August 22, 2014

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Career Coach Teaches How Success Hinges on Embracing Fear

By Rachel Madison

August 22, 2014

Tiffany Peterson is familiar with the word “success.” Not only has she found success in her own career, but she’s also helped several individuals and companies achieve it.

Peterson, a Utah resident and speaker, coach and owner of The Lighthouse Principles, spoke during a joint lunch event for the Utah Technology Council, Mountain West Capital Network, Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum and the Wayne Brown Institute on embracing fear and achieving success Thursday.

“What makes a high achiever?” she asked. “If I had to pick one thing, it would be fear. Everyone deals with fear—every single human being on this planet. It’s not if you feel fear, it’s how you handle it that is the key difference maker.”

Peterson used a quote from a book by Steven Pressfield, The War of Art, to demonstrate how a person can use fear: “The amateur expects to overcome fear, but the professional knows they’ll never overcome fear and they lace up anyway.”

“A lot of times people step away from [fear], not into it,” Peterson said. “But the question is: Am I willing to be uncomfortable to have the results that I want? It requires vulnerability and facing the uncomfortable. That’s the biggest difference between people who struggle and people who succeed.”

Peterson shared one of her first uncomfortable experiences, when she decided she wanted to go into sales for Franklin Covey.

“I was going to be a special education teacher,” she said. “I worked for two years in Granite School District in classrooms with kids with special needs. I never in a million years thought I’d be doing what I’m doing today. I went to school for that, but realized it wasn’t the path for me, so I started selling for Franklin Covey and The 7 Habits, because I was so passionate about The 7 Habits. Do you think I had to embrace fear and put myself out there? Absolutely.”

Peterson said it’s important to think about what career path you’re taking and if it’s the right one. If it’s not, that’s when embracing fear comes into play.

“Are you living your calling? Do you love what you’re doing? Because you know what? Life is so short,” she said. “There’s millions of reasons to not do something, but in your heart if you’re thinking, ‘I want more than what I’ve got; I want my team to have more,’ [then go for it].”

While Peterson agrees everyone has adversity, she also believes that everything a person wants is just beyond their comfort zone. Dealing with adversity is one way to step out of the comfort zone to achieve success. She used a lesson from the book As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen, to demonstrate this.

“One thing he says is if you find a certain adversity or circumstance keeps finding you, that just shows you haven’t learned your lesson,” she said. “Within every circumstance is a spiritual lesson, and once you get the lesson, the circumstance passes away and moves on.”

Peterson also spoke about the importance of keeping your network nourished and making other people—including clients, employees and family—feel important.

“There’s a lot in life you can’t control,” she said. “You can only control how you show up. Show up to serve.”

Overall, Peterson said each person’s dreams and goals have no business being in the hands of another person.

“Your dreams and desires are in your heart, your head and your hands for a reason,” she said. “That comes from a very divine place. Your callings have picked you for a reason. They aren’t anyone else’s responsibility to fulfill.”

Throughout her career, Peterson has worked for Franklin Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Jack Canfield, the creator of The Chicken Soup for the Soul series. After working for these companies, Peterson decided to branch out by starting her own coaching and mentoring company, The Lighthouse Principles. She now helps six- and seven-figure producing individuals and companies achieve success. 

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