The fear of pursuing what we truly want holds many of us back, even after all we have accomplished. We often tend to stay in our comfort zones and struggle to achieve what is important to us when we feel fear. But imagine a world where fear is not the deciding factor in your life and you no longer have to submit to it. That’s the goal and mission of Bisi MacGregor, a fearless coach, and leader with over 20 years of experience working in the corporate world.
With over two decades of experience in Corporate Finance, Bisi possesses an expert ability to master and transcend the fear of failure. She is an Award-Winning International Speaker, TEDx Speaker, and a results-driven facilitator. Despite the demands, challenges, and politics of corporate culture, Bisi answered the calling of her soul. She founded Fear2Freedom, which aims to benefit executives, high-level professionals, and business owners. She offers women’s leadership coaching, training, and speaking services utilizing her proprietary Live More Fear Less™ methodology that disrupts the status quo of our mindset in order to find the fearless formula for success. Currently, she works with clients throughout the world from her home base in Georgia, US.
By disrupting the status quo, Bisi hopes to help individuals uncover and reconnect with hidden, lost, or buried parts of themselves. Throughout her career, Bisi has guided and coached peers and colleagues. Her journey to becoming a coach began before she was even aware of who she truly was. She wanted to help people achieve their full potential. After years of working in the corporate world, she asked herself the dreaded question – ‘Where do I want to go?’ She realized it was time for her to do something more. According to Bisi, fear is what prevents most of us from achieving our full potential. Fear is the gateway to our freedom, she says. Passing through fear is the only way to freedom.
Sometimes all the stories you tell yourself can cause you to doubt yourself and ultimately cause you to live in fear. Bisi admits that she was hesitant to leave her corporate job to be an entrepreneur. Her own self-doubts led her to fear taking a leap. At that moment, she was asking herself these questions and slipping away into a cycle of fear.
It was clear to her that she wanted to do more and be different. Bisi quickly recognized that fear was the very reason holding her back. As she shares her story of leaving corporate life, Bisi describes how she struggled with the persistence of fear for a long time before she finally put her foot down and said ‘You know what, I’m gonna do this.’ She describes how she connected with the possibility and overcame fear in greater detail below.
Bisi admits that she often struggled with doubt and questions in the face of fear. She was at a point in her life when she was trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her career. Meanwhile, her marriage was deteriorating. Her personal life and professional life were in crisis.
Bisi says that at that critical juncture she was not able to hear her own thoughts. Something we all have experienced in our lives at some point. We all have had our backs against the wall. But where do we go from there? According to her, what helped her was taking a trip to a yoga and meditation center in Massachusetts to have some time to herself.
Bisi signed up for a program called Live your life, your soul was intended. She took this as a sign, and the meditation class headed by the founder of the Fearless Living Institute transformed her life. Bisi then went on to enroll and become certified. Essentially, Bisi says, executive women have a couple of fears, but the biggest one is that they do not feel safe being seen. Being seen can also be their voices. Women often seek permission, to make their strong voices heard and be seen. Next, she asserts that our cultural conditioning also plays an important role in why fear trumps action.
Awareness is everything since we have no clue what goes on in the absence of it. There are more people walking asleep than are awake. Most people are mindless, saying yes to things they would rather not do. Through Bisi’s technique, you can dial up your level of awareness.
How do we make decisions? We should take the time between our decisions to ask, “Is this what I want? Is this fear or freedom? Am I making a decision or is this fear?” And then we should make our decision. Even when they are aware, some people are still reluctant to make decisions because they think that it might not work. It’s vital to insert pauses – she says. There is clarity and permission in pausing and reflecting. When you do what you love, you give your brain a break to do some deep thinking. In Bisi’s view, that fuel can energize your heart, mind, and your business.
After you’ve built that awareness, the next stage is awakening. You already have everything you need to achieve that audacious goal, to stand up for yourself, to hear the strength of your voice, Bisi explains. She calls it the stretch risk or die tool – made up of three concentric circles.
The middle part is your Comfort Zone. This is how your life is at the moment. You are used to it.
The next circle is a Stretch Zone. This is where most people beat themselves up. However, this is also where we build confidence because it contains the things we know we can accomplish.
The third ring is the Risk Zone, which requires a bit more courage to accomplish. However, she adds, you might need to exert more effort and take extra steps to pull yourself out of that stretch zone if you are not certain you can achieve that goal. Following that, Bisi says, all the empty space outside the risk zone is the die zone, and you come up with just one big goal that you want to accomplish. Ultimately, the die zone is where fear lives. Bisi adds that if you are able to accomplish one or two big goals or tasks within your die zone, you are facing your fear directly.
Bisi indicates that to activate means to turn on the ignition by putting your foot on the pedal. She goes on to say that this is a crucial step where you get to activate your beliefs, your mindset, and your behaviors. Being able to appreciate and love yourself should be acknowledged and celebrated every step of the way. We should acknowledge even the tiniest steps, even the smallest wins, according to Bisi in order to truly be able to achieve our larger goals.
Bisi breaks down that confidence is a result, a consequence of our actions. We gain confidence when we take chances. It’s what happens when we take a step out of our comfort zone. When we try bigger things and take action, confidence builds.
As an entrepreneur, Bisi says it can be hard to overstate the importance of being able to tap into a powerful, like-minded community. In Bisi’s opinion, you should ask yourself, ‘Can I find someone who has the same aim or bigger dream than I have?’ Join a networking group if possible. Your only task is to double down on that goal and give it everything you have. If you get started, this approach can be very effective. Ultimately, she says, this mindset can produce powerful results. In essence, you make your stretch zone your comfort zone.