!

      There is always something that we fear and there is always a solution.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  21. Kumar Gauraw
    July 2, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    Congratulations on successfully completing the webinar no matter how messy it felt in the beginning.
    I think we all have fears, anxieties and those jittery feelings before doing anything new. By the way, if you are doing a webinar once in a while, each time it feels like a new thing.
    I have those feelings and I’m going to meet a new prospect, I am going for an interview or taking interviews. Therefore, I can completely relate with you.
    What I do is, I acknowledge my nervousness to my audience and it goes away. I acknowledge my fears to my audience and disappear. That’s the technique I use to deal with my confusions, my fears every time it happens.
    Thank you for sharing your story and motivating all of us to cope up with our fears and keep marching on.
    Kumar Gauraw recently posted..Yes, You Need To Brag About Yourself And Your Amazing SkillsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 3, 2014 at 11:26 am #

      Hi Kumar,

      I so appreciate you sharing your fears here and how you overcome it. Although I talk on the phone all the time to clients for the past 30 years or so, when I get a new one, anxiety creeps up. I take a deep breath, and it goes away once I start talking. It’s the anticipation that gets us sometimes.

      When we anticipate something, it can be cause fear, anxiety, etc. And even though we know we have done this time and time again, the feeling remains the same.

      But this is just the way it goes and as long as we acknowledge it and face it, we somehow get through it all…just like you and I did.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  22. Dave
    July 3, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    It’s amazing how perception sometimes rules our reality. To the outside world, it looks as though we are calm, collected, and composed in the presentation of ourselves, whether it is with our voice, our word, or our actions. And yet, inside we are writhing with discomfort, anxiety, and fear.

    I made a comment recently how anticipation of a desired event can sometimes be more enjoyable than the event itself. I think the flip side to that comment also holds true. The anticipation of an “undesired” event is often not as bad as the actual event.

    I have struggled on many occasions to break through those walls of fear and anxiety that I raise on my own, whether when setting forth on a new endeavor, or when revisiting those situations that have proven uncomfortable in the past. And the thing that has always helped me the most is knowing that I am not alone, that there are other people out there battling those same internal demons, and succeeding.

    For that, I sincerely thank you for sharing your story. I am sure that there are many more people out there that have breathed a collective sigh of relief to know that we are all human and feel fear. We just need to acknowledge it and plunge forward anyway 😉
    Dave recently posted..Isabel’s irisMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 4, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

      Hi Dave,

      Thank you so much for your wonderful input on this post. Yes, I shared my story to help others know that they are not alone.

      I have many newbies that are coming into the blogosphere and there is all kinds of fear going on there …

      Oh yes, anticipation can be a good thing like going on vacation for instance, or can be frightening, like meeting new people, being able to perform to many or anything else.

      It is up to us to face that fear and know it all melts away as we start to get out there and do what we planned to.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  23. Rachel Lavern
    July 3, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    My attitude is to just let go and let it rip. I still usually begin rethinking the way I planned to present but I always tell myself that I will enjoy the bloopers (later, of course) and remember that perfection is way overrated! Sure, I like things to go well but I make sure that I keep things fun, keep going and hopefully create change.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted..Brand the Heck Out of YourselfMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 4, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

      Hi Rachel,

      I have a few bloopers in the can. One was live where we were experiencing technical difficulties. I was on one computer and David was in front of the camera thinking that he had a slide show going on. Well, he was running around in front to the camera as I was giving him the high signs that things weren’t working he he he.

      That had to be the best. We weren’t nervous at all, but laughed to ourselves as our audience did too. Fine example we had given that things can go wrong, but we did let it rip and that was the most enjoyable webinar we had ever done.

      When we taped it we named it great webinar with bloopers! People loved it!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  24. Angela McCall
    July 3, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    First off, I’m always late to the party!! Sorry. Second of all, this is a wonderful post. I love the topic of FEAR. Yeah, we all have that. You know when people asked me to sing in church, no matter how many times I sing in front of people, I always get that sweaty, cold feet feeling.

