I attended the Massachusetts Conference for Women, which is the largest women's conference in the United States. I had the pleasure of listening to Lupita Nyong’o’s speak about fear. It was funny and comforting to learn that a woman who is so accomplished was afraid of anything!
I took the seven tools she shared on how to face fear and applied it to fears that new working moms face. Here we go!
1. Recognize and articulate your fears.
Admitting fear out loud makes it more realistic. For instance, you may be consistently afraid of running late to pick up your kids from daycare and then worried about paying late fees or how your children may feel that you’re late.
These kinds of thoughts use up a lot of your personal energy and at the end of the day you need all the energy you can get!
We excel at to-do lists and food shopping lists, why not a fear list? Write down your list of fears then share it with someone you trust. When you hash things out this way amazing things can happen like finding a solution or perhaps realizing you’re not that afraid after all. Give it shot.
2. Reach out to four stretcher bearers would carry you to safety and remind you that you aren’t alone.
The phrase “stretcher bearers” sounds so supportive and loving, doesn’t it? I talk about building and using your support system, but stretcher bearers sounds more my style at the end of a rough day.
I envision a stretcher bearer strengthening your Mommy Energy because you have someone to fall back on no matter what.
Who would your stretcher bearers be when you are afraid of something? Can’t think of one? You’ve got some work to do then.
3. Ask questions of yourself, for yourself, and listen for the answers.
Yes, this sounds like more work you have to do but wouldn’t it be worth it if you knew it’d help you overcome fears about going back to work after maternity leave?
Take time to ask questions of yourself about what you fear. What is it about the fear that makes you want to curl up in a ball or makes your heart stop. Taking the time and spending the energy on self-growth can make you a stronger working mom. The big ah-ha moment will happen when you listen for the answer.
4. Don’t underestimate the power of writing down your goals & dreams down.
Seeing your goals and dreams in black and white makes them real. It allows you to discover more about yourself. It only takes a few minutes to write in a journal and it’s a major Mommy Energy booster! This is a great way to practice self-care when you first starting out on your new working mom life.
5. Breathe. Meditate. Be still with your soul.
A deep breath brings your attention to what is happening right now which is that you are taking a breath. Meditation can be as quick as five minutes and it allows you to quiet your mind (doesn’t that sound super?.) Be still with your soul means to stop listening other people, they are nothing but noise, and look within. The answers are always within you.
6. Go for it and always allow failure to be an option.
One of my favorite quotes is “go for it”, but adding ‘failure’ makes it more possible .
If you expect failure to be part of the game then fear doesn’t seem so surprising. My epic career failure turned into one of my biggest self-discoveries (that I would change careers and become a Working Mom Coach).
7. Step forward and repeat all of this with each step and challenge expecting to learn the lessons again and again.
When we take a step forward, toward our fears, life gets more interesting and we grow. It takes a brave heart to be willing to try to face your fears all over again. To help motivate you, think of a time when you did something that made you afraid, like giving birth to your new baby! Now that took courage!!
Every day working moms face challenge after challenge (yes, exhausting) but you have it in you to succeed. With these tips you are armed to face your fears and excel.
Let me know over on my Facebook page how you think these tips will help you!