Transformational leadership coach, advisor and author Jacqueline Wales explains how to prevent fear from stopping you taking the next step.
Website: The Fearless Factor at Work
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For more than 35 years, Jacqueline Wales has explored human behavior and asked tough questions to discover hard truths. She believes in the power of fearlessness to create the career and life you want.
As a motivational speaker, professional coach, author of The Fearless Factor and other books, Jacqueline has helped countless people become more empowered, confident, and resilient.
Her work focuses on leaders who will dig into self-discovery, take accountability for their actions and responsibility for their decisions. She challenges herself daily to be better and challenges her clients to do the same – pushing boundaries and breaking through excuses to achieve results.
What you’ll learn in this episode
- [1:36] Why Jacqueline wrote her newest book ‘The Fearless Factor at Work’.
- [3:08] How Jacqueline learned about fear and how to move past it.
- [6:28] What fear does to us and how people usually respond to it.
- [9:04] How to tell the difference between excuses and valid reasons.
- [10:47] How to be more self-aware of how fear is affecting you.
- [13:59] What ‘being fearless’ really means.
- [15:18] How to conquer fear and stop worrying about what others are thinking.
- [17:19] The importance of setting boundaries and having pragmatic conversations.
- [20:21] How practicing prior to an event can alleviate the fear in the moment.
- [23:59] The risks of perfectionism and how it can prevent you from making actual progress.
- [27:02] How to know when you have prepared thoroughly enough.
- [29:25] How to reduce anxieties around decision making.
Resources mentioned in this episode
Please note that some of these are affiliate links and we may get a small commission in the event that you make a purchase. This helps us to cover our expenses and is at no additional cost to you.
To see the resources recommended by all our guests, visit the Resources page.
Episode 89: How to overcome fear and take the next step - with Jacqueline Wales of The Fearless Factor at Work
Jeremy Cline 0:00
Knowing that something is the right thing to do doesn't necessarily make it any less scary. You might know that the best thing you can do is explore a change of career. You might know that you've got to have that difficult conversation with your boss. But even if you know that ultimately, it's something you've got to do, that doesn't necessarily stop you have a fear of doing it. So, what can you do to get over the fear? What can you do to stop it preventing you from taking action? That's what we talk about in this week's episode. I'm Jeremy Cline, and this is Change Work Life.
Jeremy Cline 0:30
Hello, and welcome to the Change Work Life podcast, where we're all about beating the Sunday evening blues and enjoying Mondays again. If you're thinking about changing career, chances are you have a few fears going through your head. Are you doing the right thing? Will you find something you enjoy? Will you still be able to support your family? Asking yourself these sorts of questions and having these kinds of fears is perfectly normal. But how do you stop these fears from overwhelming you and preventing you from taking action? That's what we're going to talk about today with Jacqueline Wales. Jacqueline is a transformational leadership coach, she's a facilitator and advisor and she's the author of the books The Fearless Factor and The Fearless Factor at Work. Jacqueline, welcome to the show.
Jacqueline Wales 1:27
Thanks for having me, Jeremy. Pleasure to be here.
Jeremy Cline 1:29
So, before we dive into the topic, can you tell us a bit more about your most recent book, why you wrote it and who's it for?
Jacqueline Wales 1:35
Yeah, the last book I wrote was called The Fearless Factor at Work and it's actually part of a series, the first one was just called The Fearless Factor. And I wrote it primarily because after 10 years of working with a lot of middle managers in corporate, I realised that their understanding of self and understanding of how to really bring their best leadership to the organisations that they serve was a very big challenge. And so, the book was really designed to be a virtual mentor for individuals who are ready to really look at their self-awareness, their communication skills, their trust in themselves and in others, and of course, fear too, because everybody's got fear. And I like to say that being fearless is not the absence of fear, but it's the courage to take that next step. So, what I do with my work is I help people take that next step. And the book was written primarily to give people an opportunity to self-reflect, and do a deep dive on what matters to them, what do they think that is getting in the way, and building a vision of where they want to be going. So, it's really based on the whole coaching idea of, where are you know, where do you want to go and what's getting in the way, and let's get you uncomfortable, or comfortable being uncomfortable, because that's how change happens.
Jeremy Cline 3:01
And what's your backstory? How did you get into this whole area of coaching and advising and writing books on this subject?
