Episode 030 – Use Fear as Fuel for Success.
Are you scared to start a business, or scared to take the next step in your business? Fear cripples us all at some point or another, but I want to explore how you can harness that fear and use that to your advantage, create success and massive forward motion.
Purpose of Fear
The primal purpose of fear is to keep us safe, and to help us act as soon as possible. Its there to help us with our decision-making process, but when we talk about fear in business, we understand there is no imminent danger that could cause physical pain or death. Operating in your business with a healthy does of fear is actually a good thing. Fear is a word that provokes action when used effectively, but many become paralysed all too often unsure of the next step, and not having the confidence in their decision making.
So lets understand what the top fears are, there is fear of failure. This is fairly self-explanatory, but fear of failure will paralyse more people from starting a business than not having enough money every time. There seems to be social stigmas, and also personal beliefs that failing at a business means that you are not cut out for it, or your idea was wrong. There is the fear of change, change from a comfortable life, home, car, social activities, change from having a job. Being in your comfort zone is always easier than changing, but its in the change that the magic has a chance to be created. The following fear I see in my clients almost daily, and that is the fear of disappointing others. It could be a partner, loved one or friends, being socially accepted and not letting the people you love down weighs heavily on us as humans in society. There is always the fear of the unknown, which requires a giant leap of faith on your part whenever you start something new, or change the direction that you are taking. Risk and spending money seem to go hand in hand when it comes to fears, and lastly one that always seems a little crazy the fear of success. That in itself could be a whole podcast, but today I want to give you strategies to harness the fear and use it to your advantage.
How we feel fear
First you need to realise that there are two ways that you feel the fear, firstly its biochemically or physically and then emotionally. When you feel the fear in the physical sense, we all feel it in the same way, by sweating or breathing fast. But when it comes to our emotional response, well we all feel that differently, and that is because our conditioning or experiences throughout our lives are all different. The crazy fact that I love about fear, is that it uses very similar chemical reactions in our brain as happiness and excitement!
Fear is a signal that something is not right in your business galaxy, there is more research that needs to be done, more thought given to a problem or personal development that you need to undertake to have the strength to take the next step forward. Fear is a valid indicator, and one to really understand.
Is fear a motivator or stop sign?
Not all fears are created equal, and the list I just talked about have some big stop signs hidden in them. When we think about money and letting people down often this is more of a motivator. Getting yourself to a basic financial goal, quitting your job to focus on your business and making sure that you don’t let your loved ones down are really big examples where fear actually helps to keep you on track and boosts your persistence muscle. Where fear of failure and success stop you in your tracks, doubt creeps into your mind and it really is easier to not do anything or procrastinate. The first step in understanding how to harness fear in your business is understanding what the fear is doing to you. Is it creating motivation or bringing you to a standstill, how you move forward from this point is different depending on which outcome you are feeling.
Time to create strategies
So how do you start to unwind the fear and understand how to move forward. The first strategy is to consider what the worst case scenario could be. Yes I want you to really take 5 to 10 min to understand if you made that decision, or took that step what is the worst that can happen to you, your family, your business, your future. This exercise is to identify if the end result is really that bad, or are we creating a false result? It could be that your decision will be a major success and for some people that can be scary. If it means that it can cost you in some way or another, then you need to rationalise if you are prepared to take the risk. Then take another 5 to 10 minutes to consider the best case scenario. What would you possibly achieve, what opportunities may come from taking this step, what financial gains are available, the list is endless. By having these two sides of the problem anaylised you can start to make a more informed decision, free from fear. As you implement this strategy into your life and business you will notice it may take some time initially, but you will get faster at it. Don’t allow yourself to fall into over analysis paralysis, which in itself is a form of procrastination. Get on with the decision, weigh it up thoroughly and move on. If you are happy with the risk/reward percentage then go for it, always with the attitude of a successful outcome, you do not want to inadvertently allow your negative thoughts to creep in and sabotage your result.
Strategy number two is start journaling about your fears. If you are already completing some form of journaling or mind dumping like morning pages, then read back through them and see if there are any common issues or fears that you can identify. If you are not journaling, start, its cathartic. Allow yourself to just write, you will be surprised at what comes out. We often live so subconsciously and allowing yourself the opportunity to empty your head about what is currently happening in your life, gives you perspective. This perspective will help to alleviate the fears that you may be feeling. This will also help you in many other areas of your business and life.
Taking action is the quickest way to remove fear. Start with a very small step, one that will not cause discomfort or distress, but taking that first step is crucial. It helps again to rationalise it in your thought processes that this may not be as fearful as you once thought. I am often heard asking how do you eat an elephant, not literally but when the fear is so great, you are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. I always let them know, one mouthful at a time. Taking action and moving those fears on needs the same principal. Sending an email, having a telephone conversation with someone, small activities moving you closer and taking the fear and trepidation out of the outcome.
New level new devil
Every time you level up in business there are new fears and challenges to overcome. This is why its important to create a toolbox of strategies that you can implement every time a new little devil appears in your progress. These newfound skills are being developed at each level becoming stronger and stronger whenever you need to bring them out. Remember you only need to focus on the smallest of tasks right in front of you, not the whole problem, and work through step by step. I have really enjoyed bringing this topic to you, please as always if there is a topic you would love me to cover feel free to jump into the Plan to Profit community and let me know your thoughts, and on that note remember your smallest actions will create your greatest reality.
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Meet Your Host
From a young age I have been surrounded by business success. Having formally studied a Double Degree of Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Management, this led to many successful opportunities.
I have been an employee for large accounting firms and international companies. I have run two highly successful businesses, becoming sought after in my industry internationally.
I have spoken nationally on the topic of money management and loved having the quiet coffee making radical changes for my clients. I am not a limelight chaser, just a quiet achiever looking to make a difference in the world.
Thankyou for joining me on the podcast, my dream is to inspire you to take action that will create a difference in your life! Dream no more and live the life that you have always wanted.