Feeling Afraid & Unworthy: Seven Brave Business Women Show Up Anyway

August 3

Recently I appeared as a guest on a podcast called “Your Shining Self” and I had a really great time chatting with the host Tish Lee.

We were talking about visibility and something Tish said stuck with me . . . she said, and I’m paraphrasing a little here, that usually when people want to talk about building a successful business they want to talk about getting from point A to point B, but none of that matters if we don’t deal with the in between.

I couldn’t have agreed more, the A to B stuff is important. But, that in between, is the part where the person hasn’t yet become the person that can own the business they want to have. That’s the part where they need to first deal with their stuff. You know, the self-doubt, the feelings of unworthiness, and the stories they tell themselves that keep them afraid and playing small.

I thought about how I made my journey, and then I asked six other brave Souls if they would share how they deal with it, or what advice would they give to someone else dealing with it.

Tiffanie Davis 

Hello dear people. My story begins with me blowing out a few brightly colored birthday candles and holding my first ‘valentine’ at the same time. A caring nursing staff brought me a cake that said Happy Sweet Sixteenth Birthday; as I blew out the candles I cried; I did not feel quite so sweet anymore.

So, my journey of motherhood, survival and ultimately to being a business owner began.

Motherhood and survival came naturally, instinctively and necessary, pursuing my dreams was the longest and hardest road to get on and stay on.

Why was it so hard for me to pursue my business and follow my passion? Especially when I had overcome so much, in contrary to what statistical data told me … I was not even supposed to graduate from high school. However, I did graduate from high school, worked two jobs and lived independently in my own apartment since the age of 16.

Somehow the push, desire and grit that fueled me to not be a statistic did not fuel the same flame for me to venture out and bet on me. I did not believe in myself or my dreams and I never took the time to ask why.

Fast forward I finally asked myself why and I embarked on a journey of self-discovery. What I found was a little girl who had a vision of running her own company and helping people.

I hired a business coach who invested time in me. She helped me to recognize the sense of  unworthiness, empowered me to speak to the fear and helped me to remember all the wonderful qualities that make me unique and qualified to pursue the things that I love.

It was not an overnight success in fact it’s an everyday ritual to speak to the fear and love myself enough to say I can and I will add value to someone’s life today by doing the things that I love. I now understand that success starts in the mind. It starts with loving and empowering inner thoughts about yourself before it can ever translate into a bottom line. You want to be a power boss, it all starts with believing that you can, valuing who you are and never forgetting it.

Let your journey begin!

Tiffanie Davis is a Christian wife, momma and YeyYey times 5 (Yiey is grand-mother in Cambodian and I spell it Yey so people can pronounce it); and your friendly neighborhood licensed real estate agent and decor stylist.

Tish Lee

How do I show up in my biz if I’m feeling afraid and unworthy?

Like Nike says,
“Just Do It!;”
If only it were that
easy ;-)

On one hand, in my biz, because it’s a lifestyle niche, it is that easy. I get to show up and share authentically and openly with my community… even if I’m feeling unworthy and afraid.

Once, feeling like an imposter, I wrote a post about it and my peeps rallied around me helping me to show up and play  it all out.

On the other hand, it’s not that easy! Do I always want to share with my community when I’m feeling this way? No, because sometimes it’s frequent. In those times I read back through testimonials and email messages from my community – it reminds me WHY I show up and do what I do. Sometimes that’s all it takes to remind me that showing up afraid is better than not showing up at all… because my community needs me.

I also have a business coach and group mastermind I can share with when I’m feeling this way. Not only will they encourage me, they often have suggestions on how to break through the trickster junk which may sometimes literally be ‘just do it!’

And lastly, I try to remind myself what I tell others… you bring value just by showing up and being yourself. Someone, somewhere, right this minute needs your message (product, service, etc.)! That’s a pretty good swift kick in the rump to move forward and through those feelings.

Tish Lee encourages women of all sizes to take up space confidently and comfortably with no apology. She knows if you don’t take your space in the world, no one else can and that would be a damn shame.

Tekquanna Deane

Sometimes just waking up and facing the day can seem like the most difficult thing, in the world, to do.

Whenever I find myself lacking the desire to even get out of bed, let alone handling the daily tasks of being a wife, mother and small business owner, I have to muster up some serious motivation just to get myself going.

It is in these moments where I must remind myself that I have only gotten this far because I was able to push pass the uncertainty that I have faced. I tell myself to think of all that I have accomplished. I then imagine where I would be if I had allowed my own self-doubt to stop me from working towards my goals.

I always try to keep myself surrounded by things and people that will provide inspiration whenever I need it. I know there will always be times where I
become overwhelmed and uninspired. I try to stay positive and prepared, keep a good mindset and whatever I need to get done will be whole lot easier to tackle.

Tekquanna Deane is a Brooklyn native of Bajan decent, Wife and mother of 6, Co-Owner of BunHeads Dance Xchange, a retail danceware company and Graphic Designer.

Rosie Battista

My steadfast and loyal best friends, also known as the stack of journals by my bedside are representative of my reverence for the art of journaling and its healing power.

My journal obsession has been with me for years, through thick, thin, heartbreaks and breakups. It’s the place and space to get to know myself on a deeper level.

When you know who you truly are, fear and unworthiness have no room at your house. As a lifelong entrepreneur, I put my focus on using my God-given gifts to serve my clients. I made a deal with myself that this focus was more important than any fear of putting myself out there with my message.

