FEAR the Ultimate Four-Letter Word

As a soulful entrepreneur, Mom, business coach and friend, one of the most common statements I hear is “but I don’t know what to do.”

Often after a little coaching, with permission of course, we discover it’s not the technical part that holds them back, there are plenty of geeks among us to help out with something until they get profitable and can hire someone permanent.

So, what is it?  What is it that gets in the way of us following our passion and making it profitable? What is it that gets in the way of achieving our dreams.  It’s an awful little four-letter word.

Yes, THAT four letter word! FEAR, FEAR, FEAR, okay I’ve said it!

Fear is just a feeling everyone has, no one is exempt.  We’ve all got it, the key is not letting it stop you from achieving what you want in life.  Not letting the fears rob you from your dreams.

Oh, the many things we fear.

We fear our “stuff” is not good enough, our website isn’t perfect, our speech isn’t just so, that we need to lose (insert # here) of pounds before we (insert activity here).  We fear that people won’t like us, that they won’t pay the fees we want, they will hang up on us when we call to follow-up, they will reject our ideas or laugh at us and on and on and on. Truth be told, these excuses we use (procrastination is also a form of fear) hold us in a place where we are not able to reach our dreams and our full potential. 

When that feeling of fear creeps up or comes on strong, most of us flee.  We head for the proverbial hills. It is a natural instinct we have to want to move away from fear.  We fear the unknowns; we resist it and do our best to find relief from it, often by retreating to old habits or situations.  It is funny that we are more comfortable with the uncomfortable that we already know than the unknown. 

Fear is a feeling, it is neither good nor bad, it just is.  Listening closely to where the fear is coming from and what it is telling us is all part of tapping into the power of our instincts.  If our goals and dreams are in alignment with our true beliefs, and opportunities come along that will help us achieve them, then what is to fear?  It is the unknowns, right, the what if it doesn’t work or……..

About 10 years ago I spoke up at a soulful mastermind group I was participating in and announced that I wanted to start to do public speaking.  Within a few weeks one of the fellow master minders sent an email introducing me to a client of hers which turned into an opportunity to speak at a conference in another state.  Reason # 811 to join a soulful mastermind group.    I had never spoken to more than about 10-15 people at a time before and now I was being asked to go to a city 650 miles away and speak on a big stage. 

Talk about FEAR!!

I knew that it was exactly what I asked for and that it was important for me to get out of my comfy chair, get on a plane and step up to the platform.  It wasn’t easy, I had to borrow the money to buy a plane ticket, I came down with a cold the week before I left, and I overslept the morning of my flight and narrowly made it to the plane on time. At the event my PowerPoint slides didn’t work, I kept getting interference feedback in my mic from the room next door and toward the end of my hour on stage the A/C completely went out which left me sweating profusely.  There were so many times I thought about canceling and giving up.  Thankfully, I didn’t.  I even shocked myself with the success of the event and that no one except me and now you knew that was my first time on a stage.  I managed to go from talking to a few folks in an office to being at a conference where there were more than 100 people in the audience.  

That success has helped me when fear has come up in other situations. Sure, I have been stung, bitten and burned more than a few times in the past.  And yet to reach my goals, live my passion and achieve my dreams, I am going to have to stop worrying about what hurt in the past and start paying attention to the present and moving forward.

When I am coaching an entrepreneur client one-on-one or in a mastermind setting and they are stuck in fear, one of the first things I do is ask them about their past successes.  Then the sneaky part happens, I ask them about the fear they had leading up to that success.  Viola, like magic, they realize what’s stopping them at the present time and together we look at ways to get past it.

You can do this yourself, take out a piece of paper, make a list of all the things you have done and you’re proud of.  Long list, huh? Now think about the days and events leading up to them, where you looked fear in the eyes and said, “go away, I’m busy”.  Use this list as a starting point for helping you move past any fear you have that is blocking you at the present time.  A brag book if you will that you can use when fear is in the way of achieving your dreams.

Yes, fear still comes up for me, it still will for you, it is a part of life.  Celebrating your success and getting in touch with the feeling of accomplishment will help you when fear comes knocking.  Trust yourself, you know what the right thing is for you, go with your instincts and tell fear to take a hike. Start somewhere……..but start NOW!  You can do it, just keep going. And if you’d like some help, let’s chat soon.