Jacqueline Wales 3:08
A lifetime of experiences. I got introduced to the emotion of fear at a very early age, because I grew up in a family that was hugely dysfunctional, a lot of violence, a lot of emotional abuse, so on and so forth. So, at a very early age, you learn to hide, you learn to get out of the way, and that was really my early upbringing. Unfortunately, for me, it led to a lot of dysfunctional behaviours on my own part, as well as a lot of self-sabotage. And all of it was fear-based. So, when I think back to my early years, where there was a massive amount of drinking, drugs, sex in all the wrong places, blah, blah, blah, it was all fear-induced. And learning to understand that and learning to move beyond it took me a long time. I was 35 before I finally realised that maybe I needed some help to understand my whole psychological process. And so, that began a journey, an adventure, in a way, to really reveal and unlock the essence of who I am. And it took a long time, but I think what I learned over those years has become the foundation for everything that I teach at this moment. And I'm all about helping individuals make the changes in the fastest amount of time, because I've got all the experience that one could possibly want or need, and so, how can I help other people understand what the barriers look like, and how can you get beyond them and, basically, do the work. Because it's like everything else, if you don't do the work, it doesn't work.
Jeremy Cline 4:49
What was it that age 35 made you realise that you needed to do something, that you needed to look into all this?
Jacqueline Wales 4:57
By then I had given one child up for adoption, I had left another child with his father, and I'd moved from London to San Francisco at that point in time. I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, so if we go back to the very beginning, moved to London, and so anyways, first child up for adoption, second child left with his father, and the third child comes along at the age of 35. And I was in a relatively stable relationship at that point, and I said, 'I've got to make a commitment: she will leave me before I leave her.' That's what I said to my therapist. And what I meant by that was, she would go to college, I would be there until she was ready to leave home, not because her mother left. So, there was a big shift in taking responsibility at that point. And that eventually evolved into having two more children after that in my life, and happy to say that, apart from the child who was adopted, I have great relationships with all of my children. Again, you work it. You get past the fears. You figure out that things that aren't working for you, you really need to clean up your act. And so, that's been a big piece of my story, primarily through late 30s, into my 40s.
Jeremy Cline 6:13
You've already touched on it, but can you perhaps talk a bit more about what fear does to people, even if they don't realise that it's fear that is doing this thing? What is it, what's the effect the fear has?
Jacqueline Wales 6:27
Fear is an emotion – as I say, fear is a primitive reaction. It's a knee-jerk, fight-or-flight piece. But a lot of the time, our fears are couched in uncertainty, anxiety, worry, you name it. So, I like to say fear's imagination-based, because it starts with your thinking. You're thinking about something in the negative, you're thinking about things that could go wrong. Now, I understand there are many fears that are absolutely real, but I like to say, unless you've got empirical evidence for it, you're just making stories. And that's pretty much what it's all about, what stories are you telling yourself. But that fear reaction gets caught up in excuses, it gets caught up in playing small, it gets caught up in not asking for what you want because you're afraid of being rejected, you're afraid of being judged, you're afraid of failure. Now, failure is a big one that comes up a lot when I speak to people about what's your biggest fear, and they'll say, 'I'm afraid of failure'. What about failure is so scary? It's not the end of the road. Failure is simply an iteration. It's a choice, a decision, an expectation that did not go the way that you'd wanted it to. So, when we look at fear, per se, and we understand that it's an emotion, like being angry, being sad, being joyous – fear is a choice. Do I want to live in that fear? And if I choose to live in that fear, and I did for a very long time, then I'm constantly in that state of stress, of worrying about how am I going to be perceived, how are people going to receive me, so on and so forth. We all get caught up in that self-doubt, that judgmental state of being, but here's the fundamental piece about what fear is really all about: totally inward belief that I'm not good enough. That's it. I'm not good enough. Or, I'm not lovable. In which case, I'm going to look for evidence in my world that supports that, even if it means that I set myself up for it. And I did that for a long time.
Jeremy Cline 8:39
You mentioned one of the symptoms, if you like, of fear being making excuses. How do you draw the line between what's an excuse and what's a legitimate reason? Because presumably, in some cases, there are legitimate reasons not to do things, or in other cases, it might just be excuses not to do things. How do you recognise one from the other?