I make a mental list of all the people who thanked me
for making a difference in their life and recognize that if I play scared and small, no one benefits.

Rosie Battista believes everyone has a unique gift and can help you discover yours. She teaches how to make card decks, journals and other creative products to expand your message and share it with the world.

Stacey Myers

When we aren’t taking action in our business, it is because we are afraid of what we think might happen.

I host a webinar and no one turns up. I launch a product and no one buys. Someone asks a question and I don’t know the answer to it. It can even be our success that we are afraid of. People won’t like me if I have money. People will expect things of me
that I won’t be able to fulfill.

You might be surprised to know that we aren’t actually afraid of those things. What we fear is the emotion we think we will feel, if they happen.

No one turns up to a webinar – feel embarrassed.
No one buys – feel disappointed.
Doing a Facebook live – feel anxiety.
People will expect things of me – feel pressure.
People won’t like me if I have money – feel rejection.

We want to avoid that emotion at all costs. I can avoid feeling embarrassed by not doing the webinar. I can avoid feeling disappointed by not promoting my product. I can avoid feeling rejection by not making a lot of money.

Let’s explore emotions further.

What happens in your body when you feel anxious? That feeling of butterflies in your stomach, your throat might tighten a bit, increased heart rate.

Now let’s look at embarrassment – increased heart rate, face flushed.

What about rejection? Red face, tightness in your chest.

Remember when I said that the worst thing that can happen is an emotion? Now that we have looked at emotions a little closer – we realise that what we are actually afraid of is an increase in heart rate, fluttering in our stomach, tightness in our throat, feeling flushed.

I can guarantee that you have experienced all of those sensations in your body before, and they haven’t killed you.

So, the next time you are afraid to take action, stop and ask yourself: What is the worst thing that could happen? If that happened, what emotion would I experience?

Then ask yourself – will I be able to handle that emotion?

And then remind yourself – of course you can – you’ve felt that emotion before, and you’ve survived.

So now you can choose to go ahead and take that action, knowing that the worst thing that can happen is an emotion, and it’s nothing you haven’t handled before.

Stacey Myers is a mindset coach for online entrepreneurs. She teaches them how to manage their minds, so they can banish confusion, indecision and overwhelm from the business building process.

Gladys Miller

Growing up in a military household, there were many restrictions and I became a person who was not heard from or seen unless I was needed.

As a military family we were constantly moving. Those younger years led me to be introverted with not wanting to make friends as I would always lose them.

Also believing that I wasn’t smart enough to meet the military expectations of intelligence that was being shared with me at that time, I certainly had no confidence within myself that I would make it through college. Therefore, I didn’t continue with schooling.

I found love, marriage and raised a family after high school, taking control of my life. After the children grew up and left home, my husband left too. At forty years old I was really experiencing the “empty nest” syndrome along with trying to cope with newly becoming disabled. I had to support myself and somehow survive.

Going through some old stuff that was stored away I found a stuffed bumble bee that I won at a carnival when my children were younger. It brought back memories when I was a young child and had watched a television show quite a bit called Romper Room. The host would ask us if we were ‘doobees’ or ‘don’tbees’. If we believed we were ‘doobees’ then we could do and be anything we wanted in life. This stuffed bumble bee now became my ‘DooBee.’

Gaining confidence that I could support myself with a disability and having my DooBee at my side, I started a new chapter in my life. I now was coming out of my shell and becoming visible a little at a time. Overcoming any fear takes time too. Twenty-five years after high school graduation, I found the courage to go to college and surprisingly did well.

My DooBee, which rode on the dash of my car, kept me believing in myself and building my confidence and endurance all along the way with life’s changes. Supporting myself after college in an office position that was meant for me, helped to lessen my fears of not making it on my own.

At this present time, I am learning how to be successful in my business one step at a time. However, my coach shared that I needed to be visible as well. Hmmm, I thought. Why? Her answer was so that folks will have a portrait of me to associate with my business and it would complete the picture of what my business was all about.

So here I am today, a “young” senior citizen, embarking on another new chapter in life. Change is inevitable and with changes, fears of the unknown may surface for a few of us, myself included. I just continue to strive to be a DooBee.

Gladys Miller recognizing the bond of love between animals and the humans they share a home with offers comfort pillows to help relieve pain and discomfort for animals and Humans alike.

Pam Hamilton

So, I guess it’s my turn. How have I learned to get past my stuff? Slowly I can tell you that!

I finally learned that my mind was not my friend. It could be a really useful tool under my control, but it was not my friend. What it was, was an over zealous protector working hard to keep me safely tucked into my little invisible corner of the world at all costs.

But I also learned, I could change that. I could change my mind’s perception of safe by moving forward through the fear, one small step at a time. I could change the stories I told myself to ones that saw the beauty, wisdom and gifts I had to share with the world. And, I could develop new habits that my mind could accept as safe, surrendering the fear in baby steps to become the person I wanted to be.

So, that’s what I did. It sounds simple enough; it’s not. But, it’s definitely doable. Me and the six other brave women who shared their stories and advice are living proof of that. And, I challenge YOU to do the same.

Pam Hamilton is an attorney and business coach who is passionate about helping small business owners get pass their stuff and grow thriving businesses that create wealth and make a positive impact in the world.


Gladys Miller, Pam Hamilton, Rosie Battista, Stacey Myers, Tea Deane, Tiffanie Davis, Tish Lee

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