As an entrepreneur, business coach, and friend to many other entrepreneurs, one of the most common statements I hear is, “I don’t know what to do.”
It’s not the technical part that holds us back; there are plenty of part-time virtual geeks to help with something techie. It’s not that we’re not passionate about something or feel that our work is what we’re meant to be doing. It’s not even that we’re unsure of our skills.
So, what is it? What is it that gets in the way of our success? In the way of achieving our dreams. It’s an awful little four-letter word.
Yes, THAT four letter word! FEAR, FEAR, FEAR, ok, I’ve said it!
Fear is just a feeling and one that everyone has. Each one of us experiences it, and no one is exempt; the key is not letting it stop you from achieving what you want in life. Learning to accept that fear is a part of growth and doing something new while not allowing it to rob you of your dreams.
Oh, the many things we fear that get in the way of our success.
We fear our “stuff” isn’t good enough, or our website isn’t perfect. The speech we’ve been asked to give isn’t just so. We fear what others will think of us or that we need to lose (insert # here) of pounds before we (insert activity here). We fear that people won’t like us, that they won’t pay the fees we want, they will hang up on us when we call to follow-up, they will reject our ideas or laugh at us and on and on and on. Truth be told, these excuses we use to procrastinate that hold is in a place where we’re not able to reach our dreams and goals.
When that feeling of fear creeps up or comes on strong, most of us wish to flee from it, to run for the proverbial hills. It’s how we, as humans, are wired – we have a primal instinct to move away from fear. And it doesn’t help that modern-day advertising reminds us daily of all of the things we need to fix. We fear the unknowns, we resist it and do our best to find relief from it, often by retreating to old habits or situations. It’s funny we’re more comfortable with the uncomfortable that we already know than the unknown.
Fear is a feeling; it’s neither good nor bad; it just is. Listening carefully to where the fear is coming from and what it’s telling us is all part of tapping into the power of our instincts. If our goals and dreams are in alignment with our true beliefs, and opportunities come along that will help us achieve them, then what’s to fear? It’s the unknowns, right, the what if it doesn’t work or……..
Many years ago, I spoke up at my mastermind group and announced that I wanted to start public speaking. Within a few weeks, one of the fellow masterminders sent an email introducing me to a client of hers, which turned into an opportunity to speak at a conference in another state. Reason # 811 to join a mastermind group. I had never spoken to more than about 15 or 20 people at a time before, and now I was being asked to go to a city 600+ miles away and speak on stage. Squeal!
Talk about FEAR! I knew that it was exactly what I asked for and that it was vital for me to get out of my office, get on a plane, and step up to the platform. It wasn’t easy; I had to borrow the money to buy a plane ticket, I came down with a cold the week before I left, I overslept the morning of my flight and narrowly made it to the plane on time. At the event my PowerPoint slides didn’t work, I kept getting interference in my mic from the PA in the room next door, and toward the end of my hour on stage the A/C completely went out in the room leaving me a sweating mess when I finished my presentation. There were so many times I thought about canceling and giving up. Thankfully I didn’t. I even shocked myself with the success of the event and that no one except me and now you knew that was my first time on a stage. I managed to go from talking to a few folks in an office to being at a conference where there were more than 100 people in the audience. And later that year, they had me back to speak to a room of more than 400.
That success has helped me when fear has come up in other situations. Sure, I’ve been stung, bitten, and burned more than a few times in the past, usually when I wasn’t trusting my instincts. And yet to reach my goals, live my passion, and achieve my dreams, I know I have to stop worrying about what hurt in the past and start paying attention to the present and moving forward.
When I’m coaching or mentoring a Transaction Coordinator, Realtor, or entrepreneur one-on-one or in a mastermind setting and they are stuck in fear, one of the first things I do is ask them about their past successes. I ask them about the fear they had leading up to that success. Viola, like magic, they realize what’s stopping them and together we look at ways to get past it. Together they see it’s the fear of what if, what will happen or of a thousand other things getting in the way of accomplishing a goal. Once we can see that fear is just an indicator of something being different, we can start to do the work we need to do to be our best as we grow into the next new thing we desire.
Now it’s your turn, take out a piece of paper or open a new document on your computer and begin to make a list of all the things you’ve done and you’re proud of. Keep writing; I’m sure there are many once you get rolling. Note – this is a list only for you – not something to share with others so don’t hold back, write everything that comes to mind.
It’s a pretty long list, huh? Now, look at the days and events leading up to the items on your list, where you looked fear in the eyes and said, “go away, I’m busy” and moved forward in spite of it. Keep this list easily accessible, add to it often and use it as a starting point to help you move past any fears you have that are blocking you now and in the future. A brag book if you will that you can use when fear is in the way of achieving your dreams.
Yes, fear still comes up for me, ALL THE TIME, and it will for you too, it’s a part of life. Celebrating your success and getting in touch with the feeling of accomplishment will help you when fear comes knocking. Trust yourself; you know what the right thing is for you, go with your instincts and tell fear to take a hike.
I wish you all the success you dream of and plenty of time to enjoy it. If there is anything I can do to help you with your business, please reach out and let’s chat.