Jacqueline Wales 9:04
You have to ask yourself a very clear question, in terms of, is this excuse valid? We can all find validity for our excuses: I don't have enough time, I don't have enough resources, there isn't the right connections, blah, blah, blah. But the truth of the matter is, have you tried? Have you put it out there? Do you know if this is an assumption, or is it something that actually has some validity? Now, to your point, there are certain fears, but I also say – for instance, let's say we're afraid of losing our job. What are you doing at work that would allow you to think that you might be losing your job? Are you not showing up on time? Are you not delivering the results they're looking for? Or is the company downsizing and you just don't know whether your head's gonna be on the block next door or whatever it is? But all of that is a form of thinking about stuff. It's not actually based on evidence, and that's really the big difference for me. Most fears are not evidence-based. As I said, fear is imagination-based. It's our thinking that gets us in trouble. And it's our thinking that adds to that fear pool. As opposed to, well, I don't care, let's just go for it, see what happens. My tagline is, 'Be fearless, see where it gets you'. There's a real reason for that.
Jeremy Cline 10:28
How do you recognise that it's fear which is at play with you? What can you do to improve your self-awareness, so that you become aware of when it is fear that's holding you back, rather than a valid reason?
Jacqueline Wales 10:47
Let's look for an example around that. For many years, I was told that I had an awful lot to offer. I had great advice, I was writing books, I was doing all kinds of things that were getting out into the world. But I kept playing small on this. And I realised at a certain point that I was afraid of judgement, I was afraid of being rejected, I was afraid that whatever I was doing wasn't good enough. And I'm very much a '150-percenter'. I will never do anything in a mediocre way. And part of that is because I need to prove myself. So, I do a lot of behavioural assessments as part of my work, 360s. So, the individual does their thing, and then you get feedback from others. And what I found that when we analyse a lot of these behaviours, the negative type of behaviours, if you like, we find that fear is really at base for it. So, for instance, take someone who's highly approval-oriented – you need to tell me I'm doing okay, I want to check in with you. Are you okay? That means I'm okay. You've heard that expression, 'I'm okay, you're okay'. The approval piece for a lot of people is about, 'I'm just testing the waters to see if, indeed, I am okay.' And if that's part of it, there's a fear there. Again, the fear is, 'I'm not good enough.' If you look at people who are highly competitive, the opposite end of the spectrum, where they're constantly pushing, trying to prove themselves, comparing themselves to others. Again, their bottom line is always going to be, 'Am I good enough?' So, when I ask my clients that question, what I get from them is, 'Of course, I'm good enough. Yeah, 100%.' Okay, great. So, why does the behaviour that you have going on undermine that? Because if you really do feel like you're good enough, then you don't have a lot of self-doubt, you simply put it out there. Now, I know there's a lot of people who say, 'I don't have any doubt, and I just put it out there', and they're not exactly clear in their intentions about what they're doing and why it's important to them. But I think that piece of, again, questioning the fear around what is it really stemming from, because a lot of our fears come out of our past experiences, and it's about pushing into the future and believing that whatever the future you're going to create for yourself is not necessarily going to be a positive one. And that's another big piece of the fear thing. What does the future look like for you? Right now, we're in COVID, and may have a job, may not have a job, my money's running out, blah, blah, blah, all of this is absolutely valid. I get it. There's a fear there. I've been there myself, watched the money disappear, I was like, 'What are you going to do now?' It's one day at a time, get up and get on with it. It's Monday morning, what do we have to do today?
Jeremy Cline 13:43
So, is it the case that basically everyone has the fear? Everyone has fears, and it's really just a case of identifying what the fears are, and perhaps more importantly, how they're affecting you and how you can stop them from affecting you.
Jacqueline Wales 13:59
Question your thinking. Yeah. I mean, everybody has fear. I like to say, I think I mentioned at the beginning, being fearless is not the absence of fear. It's the courage to take the next step. Because if you take the next step, and then the next step, and so on and so forth, you will find fulfilment, you will find joy. Because every time you take that next step, you're breaking down some of the barriers that you've put in your own way. And let's face it, we're all our own worst enemies. So, how about we learn how to be our own best friend by giving ourselves some nurturing, some self-care, by allowing that not always right, but there is a piece here where I can challenge myself, where I can feel the discomfort of going into new territory. It's like knocking on a door and saying, 'Can you help me?' Now, women are the worst for this, frankly. Women are like, 'I can't ask for help because then I'm gonna look weak.' Yeah, we need vulnerability. Vulnerability is strength. There's no shame in vulnerability. And for a lot of people, they hold back because of that particular thing.
