Networking Interview #23: How To Get Over Your Fear of Change

by on October 18th, 2012

Today in my networking challenge I am interviewing Coach Jennie. Coach Jennie helps “pretty awesome” people elevate into extraordinary individuals and I am very excited to speak with her. Thanks so much for being here Jennie!

In case you are reading this at work and can’t watch the video, you can read all of the great advice below instead!

1) You call yourself The Audacity Coach. Why Audacity?

I am pretty audacious! I’m very bold. I’m very brave. And I love all the words that mean audacious. Audacity is really not arrogant. One of the things that often get confused with is the concept of arrogance. Audacity is the idea that you deserve to live a life with the volume turned all the way up. And its really making sure that your life is as bold and as loud and as fantastic as humanly possible. So that’s how I decided to become the audacity coach. Life coach and career coach is all included in there but really it is an attitude, more than a model.

It’s a branding thing too. For my career, it’s branding so people can understand what they’re getting. If the word audacity turns you off, you’re aren’t my client anyway.

2) Tell us a little bit about your career path.  How did you go about making your own career change?

My career was all about going to college. I’m the first kid in my family to graduate high school and go to college and grad school. My dream growing up was to get into college. And then, I got into college. And they said, what do you want to be when you grow up? “I don’t know! This was the dream that’s all I got!” It was really shocking to realize that I had to come up with new goals again. I went on and started my career in the federal government. I wanted to change the world and I thought that’s where I could do it. Not to say that there are people doing that in the government. I just found it very suffocating. I worked at the Department of Labor at the National Institute of Health. There are amazing people there doing amazing things but they’re so wrapped up in red tape. So what I was noticing is the people doing the things that excited me within my field, which was in Human Resources development/organizational development were with a consultant we would bring in. So I thought, I would become a consultant! I shifted my career  to consultant. And I hated it anymore! The reason that I hated it is that we spent so much of our time coming up with new ideas and projects to sell to the federal government to keep me in snappy suits and fancy shoes. I just didn’t feel like I was a changing the world, I was just keeping myself afloat. I didn’t love that.  I made sure I made some amazing connections both from my federal career and my consulting career because it’s so important. But in 2006, my consulting career kind of vanished. I took a beat and I started my own coaching business.

3) How can we get over our fear of change?

You don’t. This is not really nice thing to say but fear is actually not something that you get over. It’s something that you just deal with and you push through. Fear is actually a tool. It’s a tool that your body uses to make you pay attention. And if you’re not feeling fear or any butterflies in your stomach at all, it’s not that exciting and it’s not that important. With the exception of course of physical fear. But career fear, I have no idea how you get over the fear because I can consistently feel the fear. One of my great mentors taught me; it’s not about not feeling the butterfly it’s teaching your butterfly to fly in formation. How can you embrace the fear? Deal with it and push through and keep going and taking action.

4) Why do you think so many people get stuck and what can they do about it?

Most of the people that I worked with come to me because they’re experiencing this same exact thing- I don’t know what I want but I know this isn’t it. It’s the feeling of OK I follow all the rules and it looks pretty good on the outside and I’ve got a couple cute stories at a cocktail party but I got acid stomach on Sunday but I am dreading work on Monday. I think almost all human beings have been there with their career at some point or the other but when that becomes a regular routine and you start accepting that as how life is supposed to be because that is “work” and you aren’t suppose to enjoy work. That’s a real bummer! I think a lot of people get in to that because its comfortable. The only thing out of that line is make a big change. I think its just kind of human nature to fall prey to that kind of routine and comfort. Let’s face it! As you’re building your life you’re also building your wealth, you’re building your salary and if you’re like most human you’re spending at the rate that you’re getting paid. Pulling back and making changes is really scary because it isn’t direct financial security.

The very first thing you have to do is figure out what the heck you want.  And really taking the time to figure out what it is that you actually want your life to look like. It’s hard. There’s no easy question. And there is no simple checklist. Take the time, take the energy and your wild imagination and really go for it. The truth is that it matters.

5) Tell us a little bit about what PACT is and why we need to make a PACT with ourselves?

My model approaching is called the audacity PACT. I use the word PACT because it’s a promise. It’s the promise you’re making to yourself but it’s heavier than a promise. A PACT is an acronym that stands for the 4 ingredients you need for audacity. The first one is Possibility. You have to have a sense of what’s possible for you. Another reason that people get stuck in a rut is they think too small. We need to think big! A is for Ambition. You going to know what you want. You got to want this. You got to want more. C is for Confidence. Being confident really is key for women. And T is for Tenacity. All of those are really good but if you procrastinate and don’t do anything about it, so what? So, all four are necessary. You have to have the possibility that it could be for you. You have to have an ambition and figure out what’s your thing. And then confidence to say I got this and I am going to go after it and figure it out. And tenacity, never ever quit.

6) You give your clients “Cathartic Shoves”? What does that mean?

My new program the tag writing is a Cathartic shoves towards brilliance. You need to shove in the right direction and you get reminded that you can do this.

7) This question I ask at the end of all of my interviews, what do you wish you would have known when you were a young professional woman just starting out in her career?

The one thing I wish I would have known is that confidence is not something that somebody can do, but something that you develop. It’s not something that you’re going to get just by being around confident people.  You have to get confidence by getting out there and doing it. One of the biggest confidence builders I have experienced is failure. When I get myself back up and I realize what I learned from it and what should do next, I’ve gain so much more confidence. And when I am starting out in my career, I was terrified of a failure so I wouldn’t try. You have to go out and create it for yourself.

8) If people want to learn more about you where can they find you online?

If you want to go to my general coaching page or learn about my speaking program, you can go to coachjennie.com. And if you’re interested in my new program, Audacity Rules, that is at audacityrules.com.

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