What’s Your F.E.A.R.? by Ginny Robertson
You may have heard one of the acronyms for fear…False Evidence Appearing Real. Our fears, especially our fears around being in business are often things we have made up. Evidence we have found that we believe is true and real. This evidence can stop us in our tracks and we don’t question why. We just say no to opportunities in front of us and ideas that generate from within us.
What are your business fears? Are you afraid of success or do you fear failure? Are you afraid of being consumed by your business when the reason you went into business was to have more balance in your life? Are you concerned that when you do marketing and networking efforts you are being pushy or bothering people? Are you afraid to boldly promote who you are and what you offer for fear of being judged as self-involved?
Any of these fears and a zillion others will keep you playing small. And playing small does not bring you the bottom line you desire or the satisfaction you can have from a well run business. Playing small brings frustration because we know there is something more and we become discontented with what we are creating.
Here are some steps that may help you in overcoming some of your fears around business and life in general:
Know What Your Fears Are
Often what we think we're afraid of is not the real fear. For example, a lot of people have a fear of public speaking. But if they dig deeper many will find that it is not the fear of speaking that keeps them stuck. It is the fear of what may happen during and after they speak. They are afraid of making a fool of themselves or of messing up and being ridiculed. They have made up what they think will happen and are reacting to those imagined fears. These people may force themselves into speaking situations but until they recognize the deeper fear of making a fool of themselves they will not be comfortable in that arena. When we look at our deeper fears we can see how those same fears have shown up in other areas of our lives and only then can we start to address and eventually overcome them.
Is This the Truth?
Once we identify our fears we then have to ask ourselves if our fears are valid. Let’s say you have a fear of marketing your business to people you know. Your concern is that they will think you are being pushy and self-serving and it will damage your relationships. Often this fear is really masking a fear of being rejected. This can stop us because if we don’t put ourselves out there we can’t be rejected. Losing business through lack of marketing feels a lot better than the possibility of people turning us down. If we have a fear of being rejected, is it valid? You bet it is! But is it realistic? Is it likely to happen?
One way to work through this fear is to answer these questions: If I market to people I know might they think I am being pushy and self-serving? The answer is probably yes. Some might. That’s life. The next question is: If they think I am being pushy and self-serving might they reject me? The answer is probably yes. Some might. But remember…I can only see it as rejection if I have an expectation. If I expect someone to give me their business and they don’t, I can feel rejected. But if I relax and just put myself out there with honesty and integrity and they say no…it’s not about me. So how can I feel rejected?
The next question is: And if they reject me will I die? The answer is probably no. But we feel like we might because we have not recognized the truth about this fear. The point here is to give the fear the weight it truly deserves. We can get very caught up in probable outcomes that will probably never happen.
Don’t Let Other Peoples Fears Become Your Own
When I made the decision to leave my corporate career to start my own business most of my family, friends and co-workers thought I’d lost my mind. These well-meaning people gave me a great deal of unsolicited advice about what a big mistake I was making and all of the reasons why I shouldn’t do it and why it wouldn’t work. What I now know is that they were seeing my decision through their own fears. They couldn’t imagine taking a risk like this so they thought it was a bad decision for me too. Any time you are going after a big dream there will be people who think it’s a bad idea. Just remember that these are their fears. They don’t have to be yours unless you accept them.
Find People to Support Your Dreams and Who Support You in Working through Your Fears
As you make changes and live a bigger life you will attract people into your life who are doing the same. These are the people who will see your true intentions. These are the people you need when your fears rear their ugly head. You should have at least one person who knows you well and who you can go to and say “Am I crazy?” This person will tell you the truth with no agenda clouding their wisdom. These people will remind you of who you are and help you look at your fears clearly.
If you focus on your fears you will simply become more fearful. As you tackle each fear one by one and determine if it is true or not, you will become more confident in what you are able to accomplish. You will know the truth about each fear and how much power you are willing to give it. This will affect how you view your business and your world which can only increase your success. Happy fear hunting!