    …even Elvis Presley who was a professional performer, he said that he’s always nervous whenever he is about to perform in front of the audience. Doesn’t matter how many times he does it. They said it’s good to be a little nervous before you start your presentation. Someone said to me that is the “holy spirit” that’s telling you something…also when you are nervous YOU DO BETTER…

    On that very first guest post I did for Harleena, I tell you I was very, very nervous!! Suddenly, I had this writer’s block. My computer keeps getting heated and I had to turn it on & off to proceed with my video making. UGH. What a real pain in the neck. I was worried that people are not going to like my post or video. But when I presented it to Harleena…WOW….she loved it and said “perfect”. I thought…wha…wha…WHAT!!!? and then the response from that guest post is TREMENDOUSLY AMAZING. I was indeed flabbergasted.

    So yeah…we all want to be PERFECT. Nothing wrong with that. We all strive to being perfect. But perfect doesn’t exist. Only God is perfect.

    Anyway, you’re AWESOME for doing your webinar. You are indeed a very BRAVE girl. Something I would probably never do unless someone kicks me in the butt. LOL.

    Anyhoo…wishing you a lovely weekend.

    Angela McCall recently posted..Video Blogging Challenge 15 | Why Quality Content is Not Enough Today?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 4, 2014 at 8:32 pm #


      You make me laugh! Remember your very first video? You were so scared and now you pop them out every day. You even sing and do it so well!

      I do remember chatting with you about that interview on Harleena’s blog. I know how nervous you were, but you did a wonderful job!

      Oh girl I do know that nothing is perfect, only God!

      I head about Elvis and there are many in the industry that I know who are “gurus” that will admit they get so nervous before a talk.

      Goes to show…it’s all part of the business!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  25. Sonia
    July 4, 2014 at 12:11 am #

    Hi Donna!

    I truly enjoyed your ‘story’ and can relate in so many ways.
    I remember presenting a webinar for the first time and the knot in my stomach beforehand – wondering if I’d sound okay, if the presentation slides would run smoothly, if my computer and internet connection would all run fine!
    I also get jitters before speaking, spruiking, singing – always that fear that I will trip over my words, forget some or look stupid.
    Nowadays, I am even more reluctant to get into webinar or hangout mode as I fear that the topic I believe I am an expert in is already covered in a much better manner by an even better expert and so my fear is that people will not take me seriously!
    Silly I know but it is my fear and I’ll deal with it somehow.

    Thank you so much for sharing this insightful wisdom that made me think and look deep into where I am at 🙂
    Sonia recently posted..Pinterest Videos & ImagesMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 4, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

      Hi Sonia,

      Most of us get that knot in our stomach before presenting a speech or webinar. We are fine until the final moments as our thoughts rush through our minds like, what if the slides don’t work, what if…what if…

      But once we get on it we are fine! I think it is something that happens to many of us and I wanted to share my experience to encourage others.

      One thing…never fear that someone will be doing a topic “better than you” If you have knowledge about a subject go for it girl….

      Do you realize how many people talk about the same subject these days? It comes down to the know, like and trust factor. Always remember people buy people! So there you go…

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  26. Steven J Wilson
    July 4, 2014 at 2:40 am #

    Hey Donna,

    This is an interesting topic I enjoy discussing. Fear holds so many people back.

    Like with your example people get so fearful of not doing well and messing up but in reality, you are the only one who knew you were missing slides etc. From the appreciation you received, if they noticed it really didn’t matter to them one bit 🙂

    Fear is OK with me. I enjoy it actually. I associate that reason with the good ole days back in high school. I had experiences just like you. No matter how many times I stepped on the field I always became fearful of how I will perform. Every time though, the second the ball moves, all those thoughts go out the window and it’s business as usual.

    We can be our own worst enemies sometime. Fear is OK as long as you don’t let it consume you to the point of not being able to get down to business. When that timer runs out we need to be ready to fight through any thoughts that are not completely positive and handle business to the best of our abilities.

    Have a good weekend Donna!
    Steven J Wilson recently posted..This Along With Content Marketing Can Amplify Your SuccessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 6, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

      Hi Steven,

      Thanks for illustrating your share of Fear. Yes, it is something that in those final moments when performing anything – from sports to speaking – we can get those jitters.