Jeremy Cline 15:10
So, is it possible to conquer fear? Or is fear always going to be there?
Jacqueline Wales 15:18
I think it's possible to conquer fear. But you have to work at it. It's not about no fear. We'll always have self-doubt, there will always be moments when you question your judgement. There's always going to be moments when you wonder if someone else is going to be able to help you get what you want. Too many people worry about what other people are thinking. And what I say to my clients is, what other people are thinking is none of your business, because you can't possibly be in their head. So, you're in your own head making up stories, which is really the crux of what so much of our negative and otherwise thinking is about, is the stories we tell ourselves. And how do you break out of that? Change the story.
Jeremy Cline 16:02
I love that, what other people are thinking is none of your business. That one statement on its own is incredibly powerful. I mean, yeah, that's definitely something that, I think that could go on a billboard somewhere.
Jacqueline Wales 16:15
Yeah, it really is a big deal. I hear it all the time, people who are afraid of difficult conversations, who are facing having to go talk to the boss or in a relationship, and they're not quite sure how it's gonna go down, and so forth. And then, they have all this thing about how they're gonna react, and what's going to happen and blah, blah, blah. You don't have any evidence. So, you just made up a story. What they're thinking is none of your business, until you're there. Then it's your business.
Jeremy Cline 16:46
Let's take that example a bit further, of having a difficult conversation maybe with your boss or a work colleague, and you are feeling nervous in anticipation of that conversation. Do you try to ignore the fear? Or do you acknowledge and embrace it? What's the best way mentally? You want to go through it, you've got the fear, but you don't want the fear to stop you. But then, how can you mentally deal with the fear so that it helps you, I guess?
Jacqueline Wales 17:18
First and foremost, acknowledge it. Yeah, I'm pretty scared about this. But I'm going to do it anyway. There's a book written back in the 1980s called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, and it was a great title, and it resonated with a lot of people. So, yes, the fear is there. But if you're prepared for your conversation, i.e. you've got something that's clearly mapped out, let's say you're having a problem because your boss is just being really difficult, just keeps throwing stuff at you, your desk is piling up, you can't get beyond it. And you need to go talk to him about setting some clear boundaries for yourself. Now, that's a difficult conversation in any work environment, because you're getting paid for it, so you're supposed to just get on with it. So, let's say that's the conversation you want to have. So, before you get into the conversation, you're going to be able to point to exactly how you're getting the work done, or not getting the work done. And what it is that's getting in the way of getting the work done. And if it's simply that before you've had a chance to take a breath and finish up the last piece that he asked for, before there's another three things dumped on top of it which all had a yesterday stamp on it, then you need to be able to point out that you want to be more productive, you want to be able to deliver the results, but perhaps you and he or she can sit down, try to figure out a programme that would be more beneficial, so that you both get to for your part, deliver the results, and for the receiver of it, to get the results that they're looking for. So, that becomes a pragmatic conversation, not an emotional one. It's not about walking in and going, 'I'm overwhelmed by all of this, I can't possibly deal with it, it's not gonna work!' What do you get when you go in with that kind of approach? You get another emotional reaction, 'That's just too bad. Go on with it.' So, you've got to really be able to frame the thing up in order to have the difficult conversation.
Jeremy Cline 19:28
And I'll just mention to listeners that if anyone who is interested in this specific point about having difficult conversations at work, then have a look at Episode 29 with Denise Liebetrau. Because I did a whole episode all about that subject. So, that's a really good one to dive into that in a bit more detail. One of the things you mentioned there was preparing, preparation, in this case for the conversation. To what extent can preparation for something alleviate fear? Performers always practice, partly because they want to get things right, but presumably also so that it stops their nerves overwhelming them, because they've done it a thousand times so they know they can do it there. So, is practising something beforehand a way of dealing with fear?
