By Sunny Simon

The other day the following client email crossed my desk:  “Sunny…I am in the process of spending a few days in Orlando enjoying my favorite theme park. Yesterday I waited patiently in line to board a roller coaster –which is something I never do!  My purpose was to execute one of the items under “Facing my Fears,” a topic we discussed in coaching. They strapped me in. Closing my eyes I said a quick prayer and as I was instantly plunged into the air at a frightening speed…you were the last image I remember before indulging into my terrifying journey. At the end of the ride I was happy to have survived and thrilled with myself for dealing with the unknown.”

I laughed heartily and applauded my client for stepping far afield of her comfort zone to deal with fear. Then I added “take a roller coaster ride at the next opportunity” to my fear list. It is something I haven’t done in years probably because I’ve turned chicken.

Dealing with fears holding us back from accomplishing our goals is a common theme in coaching sessions. My client mapping out a list of her fears was a proper beginning. Obviously, riding a roller coaster had nothing to do with her goals, however, conquering a fear, any fear, gives us the confidence to maintain momentum. This was clearly evidenced by her closing sentence which was, “I’m off to face my next fear.”


Want to work on eliminating your barriers? Recognize that fears are formed in our minds. We associate doing something with danger, or perhaps we view the outcome as ending in embarrassment, disgrace, failure, etc.

Begin by striving to eliminate the negative and debilitating chatter in your head. It serves no purpose other than to provide excuses as worthless as a mechanical pencil devoid of lead. When those noisy demons begin their chant dismiss them. With no audience to entertain they will quietly exit stage left.

Next, practice embracing uncertainty. Take smaller risks on a consistent basis. Select risks that will help you conquer your fear. For example, if you fear public speaking, enroll in a Toastmasters class. The Toastmaster environment is supportive allowing a participant to move at his or her own pace.

A final thought…borrow a tagline from the Navy Seals. “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” The idea is to remain focused on the task at hand regardless of the surrounding circumstances. Conditions will not always be ideal. Accept that fact and stay the course.

Feeling more secure about taking the plunge? Great! Meet me at Disneyland. I have a coaster to conquer.

Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at

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