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They say that fear of public speaking is one of the most common fears that people have. Personally, I’m not afraid of public speaking per se – I actually enjoy it when I feel fully prepared. What gives me that knot in my stomach is the thought of getting up in front of a big group of people and speaking extemporaneously.

Because I’ve decided that I’d like to pursue speaking opportunities as a way to share my expertise with others, I’ve recently taken action towards overcoming this fear: I joined Toastmasters. What are you doing to keep fear from holding you back?


As another year stretches out in front of us, I have a few questions for you: What changes would you make to your business and marketing program if you were not afraid? Would you try new marketing tactics, reach out to new markets, introduce new products or services, or take some other bold move?

The Greatest Barrier to Success is the Fear of Failure
In business, fear almost always comes down to a fear of failure and your beliefs about the worst possible consequences that failure can bring. “What if it doesn’t work?” you might think to yourself. “I’ll lose money, waste time, make a fool of myself, ruin my business’ reputation, or something even worse.”

If this is what your self-talk sounds like, there’s a good chance you’re turning down or otherwise avoiding opportunities that can help your business grow.

Try Changing Your Perspective
As you’re thinking about your goals for the year, try counteracting your fears with some positive thoughts. After the worst-possible outcome has flashed before your eyes, turn your focus to the best-possible outcome. What if the new product/idea/marketing program is a roaring success? What would that look like? Even if it’s not a roaring success, would you be able to learn from the experience, make a few tweaks and try again?

Plan Ahead to Overcome Weaknesses
Another way to move past fear is to think through all of the obvious ways that your idea could fail (see my article about using “premortems” to create 20/20 foresight) and then look at what you can do to avoid these issues. An important thing to keep in mind here is that you don’t have to do everything yourself. If success requires expertise that you don’t have, bring in people who do, so that you manage your risks instead of exposing them.


For over 30 years shopping centers have been counting on Rogers Marketing Services’ ability to successfully market their properties and keep their cash registers ringing. By providing the expertise to not only create marketing programs but to also quickly overcome the “curve balls” that events and promos can bring, Pat helps her clients move past their fears and achieve success. To learn more, visit the website I wrote for her at


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