What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?
Think about it.
Imagine what you would do, or try to do, where you would travel, and how you would challenge yourself.
One of my favorite quotes is: “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” When I am afraid of something and feel that gentle(ok, sometimes intense) pull to step back into my comfort zone, I think that if the fear is that strong, then what I am about to accomplish must be really mind blowing.
Humans are hardwired to fear stepping into the unknown. We want to be comfortable, go with the flow, and follow the path of least resistance. So we have to learn to fight against the magnetic draw back to safety.
The key to pushing through to the other side of fear is learning to journey with the fear. Identify it, find its source, and squash it.
As business owners, there can be a lot of things to worry about, but the good news is that a lot of people who came before you, walk alongside you, and follow after you face these same fears. So find a partner or a group (like Uncompany) and support each other as fear warriors.
Let’s talk about how to carve through the journey with fear.
1. Understand it
Sometimes it will be easy and obvious: I’m afraid of my business failing because I’m afraid I won’t make enough money to provide for myself or my family. Other times, it may be more subtle: I’ve been hesitant to email that client back about that long past due invoice, and I’m just getting more angry. Why can’t I just send the email?
Try this “Why” exercise to find the root cause of your fear.
- Why am I afraid to ask them? Because I’m afraid to stand up for myself and appear bossy.
- Why do I think I’d appear bossy? Because on a few occasions I was told I was bossy.
- Why do I think someone told me I was bossy? Because they were feeling insecure in a meeting and wanted to put me in my place.
There you have it. Really walk through understanding the fear and where it’s truly coming from.
2. Address it
Now that you understand your fear, it’s time to address it. Try saying it out loud: “I am afraid to email my client about the late payment and stand up for myself because I am worried they will think I am bossy.” Many times when you actually hear your fear, you realize how silly it sounds. Next, add in the Why: “I am afraid of this because I worked with an insecure colleague at my last company who would call me out in meetings as “bossy” in an attempt to make me look small and reduce their own insecurities.”
3. Tackle it
It’s time to slay this fear. This is where you flip it for the truth. Say the whole thing out loud again: “I am afraid to email my client about the late payment and stand up for myself because I am worried they will think I am bossy. This is because I worked with an insecure colleague at my last company who would call me out in meetings as “bossy” in an attempt to make me look small and reduce their own insecurities. The truth is I am not bossy and have a right to stand up for myself. I deserve to be paid on time for the work I successfully completed for this client. I am not bossy. I am a boss.”
You did it! Try saying it again. If you are slaying a large fear, you may need to repeat it over and over, or even write it out so you can see it as a reminder every day.
4. Move past it
Now that you have slayed this fear, you should move past it. Sometimes it will try to come back and influence you again, but remember the cause of your fear (and say your Why statement again). Use this to push past it.
Fear is a tricky thing. Not only can a single fear have an immense power over us, fears can layer up and build upon each other if you don’t do some regular “fear cleansing.” Take time monthly – or even weekly – to think through what fears are currently holding you back from something you want to do. Is it going after larger projects? Is it working with subcontractors and scaling your business? Is it finally saying “no” to something you don’t want to do? Whatever it is, big or small, follow the steps we’ve outlined and slay those fears. Imagine if nothing was truly holding you back. Imagine what GREAT thing you could do on the other side of your fear.
You can use our Risk (Fear) Mitigation Worksheet here. And if you’d like to book a call to work through some tactile ways to address fears and roadblocks in your business, you can book a coaching call here.