716. Expert Interview: How to Sidestep Your Fear and Do What You Love
Gladys Ato, Ph.D.
“Fear is actually going to get triggered for you anytime you step into a higher level of success. So rather than be afraid of it, how do you prepare for it? How do you welcome it in and how do you start to work with it in a way where you are able to see it as an ally?”
Dr. Gladys Ato is a former university president and clinical psychologist, speaker, and author of “The Good Goodbye: How to Navigate Change and Loss in Life, Love, and Work.” She mentors expert coaches & service providers to elevate their authority and become true industry leaders and teaches executive leaders how to thrive through organizational change using The Good Goodbye® approach. Recognized as a Latina leader by Hispanic Executive magazine and winner of the Women Worth Watching in Education award, Dr. Ato has been featured in Forbes, TEDx Lincoln Square, NPR, NBC News, The Unmistakable Creative and other top publications and podcasts.
How to Sidestep Your Fear and Do What You Love
“If you look at everything that’s advancing in technology, it’s obviously very clear that we as human beings are constantly evolving, but when it comes to fear, we still function at that very primal level of ‘is this a threat to my livelihood and I need to either fight it or run away from the situation.’ How we cope with it is really where the issue is. It is not fear that we need to be afraid of, but rather it is our response to the fear that gets triggered within ourselves.”
Why Is This Important?
“Fear is something that we all know we have to grapple with, but a lot of the messages that we get out in the world talk about being fearless or just pushing fear to the side and going for it anyway. The messages that we get really tell us that fear is something that we need to abolish. The problem with that is we do not get a chance to understand that fear is actually a great ally for us, and if we keep trying to get rid of something that is actually very necessary for our survival, we keep on finding this frustrating pattern of fear coming up.”
What Are the Key Lessons Learned Here?
1. if you are on a trajectory to achieve more in your life, to be able to create a life of your dreams, then you need to really take that time to look at your past, see what stories have been filed away, and plan a pathway forward–through introspection and determination–that honors the fears that you had but allows you to move through those fears so that they do not paralyze you.
2. “If you have been in an environment where experiences or people have reinforced that you can’t, or you don’t deserve, or you’re not worthy, then being able to find an incredible community of supporters to mentor you is important. You can also learn from mentoring others. Both can get you to see that you actually are capable. And it helps you deal with your fear in a brand new way.”
3. If you take that step in a different direction to be curious, to see what happens, and you discover that you were able to move past your fear in a positive direction, reward yourself for that so you are creating a story about that experience that actually reinforces more of the behavior that you want to create in the future. And when you keep repeating that right reinforcement, you start to create that positive feedback loop that will make it easier for you to start to make changes in your life that will lead you through your fears to the other side.
Connecting With Gladys Ato, Ph.D.
Free video training called the Visibility Matrix, How to Sidestep Your Fears and Elevate Your Authority, is available for those who want to dive deeper into some of the principles that were talked about in this interview.
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Careers: Author, Former University President, Mentor, Professor, Psychologist/Clinical, Speaker, Teaching/Teacher