From Fear to Here
Fear seems to be the companion, if not the friend, of every entrepreneur I've ever met. That's the reality of being someone who seeks their edge, and steps over it out of their comfort zone. It's the reality of someone who wants to grow, both as a person and a business leader.
That's who you are when you have your own business, a leader. And every successful business leader has had to deal with fear.
When I first wanted to start my business, I held off for 5 years (5 years!) before I made my move. I was scared of losing my 6-figure salary, and the apparent security of my corporate job.
Once I did make the move, I'd like to say that supreme peace reigned, but really, it's been the same process over and over. An opportunity, scared, taking a deep breath, stepping toward the opportunity and out of my comfort zone, and then the new normal.
As long as I continue to move to my edge, to step beyond it, the opportunities just keep coming and keep getting bigger!
The question I get asked often by clients, in one form or another is, "how do I get past the fear? I want to move forward, but I'm afraid I'll make a big mistake, or lose what I already have."
Yet the people who do take action in spite of their fears, apply consistent effort, and learn and adjust as they move forward are the ones who are successful.
So how do you get from fear to here?
Here are 6 strategies for moving through your fears:
1. Reality check
. Fear can be overwhelming, and our primal lizard brain can really take over in these situations. To keep this primordial activity in check, balance the fear with a look at what's real. Activating your cerebral cortex can help you see what's real and what's not. Fear often masquerades as reality (False Evidence Appearing Real), and taking a close look at it can wipe away the fiction.
2. Feel your feelings fully
. This may seem counterintuitive, but there's research to show that if you emphasize your feelings, you gain benefits. It helps you to get clarity on their full extent, and they're less likely to sneak up on you later.
3. Exaggerate your fears
. Puffing your fears up a little can often result in comic proportions, and you have to laugh. That laughter not only releases energy. It also lets you see how you might be able to laugh at your own imaginings.
4. Friend your fears
. I once created a little image that has helped me tame my own fears. Her name is Stella, and she's a pink lizard. Stella is the holder of my fears. She's the personified lizard brain, the part of your brain that is trying to protect you, to warn you by freaking out when something scary happens. By creating this separate imaginary being, it helps to detach from my fears, gently observe them, and even play a role in calming Stella down. That has proven to be incredibly effective, plus a lot of fun. While Stella is shrieking with anxiety, I get to stroke her little lizard head or sit her on my lap to comfort her. These days, Stella is often an amiable companion, sitting poolside wearing shades and drinking an umbrella drink. A comforting thought.
5. Accept risk
. All growth requires risk. You are risking the status quo for what can be. It's not a certainty. Balancing risk with benefits is a good way to look at risk, as a measured chance you taking on something more, something better. Is it worth it? Only you can say. But if you want your business to grow, it is certain that some risk will be involved. If you accept that, it makes the uncertainty easier to bear.
6. Take action
. The worst thing you can do when you are scared about doing something you know you want to do is to procrastinate. It lengthens the amount of time you spend in those emotions and wears you out in the process. That leaves you with little energy to do what you know must be done. Even small actions can break this cycle of, fear-procrastinate-more fear. Spend your energy on taking action, instead of resisting what's yours to do.
Fear is a given. It will always pop up when you are even thinking about meandering outside your comfort zone. It's not about having fear. It's about what you do to create the work, and the life, you want, in the face of it.
That's how you get from fear to here, the place where you achieve your goals, and live the life that is yours.
Ursula Jorch, MSc, MEd, mentors entrepreneurs starting their businesses and seasoned entrepreneurs in transition to create the business of their dreams. Her coaching programs provide knowledge, support, clarity, inspiration, and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs to empower you to reach your goals. Start with a free guide and other valuable info at www.WorkAlchemy.com