I recently had a conversation with one of my team members as to why she hadn’t started a project that we had discussed. She is extremely talented and a very self-aware person. Her answer was simple – “I am afraid. I’ve never done this before and I’m afraid to get started.”
It got me to thinking about fear. This is the one thing that can crush your dreams. It can kill your business. Every entrepreneur starts out afraid and scared. The key is to figure out how to transform fear into positive motivation.
I thought about some of my own fears and how I’ve worked to overcome them. I used to be terrified to get up and speak in front of a group of people. I remember shortly after I started my first job at GE, my boss was going on vacation and he asked me to make a presentation to the senior team on his behalf.
I lost sleep for a week prior to the presentation. I must have practiced the presentation 20 times! I hated the feeling of having that blockade and made a commitment that I would surmount it. My way of conquering that specific fear was to face it head on. I sought out every opportunity to speak in front of a group of people. And now, today, I love public speaking.
I came to my own conclusion that fear only exists in the mind. It does not exist outside of our minds. It’s really just an illusion.
So how do we conquer fear?
Here are a few methods that I use:
I love to declare a future by writing it down. Let’s be honest, as soon as you write it down, it becomes real. People may say that you’re crazy. They may say that it’s “not possible”, but when you write it down it helps you break through the paralyzing nature of fear.
I’ve done this with race time goals, business growth goals, and even in my personal life with family.
Change Your Perspective
It is amazing how a slight shift in thought can change your perspective. I have a coach that refers to this as “loading new software to change the journey”. For example, I recently spoke with a sales leader who had delivered some exceptional results over the last few periods. He admitted that he was afraid he would not be able to continue delivering those results and that he had a fear of going backward.
In our discussion, I saw him shift his focus away from missing sales goals and focus more toward achieving a new level of performance in the upcoming period. This simple re-calibration changes your point of view and gets you focused on the positive rather than the negative.
Address Fear Head On
Submerge yourself in the fear and then the fear loses its power over you. The best way for me to overcome my fear of public speaking was to soak myself in it. It may be uncomfortable at first, but ultimately it will help you enjoy the journey. Embrace the fear, and turn it into strength. Goodness and innovation can emerge from your fears. If addressed, it can bring great power to you.
We all have fears, whether we’re CEO’s or fitness business owners. It is how we overcome that makes the difference between success and failure.
What about you? How have you overcome fear? I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments!
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