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How to Overcome Your Fears in Order to Better Serve Your Nonprofit and Your Community

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This post is part of a series on limiting beliefs. Read the previous posts on overcoming the belief that your story doesn’t matter, the idea that success is selfish, and how to get out of a victim mindset

As a nonprofit professional, you have a lot of power and responsibility. Your nonprofit addresses some of the greatest issues in your community, and by leveraging your personal contribution to your organization, you have the ability to make real change and impact lives for the better. 

In order to fully take advantage of that power and step up to that level of responsibility, however, you need to recognize what limiting beliefs you’re facing. You can’t serve others to the best of your abilities if you aren’t working to your full potential. 

In this post, I want to talk about one of the greatest obstacles that stands between you and your success: fear. 

Addressing and pushing back on your fears

When you’re afraid, you’re most likely worried about a certain outcome; either you don’t know what will happen and are afraid of that uncertainty or you know the potential outcomes and you fear the worst. You might even hold yourself back from establishing certain relationships or working toward bigger goals for fear of how things might go wrong. 

So, how can you combat that fear? You start operating from a place of understanding that you and your work matter. 

By virtue of showing up and doing your job, you’re impacting someone’s life in a positive way. When you start to operate from a place of confidence, you’ll find that you’ll start seeking out new opportunities. You might send that email or make that call you’ve been thinking about, you might start sharing your story to motivate others, or you might start dreaming about how you and your organization can make an even bigger impact. 

Be specific when confronting your fears.

When overcoming your fears, you should be as specific as possible. Write down what exactly you’re afraid of and then write down a step that you can take to overcome that fear or move in the direction you want. Bringing specific fears to light will help you see them more clearly and combat them head on. 

For example, if you’re afraid of sharing your story, you might be asking yourself these questions: 

  • What if nobody listens to what I have to say?
  • What if someone challenges my experiences?
  • What if I mess up while I’m sharing my story?
  • What if my story doesn’t make an impact? 

Now, think about what positive outcomes could come from sharing your story. Here are just a few examples:

  • You can establish a genuine connection with the people you want to serve. 
  • You can bring more revenue to your nonprofit. 
  • You can inspire someone else to take action. 

Once you’ve addressed your fears and looked at potential positive outcomes, you decide what steps you can take and actually take them. Going off of the example above, how can you start to overcome your fear and share your story

If you need inspiration, think about someone you look up to who has overcome a similar fear. If you’re able to, reach out to them and ask if they have advice for you. 

When you put yourself out there, there’s always a possibility that you’ll receive negative feedback. This is true for anyone in any industry. That said, you shouldn’t let your fear hold you back. You should embrace the uncertainty and work with confidence that you can make a difference and learn from and adapt to any pushback you receive. 

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