If you’re waiting for the day when you no longer have doubts and fears about your business, let me save you some time. That day won’t come. In fact, feeling self-doubt and fear is a pretty good indicator that you’re on the right path. That doesn’t mean that you let fear and doubt take over and lock you down, though. Successful entrepreneurs embrace the fear and take the leap anyway! With practice, you’ll get much better at conquering fear and overcoming doubt.
Why We Get Stuck in Fear and Doubt
Self-doubt is often a key ingredient in fear. After all, if we really believe we can do something, it’s a whole lot easier to surge ahead. So why do we take the path of doubting ourselves and our ability and then give in to cold fear? Here are some reasons:
Fear and doubt stem from mismanaged, negative imagination. Thoughts pop into our head and we go with it. Instead of managing and choosing our thoughts, we imagine the worst and dwell on it.
Fear and doubt are magnified by analyzing, evaluating and hesitating. Sometimes we think too much instead of getting busy doing. It’s easier to pretend that we’re busy when we’re learning and preparing and planning. Those actions have their place, but not when they take the place of doing the actual work of business.
Fear and doubt are strengthened by repeatedly recalling negative thoughts. Constantly focusing on our fears and doubts not only keeps us stuck, it fortifies their grip on us.
Fear and doubt are negative energy, and they drain our positive energy. As business owners we have to steward our emotional energy and guard against the things that drain our emotional battery.
The Cure for Fear and Doubt
So what’s a doubtful, fearful entrepreneur to do? That’s it. Do.
“Action cures fear.” ~ David Schwartz
Get busy, get started, take a leap of faith and do it anyway. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Read that again and gain strength and perspective from those wise words. Confidence is acquired, and it comes by conquering and overcoming. The first step might be the hardest, but it’s also tremendously rewarding. Taking the leap is exhilarating and energizing!
How to Change Your Perspective About Fear and Doubt
Kim Garst suggested that it will help you gain perspective to ask yourself:
What is the worst thing that can happen if I take the leap?
Let’s be honest: nobody’s gonna die. If you do things that scare you, the world is not going to end. Those people you’re so nervous about probably aren’t even thinking about you, and if you make a mistake you’ll learn from it.
But here’s an even better question, an exciting, intriguing, and energizing question:
What COULD happen if I take the leap of faith?
If you conquer your fear and take a leap of faith, how could it change your life? How could it change the lives of others? What difference would it make for your family financially? What successes lie ahead because you took a chance?
Practical Action Steps for Conquering Fear
Admit your fear and shine a light on it. By talking with a trusted mentor or journaling your thoughts, it helps to get it out in the open and see it for what it is. This often removes much of fear’s power.
- Determine an action for your fear. What’s the first step to move forward? Keep it specific and measurable, such as “Publish sales page by noon on Monday.”
- Take the first leap! And take action promptly—hesitation is a magnifying glass for fear.
- And an important step throughout: “Think you can—always! Don’t let fear tell you any differently!” ~ Kim Garst
If you’re feeling fear and doubt, welcome to the world of successful people. Give a nod to the confirmation that you’re on the right track. Learn to manage your thoughts and emotional energy. And get busy taking action, because action is the antidote to fear!
Great post. One thing I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is that everyone is filled with stress, anxiety, and doubt to some degree. But, every entrepreneur goes through rough times at some point or another. What’s interesting is that the stress doesn’t go away because you always push yourself to do bigger and better things, which take more confidence to attempt and succeed at. It’s a good reminder though to know I’m not the only one 🙂