Jacqueline Wales 20:19
Yes, 100%. I have been a performer, I trained as a professional singer. And for five years, I was with synagogues in both Paris and Amsterdam, delivering the High Holy Day services, which is Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur. Very big deal. You have to sing a lot of music during those particular services, especially Yom Kippur, which goes on all day. And when I first got brought into it, the rabbi said, 'We need a cantor for the High Holy Days.' And I looked at him and I said, 'What do I know about Jewish liturgical music?' He said, 'That's okay. You can go learn.' And I said, 'What music do you want me to learn?' And he said, 'I don't know, just go find something that appeals to you. We'll work around it, it'll be fine.' So, the fact of the matter that I didn't read Hebrew, so everything was in transliteration, and I didn't read music, meant that everything I had to do was to listen to the music over and over again, that's the practice thing, and then practice the singing of it. And the first time I showed up to do the first Rosh Hashanah service, yeah, was I fearful? Uh-huh. The first few notes that came out of my mouth, the throat was tight, hands were sweaty, the legs were feeling a little bit wobbly. And I thought, 'Okay, you're here, you've made a commitment, you better show up for it.' And I went on, eventually, to sing some of the most profound music I've ever sung in my life. And I've sung a lot of songs over the years. But that was pretty special. And as I said, it was very fearful. I remember the first time I was invited to sing in public, I was seven years old, and all I had to do was sing a Christmas carol. I couldn't do it. I backed down. I said, 'Nuh-huh'. I had rehearsed it over and over in my head, it was very simple, I was terrified of forgetting the words. And to this day, frankly, I still have that fear that I'll forget the words, and I've done it, and then you scat your way through it, and then you pick up the words again later. Yeah, nobody cares. Except you.
Jeremy Cline 22:25
I think the message there is that practice can get you some of the way, but it's not ultimately going to overcome the fear just by itself.
Jacqueline Wales 22:34
Exactly. If you're prepared, if you feel like you've really walked it through. So, again, get back to the difficult conversation, you might be still going into that difficult conversation with that knot in your stomach. But your brain is going, 'Okay, you're here. You said you were going to do this. So, let's go do it and let's see what happens.' And know that, here's the other side of fear: fear is about trusting you can handle whatever it is that comes your way. Because when we're in self-doubt, we don't trust ourselves. And we certainly don't trust other people, which is why I made a big deal out of it out in my last book. You've got to learn how to trust yourself, because that will help you to trust other people. And yes, they'll always let you down, there will always be people who let you down. Yeah, move on.
Jeremy Cline 23:24
And some of that as well will just come through experience, getting nervous before a podcast interview, then when you've done 60 or 70 of them, then yeah, you know that you can do it.
Jacqueline Wales 23:35
Oh, yeah, 100%. I'm very comfortable in any conversation. I like to say to most of my podcast hosts, yeah, throw whatever question you want at me, I'll find an answer somewhere.
Jeremy Cline 23:46
And just finishing up on practice, the danger is also that it becomes, well, practice stroke preparation, that it becomes an excuse in itself. Oh, I haven't prepared enough. Oh, I haven't practised enough. So, I'm not going to go ahead with it.
Jacqueline Wales 23:59
That's a very good point. Because what happens is, it's – writing a book, for instance. If you're not sure of yourself in writing a book, and let's face it, writing a book is opening yourself to an awful lot of judgement. Some people will like it, some people won't, don't matter. It's like in my coaching practice, not everybody loves me. That's fine. We're not meant to work together. But for taking that chance that you've got something to say, something that is important, you're going to do it anyway. And I've lost track of the original question. So, you might just want to repeat that one again.
Jeremy Cline 24:36
The extent to which practice and preparation can become an excuse for not doing something, where you start to feel like you're not sufficiently rehearsed and so you think, 'Oh, I'll just practice it again, or I'll do a bit more preparation.'
