3 questions to spot when fear is holding you back

Bonjour, Mon Cherie! Amanda Cherie here: music artist, TEDx speaker, and business psychology pro.

I help Fortune 150 leaders analyze effectiveness. I also help them navigate discomfort to get on with making the money moves. Then I go from supporting bold change to belting bold anthems like “Can’t Logic” (all about beating analysis paralysis).

I can tell you from working with exceptional leaders and from my own experience: Nobody has it all together. Even the people who appear confident AF on the outside can be a raw ramen noodle brick of nerves on the inside.

What do business executives, second graders, and multi-Grammy winner Adele have in common? They all feel fear.

Yes, even Adele got pre-show butterflies: “I puke quite a lot before going onstage, though never actually on the stage… But...the bigger the freak-out, the more I enjoy the show!"

For me, it was public speaking, and most “peopling” really. Rewind from giving a TEDx talk and speaking at universities to future leaders on how to overcome their discomfort so they can get on with making bold business moves. Growing up, just the thought of public speaking nauseated me. Heck, I didn’t even like answering the phone. I was 100% terrified. So I avoided it at all costs.

I still remember the day, a few weeks before finishing my senior year in high school, that I heard: “Congratulations, you’re Valedictorian (graduating at the top of your class).” The achiever in me was elated that my hard work had paid off. Then the words followed, “Start getting your speech together.” Annnnd my heart sank. I felt honored, but also kind of punished.

Since that speech I’ve given numerous talks to hundreds of leaders, spoken at universities, and given a TEDx talk (the night before which I vomited every hour). I still feel an intense amount of anxiety before speaking. But I embrace the fear and do it anyway because I’m pulled by my purpose as an influencer, motivator and entertainer.

You know the struggle, Mon Cherie. New jobs, first days at school, epic roller coasters, making friends, falling in love: they all tend to carry a side effect of the jitters. They also tend to carry a case of the confused, “What’s real anymore?” feeling, to quote the song “Can’t Logic” by moi.

There are two kinds of fear: one that protects you and one that can hold you back. And it can be tricky to tell the difference.

Let’s talk about how to recognize when fear is a sign that you should run faster vs. running away.

Here’s 3 Questions to ask yourself to tell if the fear means Step Forward, or Step Away:


Are you projecting limitations onto yourself, others, or the world?

If you hear your inner voice saying…

“I’m not equipped enough to do that.”

“People probably won’t like me.”

“The ‘system’ isn’t in my corner.”’re probably creating the fear within you.

Pay attention to your inner dialogue. Listen to the stories you tell yourself that may be holding you back. When your self-talk starts speaking from limiting beliefs, calmly meet that inner voice with love.

Once that inhibiting fear is met with love and knows it’s safe, it can chill and free you up to get on with slaying.

Release. Reframe. Repeat.


Is the product on the other side of the fear in line with your long-term desire? Could it be a step toward revealing something within you that’s aligned with your full potential?

If the challenge at hand is not in alignment with your ultimate desire, this when the discomfort can be a sign to walk away.

But if you look past the fuzzy fear and see the ideal end game, saying yes to the action and steps necessary to make it happen becomes clearer.

On the other side of the fear could be an invitation to step into your power. In this case, it’s a matter of letting go of your resistance so you can get on with actualizing your dope vision.

Visualize. Align. Act.


Are you honoring your personal standards and needs?

Maybe you’re considering skipping the gym because you’re feeling the Sunday afternoon FOMO from Netflix marathoning or pool lounging.

But if you have a personal value of fitness and established supporting behaviors (and assuming you’re not sick or injured), consider hitting the gym before the pool.

By all means, basic self-care is prioritizing your health - physical, mental, emotional or otherwise. Sometimes you need the rest (and the vitamin D). Just make sure you’re prioritizing your long-term values and wellbeing over in-the-moment comfort.

Know what you value. Stay with your standards. Slay your goals.

If you answered mostly “yes” to these questions, the fear is probably originating from within. Unless there’s a cheetah chasing you or another clearly dangerous reason to running away, you should consider running toward the challenge at hand.

If you answered mostly “no” to these questions, the fear is probably protecting you. In this case, consider walking away. Reset, and start walking toward something more aligned.

If you’re still somewhere in-between, sit with these questions for a few minutes to better understand the origin of the anxiety. Knowing where the fear is coming helps to create more clarity in how to respond to it.

And if you need a bonus question, here ya go: What if Adele had thrown the mic before the concert instead of dropping it afterward? Boom.

Once you’re ready to transition from thinking to deciding, I have something else for you that can help your headspace.

If you want a song that you can dance to and (not over) think about, I’ve got just the thing for you: my new song “Can’t Logic.”

Can’t Logic” is an anthem about overcoming overthinking. It’s about trying to navigate life, love, and your own mind. It’s kind of like if the line ”to be or not to be” from Shakespeare’s Hamlet were a pop song. Throw in some 80s-esque drama, set it to Drake-esque beat, and you’ve got “Can’t Logic.”

Trust me, Mon Cherie. If you need a mental espresso break, listen to this song and see how you feel after. You may find that it becomes your go-to track for your next workout, poolside contemplation, or morning self psych-up session.

Every time you listen to “Can’t Logic,” you will literally have my voice in your head cheering you on as you make bold moves that feel right to you. And if you fail, that’s okay. Get back up and repeat. You can also listen to “Can’t Logic” on repeat, but ya know, totally up to you. ;)

Listen to “Can’t Logic” on Spotify, iTunes, or wherever you listen to your music.

For more bold blends of psychology and not-basic pop songs, connect with me on Spotify and Instagram.


Amanda Cherie