For #motivationmonday, we bring you Mercedes Blanco, VP of Strategic Partnerships at The Hotels Network. Mercedes is a respected leader in the hospitality industry, who cut her teeth in hotel sales and worked her way up in the hotel tech space. We caught up with Mercedes in London last week at World Travel Market and asked her about her recent talks at HSMAI and on The Growth Spot podcast with Calvin Tilokee, where she spoke openly about facing her fears and how that has helped her move ahead in her career and in life. Mercedes has faced personal and professional challenges from immigrating from Spain to America to coping with her recent divorce.
"'Failure is our greatest teacher' and, yes, I am quoting Yoda from Star Wars," Mercedes chuckles. "I see failure as an opportunity to start over again and again," She shared with me. She uses her past experiences to build her confidence and as a reason to take risks. "Confidence isn't being cocky, it is believing in yourself. Confidence comes from letting go of fear."
Fear is programmed within us to protect us from danger and disaster, explains Mercedes, "Few of our fears ever come true, yet fear kills more dreams than failure ever will." This is why Mercedes focuses on her attitude, "We cannot change the circumstances, but we get to choose how we think, what we say, and how react to any situation. We are in control of what we are becoming."
Here are Mercedes's tips for identifying when you are behaving out of fear and how to overcome them.
How to identify when we are acting out of fear:
We are afraid to take risks
We compromise in the name of being "realistic"
We procrastinate, we don’t make things happen, we rather give ourselves excuses
We struggle to make decisions because we are afraid of the consequences
How to overcome your fears:
Believe in yourself, if you can't, remember your past. We have the power to fall and recover, we have done it before and we will do it again.
If something scares you, make it a habit, everyday challenge yourself, and push a little bit harder.
Always think positive and surround yourself with positive people. Remember, fear is contagious, and so is happiness.
Practice positive self-talk, exercise & self-care.
Trust your instincts, let your gut be your guide.
Don’t try to fit in, try to be you.
Don’t think, just do. If you want something, go get it, period. If you second-guess yourself, that is the moment you lose.
We win not because we know we can, but because we believe we can.
For further reading, Mercedes suggests "Dare to Lead," by Brené Brown, and "The High Five Habit," by Mel Robbins.
Thanks for your fantastic advice Mercedes! Great to see you in London.