Jacqueline Wales 24:48
What do you think is at base of that? I'm not good enough. So, I gotta keep practising. I've got to keep pushing it out there. Until finally, you have to go, 'It's good enough.' Now, let's talk about – perfectionism is absolutely what freezes people in place. Because it sets incredibly high standards, not just for the self, but for others that you might be working with. I had a client who had enormous perfectionism in his life. And he had to learn on a day-by-day basis how to be good enough. It's good enough. And yeah, today, I didn't hit the mark, so tomorrow's another day, another opportunity, we'll see what happens. That was a big shift of mindset for him, because he was always about hard line, this is what was necessary, long hours, worked himself 14, 18 hours a day. But again, that need to prove himself, because he also had high competitiveness. So, there was always that need to be pushing hard. And then, the comparing self to others, put those two together, you're never going to be good enough, frankly. So, how do you adopt that position of knowing when enough is enough? Because you're your harshest critic. Nobody else will criticise you as hard as you do yourself. And I think that's a big piece. I grew up with a message that I would never amount to anything. And I heard it thousands of times. And guess what? I believed that for a long time. And now, I look at my life and I go, 'How could you have spent so much time believing that?' Because it was deeply embedded in my brain until I learned to prove otherwise. So, you have to take the chance to prove otherwise.
Jeremy Cline 26:41
How do you know when enough is enough? You've got the old adage, 'Failing to prepare is preparing to fail'. And then, at the other end of the scale, you've got perfectionism. How do you know where to draw the line, so that you're sufficiently prepared, but you haven't veered into perfectionism and never feeling like you're ready?
Jacqueline Wales 27:02
So, this brings you to the 'get comfortable being uncomfortable' piece. Where are you uncomfortable just drawing a line in the sand and going, 'Okay, let's see what happens.' I'm going to stop now. If you see yourself like I do, I'm a '150-percenter'. I do not know how to do anything middle-of-the-road, they're all-in or I'm all-out. That's my personality. Extreme one end to the other. In the early days, the all-in or all-out was not necessarily the positive all-in, there was a lot of negative all-in. So, knowing when good is good enough is a personal decision, and one that, even if you're uncomfortable with it, you're testing the waters. Is it good enough? Is it good enough for me? Maybe not. But let's see if the audience out there feels like it's good enough. If it is, then you've got a marker. Because if you're always setting that bar high, high, and again, I always like to say that I want to do quality over quantity, every time, where's my mark in the sand? My mark in the sand is that I know internally that no matter what I do, it will be good enough. Because I've already set a good bar for myself. But for those who are still practising with this, there's a whole lot of, let's first just stop here and see what happens.
Jeremy Cline 28:29
So, it's essentially trial and error.
Jacqueline Wales 28:31
Yeah, there's no way to say there's an absolute on any of this. You just have to understand that good enough frequently is good enough. We live in a mediocre world, let's face it, the lowest common denominator surfaces again and again. And if you've got any striving for excellence in your life, then you know that your good enough is probably better than most.
Jeremy Cline 28:53
Let's talk practical tips. So, let's say that we've got someone listening who, they've got a difficult conversation at work scheduled for tomorrow, or they've got a difficult decision they've got to make and they're scared of making the wrong choice. What are some, if there are such a thing, but what are some simple mind hacks or something that people can do just to mentally talk themselves down from just getting really paranoid about what they're about to do?
Jacqueline Wales 29:25
So, I like to say, 'Get specific', okay. So, let's take the example of decision-making. I've got a decision to make tomorrow: should I take this job, or should I not? You got to start asking yourself some questions. Mostly, it's going to be about, what's the culture of the company? How did I feel in the interview? Do I feel that the values of the company are aligned with my values? Do I think that there's room for promotion in here? And then, on the negative side, what am I noticing about this? If I go on Glassdoor, and I see that there's a whole bunch of people who are unhappy about working for this organisation, what are the key points that they're bringing out? Then ask yourself the question of, do I feel that there's an alignment between myself and my company? And I had a conversation just recently with a client who had done a job interview and said, halfway into the interview, she asked a question about remote working. And she was told that was not an option. At which point, she shut down the interview. She said, 'That's fine. I can't handle this one. It's enough.' So, the decision on that particular instance was made for her. But if you're sitting there with a hard decision, make your list. I'm a big believer in lists. Your pros and cons. And that's a very simple way of analysing it. Now, even if after you've analysed it, you're still unsure, here's the thing about decisions: none of them are irreversible, might change things up greatly. Who knows? But taking a job out of desperation frequently ends up being desperate, and can lead to all kind of problems. So, again, making those decisions, making your pros and cons list, that's the practical tip for you on that one.
