Fear is a universal human emotion. And while it doesn’t feel good, it does have a good purpose: to spur us into action when we sense impending danger.
Unfortunately, fear can also make us freeze up. It can incapacitate us, making us want to give up.
As an entrepreneur, fear can have a very real and profound impact on your business. In fact, I believe it’s the #1 reason why entrepreneurs aren’t as successful as they could be.Fear is the #1 reason why entrepreneurs aren’t as successful as they could be.Click To Tweet
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by fear – of uncertainty, failure or “what ifs” – know that you’re not alone. We ALL feel like this at times!
But this doesn’t mean you need to let it become a stumbling block to your success. This article shares six practical ways you can tackle your fears head on and keep the “fear factor” from crushing you!
1. Do one thing a day that scares you
Part of overcoming fear is doing the very thing that scares you. While it sure doesn’t feel fun, this simple practice can reap enormous rewards!
A few years ago, Marcy McKenna (of Homemade Millionaire) guest posted here on my blog, kimgarst.com. She explained how, for one year, she made the commitment to take risks every single day.
The results? “365 days later, to the day, I had not wavered from that commitment – each day I made one phone call I didn’t want to make, or I scheduled one meeting, or entered one product search – the point is, when I woke up on my 41st birthday, I couldn’t believe what had happened in my life in just one year!”
To read Marcy’s whole story, click here: How To Live Fearlessly And Dangerously In Your Business.
2. Remind yourself that everyone has struggles and fears
It’s easy to look at powerful, successful entrepreneurs and assume they have it all figured out. From the outside, it can look like you’re the only one who’s struggling….and this belief can make you want to give up.
However, I would argue that it’s not that those other entrepreneurs don’t experience fear; it’s that they haven’t let it stood in their way.
Nelson Mandela said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Make the conscious decision not to give up when fear strikes. Remind yourself that everyone is afraid sometimes, and that success comes when you face your fears rather than running away from them.Everyone has fears but success comes when you face your fears rather than running away from them.Click To Tweet
3. Get your fears out of your head and onto paper
Fears are far more overwhelming when they’re left unchecked in your head.
This is why psychologists often recommend writing down your worries or fears. Doing this gives you a bit of distance from your situation and takes some of the power out of those fears.
What is it that’s scaring you when it comes to your business?
The fear that you might fail and be the laughing stock of your friends? That you won’t be able to make enough money to support your family? That your idea isn’t good enough (or maybe even that YOU aren’t good enough?)
Whatever it is, write it down. Put it in black and white and come up with a practical plan to address those fears.
4. Learn everything you can about your industry and market
Knowledge is power. When you take the time to educate yourself about all aspects of your business and industry, it becomes much harder for fear to creep in.
Be intentional about staying up to date on industry news and developments. This might include:
- Reading industry-related books and magazines
- Attending networking events or conferences
- Subscribing to industry blogs
- Being part of online groups or forums
When you know where your industry is headed, it becomes easier to understand how your business or products fit in the big picture. And ultimately, this can remove some of the uncertainty and worry you may be feeling.
5. Spend time talking with your customers and prospects
Sometimes fear can start to creep in when you forget WHY you’re doing all this in the first place.Sometimes fear can start to creep in when you forget WHY you’re doing all this in the first place.Click To Tweet
When you start to focus primarily on you, your plans, your goals, etc., you start to lose that passion that drove you to start your business in the first place. And this is the perfect time for fear to grab a foothold in your life!
When I start to feel like this, I find it helps to spend time talking with my customers and prospects. I get to be reminded of the issues they’re facing, and I immediately start to feel re-energized and to feel a renewed passion for my work.
6. Envision your worst-case scenario
Sometimes it helps to name your biggest fear, and think about what the worst possible outcome of that fear could be. In other words, ask yourself, “If what I’m fearing actually came true, what exactly would happen?”.
When you do this exercise, don’t be surprised to discover that your “worst case scenario” turns out to be a) not quite as scary or b) not quite as possible as you thought.
Tim Ferris, author of the 4-hour Workweek encourages business owners to do this little exercise regarding their own worst-case scenarios: “Envision them in painstaking detail. Would it be the end of your life? What would be the permanent impact, if any, on a scale of 1 to 10? Are these things really permanent? How likely do you think it is that they would actually happen?”.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can come up with a plan to fix that worst-case scenario. You might just find it’s not quite as scary as you originally thought!
I don’t want to downplay the impact of fear or say it’s always easy to overcome.
But I do believe that in order to push past it we need to take action and face our fears rather than running away from them.
The next time you find fear creeping in, pull out this post and remind yourself that facing your fears is a DECISION.
Name your fears, come up with an action plan, and keep forging ahead. Don’t let your fears crush you….let them propel you to even greater growth and success!Don’t let your fears crush you….let them propel you to even greater growth and success!Click To Tweet
What fears are you facing right now? How do you keep them from overwhelming you? Share with us below!