      As long as we won’t let it stop us from achieving a goal, we are O.K. I just had to write this because some of my students lately were fearful to go the extra mile to do a video. a Google+ Hangout, and also webinars.

      This is why I just had to share my own experience, so people could better relate to what I’m coaching them.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  27. Sheshnath
    July 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    Talking about the fear that I had experienced, when I was in my junior college.
    I had to give a presentation on basics of ASP.net , I had prepared the slides well, I had planned everything nicely, but just before the start of the presentation I felt quite a nervous, was thinking about how it will go, what if someone asks a question which I won’t be able to answers… , there were so many questions coming into my mind making me more nervous.

    But one I started it went very smoothly and ended well.

    So I would like to tell one thing, if you have confident about your knowledge, no fear can stop you !!

    Thanks for this wonderful post.
    Sheshnath recently posted..Sony Xperia M2 Review : Nice GUI & Impressive CameraMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

      You are absolutely correct when you mention that “if you are confident about your knowledge, no fear can stop you!”

      And so I am, but those few minutes before a presentation, those crazy questions always come to mind. Now I look at it as just “crazy questions.”

      It is like self talk: If you have negative thoughts in your mind, replace them with positive ones.

      Oh yes, and those questions that come to mind as to weather we could answer a question, no fear there! There have been times when asked a question that I could not answer because I didn’t have complete knowledge of the answer. So all I did was tell them I don’t have the answer to that one, but will cover it in my Q&A and/or contact that person.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  28. Erika Mohssen-Beyk
    July 5, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    there is a lot of comments here and I only can say
    I like it much better if not everything is perfect .
    It is more human .we are taught to be perfect ,but like
    many here say ,there is nothing really perfect.
    I think if you have the knowledge about what you are
    teaching ,fear is not necessary .And like I know you
    you have a lot of knowledge ,I am sure you do a good job,
    even if you are spontaneous.
    Your article made me think ,what I would do ,
    and I think perfect things are not for me:)
    Thank you for sharing your feelings 🙂
    Erika Mohssen-Beyk recently posted..Making Hay For Grass Fed AnimalsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 6, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

      Hi Erika,

      I’m happy to know this made you think of what you would do! Agreed….nothing is ever perfect. So much so, that when things are candid, and “mistakes” are made, people find it amusing. So all is well.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  29. Andy Lockhart
    July 5, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

    This is a great post, what you talk of is like the butterflies people have in talking in front of a live audience. But once you get out there and start talking you are fine. People try and be perfect with things and it really doesn’t matter. You will tend to know more than your audience and they like to see you are human, which you are so their is nothing wrong with that. You will always come away saying I wish I said X or Y. Thanks for Sharing Andy
    Andy Lockhart recently posted..4 Tips for Mastering Body Language in Business NetworkingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 6, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

      Hi Andy,

      So true and that’s why I say that Fear is only part of business as usual. As long as we let ‘er rip…people will find value.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  30. Justin Iskandar
    July 6, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    I really enjoyed reading your post and thanks for sharing your experience. FEAR happens to all of us. I think it is good to have some fear, because we aren’t perfect. Fear is healthy. The most important part is how we deal with that anxiety in order to develop and grow. We can face it or hide from it but the choice we made usually determines being a successful or a mediocre.

    Best wishes,
    Justin Iskandar recently posted..10 Strategies to Increase Your Facebook Posts Engagement | InfographicMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 6, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

      Hi Justin,

      Yes we all have some anxiety when doing just about anything and I agree…it is healthy as long as we recognize it.

      Once we do, we can overcome it.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  31. Sue Bride
    July 6, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    Have I let fear hold me back in life? Do you want a comment or a book? I was uber shy as a child – I didn’t know that at the time because the word uber wasn’t used back then. 🙂 If I could have stood up in front of a class to speak I probably would have chosen teaching as a profession. I let fear control me back then but a few years on and there were things I really wanted to do so I pushed myself. I refused to let fear stop me but it still controlled me as I lived in a constant state of anxiety.

    It wasn’t until I was in my 40’s that I discovered that anxiety (and social anxiety) is one of the symptoms suffered by carriers of Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic condition that my youngest son is affected by. It wasn’t until then that I stopped blaming myself for being weak and sought professional help.