Jeremy Cline 31:17
Fantastic. That's something that people can take away. And going back to everything that you're doing, you mentioned how the two books you've got at the moment are part of a series. What else are you helping to cover? When, if at all, will you have completed your mission?
Jacqueline Wales 31:34
I think I'll be in a pine box going out the door when I complete my mission. There's a lot I'm starting to think about. I think in terms of life and what I have to contribute. I've been thinking a lot in the last year about doing something around fearless parenting, which, I've had a lot of experience with different aspects of parenting. And I think it's a piece, I always invite people to share their stories in my books as well, and I think it's a piece that people would like to get some insights on. Parenting is really hard. And I certainly made lots of mistakes back in the early days. But I also made some good choices and managed to figure out quite a bit of it as well. But overall, I'm into helping people change as fast as possible. You don't need to hang around in your negative thinking, you don't need to hang around in the fear, worrying about whether you're good enough. You just need to figure out certain ways of reconstructing the thinking that's going on in the brain, so you can take different actions, so you can really move yourself in the direction of where you want to be going. Which is why I'm right now doing a fearless change programme that's six weeks of accelerated learning that involves coaching, group coaching, as well as weekly modules that allow people to self-reflect and really dive deep into thinking about things a little bit differently. And it shifts the needle, and I've been working with groups of women, senior women for the most part, who are already very accomplished, but they're busy trying to figure out what's the next move, because there's always a next, and that's how we grow. There's always a next. So, I'm excited about doing more of that and giving people more online learning opportunities as well, that stand alone, we've got that going on right now. But in the big picture, the next few years is really going to be dedicated to helping as many people as possible understand that they can be fearless, and they can take that next step, because we all have it built-in. We have the courage.
Jeremy Cline 33:48
And aside from your own books and your own resources, do you have any other books or resources you can recommend that people check out?
Jacqueline Wales 33:56
I have lots and lots of books. And if you had a visual on my room right now, you'd see a lot of books on the shelf.
Jeremy Cline 34:04
Jacqueline has a lot of books.
Jacqueline Wales 34:07
So, I pulled off this one book. It's called Leadership and Self-Deception. And it's about getting out of the box. It's by the Arbinger Institute. Now, they have a whole series of books. And this is about changing your life and transforming organisations. And it's been a bestseller for a long time. Self-deception is a piece of the fear piece. It's about, how do we think about our relationships, how do I see myself and how do I want other people to see me and so forth. And there's a whole bunch of exercises in here that I thoroughly recommend. So, Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute, take a look at it and do the exercises inside, because it's a very honest look at how we self-deceive, how we get in our own way. What we think of ourselves is frequently not the truth of who we are.
Jeremy Cline 35:03
Brilliant. I'll put a link to that in the show notes as well. And Jacqueline, where's the best people can find you?
Jacqueline Wales 35:09
You can find me at my website, thefearlessfactoratwork.com. And there's a free download there called Give Fear the Finger. So, go check it out. I think it will work.
Jeremy Cline 35:23
Cool. Links for that will be in the show notes as well. Jacqueline, some awesome tips and awesome ideas. So, thank you so much for joining me.
Jacqueline Wales 35:32
My pleasure. Thank you very much for having me.
Jeremy Cline 35:36
Okay, hope you enjoyed that interview with Jacqueline Wales, author of The Fear Factor and The Fear Factor at Work. The overall message that I got from that interview was not that we can do anything about fear per se, there's nothing that we can do that stops it coming up. What we can do, though, is monitor and control how we react to that fear. Jacqueline mentioned how fear can cause us to make excuses or to think small or to fear rejection or failure so much that it stops us from doing things. What I thought came very strongly from Jacqueline's interview, though, was that the fear is going to be there, and the trick is both to acknowledge it and do it anyway. It's about taking the courage to take the step despite the fact that there is an element of fear in what you're about to do.
Jeremy Cline 36:24
There's a full transcript of the interview with Jacqueline and a summary of all the key points that we talked about on the show notes page for this episode. They're at changeworklife.com/89 for Episode 89. And if you enjoyed that interview, I'd love it if you'd take a moment to leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Reviews really help other people find the show, so if you have a moment to leave a review for the Change Work Life podcast, I would be unbelievably grateful. There's another great interview coming up next week, and I can't wait to see you then. Cheers. Bye.
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