“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once”
– Drew Houston
As an entrepreneur, trust me when I say, that I know all too well what fear can do to stop you moving forward in your business.
Fear is such a frightening emotion that can really paralyse and prevent us from reaching our full potential either in our business or in life. Whether we like it or not, we all have some levels of fear inside us. Fear is there because it is protecting us, it’s keeping us safe, it’s, it’s making sure that we are protecting ourselves and so because we have a level of fear inside us, it’s making us aware of the situation that we’re in. There can be many ways in which fear can present itself; it could be the fear of failure, of not being good enough or fear of change.
If you are running a business, you may be experiencing the feeling of fear because it may be that you’re stepping into the unknown, and attempting to do something that you have never done before so it’s understandable why you may be feeling this way. I know first hand what this looks like, for me, the fear comes in when I’m I’m trying to do something new. I tend to feel this sense of resistance, which leads to procrastination. I then get in my own way, which is never ideal.
You may be feeling fearful of not being good enough or feeling like you don’t belong, that you shouldn’t be doing the thing that you’re doing because you’re not worthy to be doing it. So many entrepreneurs feel this and it can really paralysing. I think most people experience this at some time in their life.
I’m always feeling that fear. I pivoted my business in lockdown, whereby I decided to create a more digital arm to my business. I’d spent the previous four years focusing on building my brand studio because I wanted to be recognised for the work that I did in my studio. Then the pandemic hit and it threw everything up in the air.
Suddenly we were in this time where things weren’t normal, and it was almost like anything could go. So I found myself at a crossroads where I was ready to make changes and shift my business. I was ready to pivot and with that came so many levels of fear because I was attempting to do something I had never done before. I found myself procrastinating a great deal over it. However, it became a lot less frightening the more steps I took.
I learned the value of fear and what that meant, and how I could use the fear I was feeling to motivate me to achieve my goals. The truth is fear can rob us from achieving our goals and living our best life – if we let it. But here’s the thing, we choose to allow things to happen to us, we have the control to determine what’s going to stop us and what’s going to motivate us.
It’s how we react to our feelings that matter. Fear can keep us stagnant and stop us from seizing opportunities that come our way – and who wants that?!
Who really wants to be stuck in this space of fear, not moving forward?
A life free of fear is something that we all deserve. It’s something that we should be living without any exception. We can achieve this by the way we reframe our mindset and how we view fear.
When it comes to that idea of failure. We simply cannot fail if we continue to move forward and even if things don’t go to plan, we are just simply learning because in business, we are on this path of discovery. There is no one way to do anything. It’s all up for discussion, there is no one way.
Even the books that are on the market telling you how to create a successful business, there will be elements that will work and there will be elements that won’t work because your business is it personal to you. It’s something that you are putting our heart and soul into. It’s not (and shouldn’t be) a carbon copy of somebody else’s idea. It should be authentic to you as your business is an extension of you; there is no right or wrong way. There’s only your way.
So if you are finding yourself feeling fearful, then these top 5 tips (plus an extra special bonus tip) will help you to push past the fear so you can move forward and take back control.
So my first tip is to recognise that you are feeling the fear.
Maybe you are wanting to create a digital course or maybe you want to add a new service to your business but you’re feeling a little bit fearful about doing it. Whatever it is, if you recognise that you are feeling fearful, you can then take some time out and give yourself a break because it’s impossible to think clearly when you are flooded with a sense of fear or anxiety around what you’re trying to do. Take some time out… go for a walk, go and have a coffee at your favourite cafe, meet up with some friends or take yourself off to the cinema. Go and do something that takes your mind off the thing you are trying to do.
My second tip is to reframe your thoughts.
If you are feeling fearful about trying something new then think to yourself… what is the worst that can happen? Sometimes going to that place of worst case scenario can really help us to come to terms with what may happen if it doesn’t go our way. Knowing the worst case scenario can help you to feel better about what you are feeling fearful about.
I say this to my clients that want to perhaps launch their course via a webinar or an event that that forces them to be visible. Imagine the worst thing that could possibly happen. What does that look like? Maybe there’s a fear around nobody turning up to your presentation to your webinar. If you’re sitting there on your lonesome, it’s okay because the world hasn’t crashed around you! You’ve just got to look out why that is the case and then take steps to resolve it so next time around it doesn’t happen!
It may be that the marketing wasn’t effective enough or perhaps the messaging wasn’t right. By reviewing your efforts, you can start figuring out what may be the problem but ultimately know that it’s not perrsonal. It maybe that something needs to be tweaked and amended in order to resolve the issue so it doesn’t happen next time around.
My third tip is about facing your fears.
When we avoid our fears, it just makes them really scary so don’t avoid them! I guarantee the fear will start to fade away, it’s almost like you’re taking the control away from that fear. You’re taking that control back and when you start to take the control back, the fear will will will disappear.
My fourth tip is to look for evidence.
If your fear is of nobody turning up to webinar, look at the evidence in front of you because sometimes it helps to challenge our fearful thoughts by getting tangible evidence that that helps you to resolve the fear around it. If you look into something and you realise, okay, maybe this may have been the thing that stopped this thing from happening, you can do something about it, and you are learning something. It’s just another step forward. You are simply learning what is needed in order for it to be successful next time. Don’t try and be perfect.
My fifth tip is don’t try and be perfect.
Life isn’t perfect… it’s messy, unpredictable and full of the stresses. Perfection doesn’t exist because it’s subjective and if it’s subjective, then it’s down to interpretation. People form their ideas and beliefs around personal experiences which is something you cannot control or regulate therefore it doesn’t really exist. You can’t say something is perfect when to somebody else it may not be. Don’t get hung up on the idea of perfectionism because you’ll only stop yourself moving forward.
My bonus tip is to visualise your happy place.
Visualise a place in your mind where you are experiencing that sense of happiness of contentment, and take yourself there. So if you’re feeling that sense of fear, if you’re feeling that something is stopping you from absolutely from from trying to move forward, then visualise that happy place and go to that place. Just take a moment to close your eyes and imagine that place of safety and calm. It doesn’t matter what it is, just let the positive feelings take over you until you feel more relaxed and in control.
When you are feeling fear, taking these simple yet effective steps will help you to move forward.
Remember, we all have our fears and experiences and experiences or various levels which often comes from things that we experienced in the past however we cannot let it stop us moving forward especially in our businesses. We have to keep moving forward and we have to keep growing. We must learn to push fear aside if we want to grow both personally and professionally.
When you start to feel fearful or anxious, recognise how you’re feeling and then take the steps to overcome it and I promise you will be feeling better in no time. It’s going to build your confidence and it’s going to make you feel amazing!
Enjoyed this article?
Why not listen here to my podcast episode: #3 Is Fear Holding You Back?