    Meds helped be some but what helped most was cognitive therapy and affirmations to change my long engrained ways of thinking. I’ll never be the sort to enjoy addressing groups of people face to face but I now accept me and my limitations and work round them. The anxiety has gone.

    I think it’s very common to get the kind of “stage fright” you describe Donna and well done for pushing through it. But, if anyone is like i was and lets fear stop them realizing their full potential please get help. It’s just another form of training.
    Sue Bride recently posted..What are Hashtag Chats – How to Join or Run OneMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 6, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

      Hi Sue,

      I so appreciate you sharing your story because by reading it I was saying to myself, wait…that was me! It wasn’t until I was about 30 years old that I sought out professional help to get rid of my high anxiety and depression.

      I thought it was normal because my entire family has it. But, I know the feeling so well. I went through many years of therapy, cognitive, EMDR, hypnosis, you name it, I did it. I just had to fight my way out of the hell I was living in.

      Yes, I too, as a kid never raised my hand in school, was very quiet, but now you just can’t shut me up! lol

      I used to let fear stop me from living the life that was inside of me….I call that my cocoon years because I felt like I was trapped in a cocoon. But, I broke free, have beautiful wings to fly with and free from all anxiety.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Engagement BloggingMy Profile

  32. Sharon Smoot
    July 6, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    Sir Lawrence Olivier used to throw up before each performance and their are many other great entertainers who experience nervousness and get jitters before they go on stage. As a child, I had horrible stage fright at my very first music recital and as a young adult, I was terrified when I had to make my very first presentation during my second week on a new job. You’re absolutely right, Donna, that nerves and jitters are just a part of the equation. I think that in some part they stem from our fear of being judged and criticized for not being perfect, for not being flawless. What we forget is that it’s the flaws and imperfections that make us likeable and help our audience relate to us.

    • Donna Merrill
      July 6, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

      Hi Sharon,

      You have explained the essence of this post. Many famous people, like Sir Lawrence Olivier, and so many others do get sick before every performance.

      I know so many “gurus” who admit the same thing. I do keep that in mind, but still get those jitters. The next time I’m not going to look at the clock. That darn thing makes me nuts. I’ll just set things up and one minute before just let it flow.

      Thanks so much,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Sidebar BlindnessMy Profile

  33. Leslie Denning
    July 12, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    Hi Donna. As a musician, I’ve faced that many times. Will I be able to get that passage in the sonata that was giving me so much trouble? Will my allergies cause me trouble when I hit that
    high note? Will I remember the words?

    The main thing to remember about fear is that you need to pass ‘go’ and do it. Fear gives you an edge. There have been many actors who have thrown up right before they go on stage. If they can go on to a brilliant performance, surely we can give a good performance, even if it’s not perfect.

    Thanks for your insights.

    All the best,
    Leslie Denning recently posted..Day 15 – Let’s Get PhysicalMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      July 12, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

      Hi Leslie,

      Thanks for sharing your experience as a musician. I’m sure that happens all the time! I do always think of the stories I’ve heard of actors as well as speakers who have actually thrown up before going on stage.

      I keep that in my mind and say to myself if they can do it so can I. I just had to share my feelings in this post because some of my clients were fearful of videos, writing blog posts, etc.

      As a “leader,” I wanted to share that I go through the same thing…but push on!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Sidebar BlindnessMy Profile

  34. Atish Ranjan July 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    Something similar happened with me many times when I was preparing for my exams. Till the last moment I used to think that something is missing in my preparation but as soon as I start writing the paper in exam hall everything seems to be fine.

    Thank you for the very nice post Donna.
    Atish Ranjan recently posted..5 Blog Posts that Teach You How to Promote Your Blog PostsMy Profile

  35. Donna Merrill
    July 12, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

    Hi Atish,

    Oh yes, I know that feeling quite well. When something happens like a test, or speaking in front of others, I say to myself “It’s in my hard drive in my mind!” And then all is well.

    Funny how anticipation can get to us sometimes.

    Donna Merrill recently posted..Sidebar BlindnessMy Profile

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