In fact, in this episode, I’m sharing exactly how to overcome this issue and confidently choose your next tasks and
There is plenty that will come up and challenge you as you’re building your business. That’s just part of entrepreneurship.
When I talk about fear and entrepreneurship, most people immediately jump to fear of failure, and maybe that’s where your mind went but that’s not the fear I’m talking about today.
I think you may just be surprised by the real fear holding you back from a successful business.
But if you can get a handle on this one fear, the fear I’m talking about in today’s episode, you’ll up your chances of achieving those big goals you’ve set for yourself.
- The fear that you may not recognize that is holding you back and the options you have to overcome it.
- The exercise I teach my clients (and now I’m teaching you) when they start to go down the rabbit hole of what-ifs.
- The action-step you can take today to kick fear to the curb and move forward and reach your next level of success.
Rather skim before you listen? ⬇️
There is plenty that will come up & challenge you as you are building your business. That is just part of entrepreneurship.
But if you can get a handle on this one fear, you’ll up your chances of achieving those big goals you’ve set for yourself.
When I talk about fear in entrepreneurship, most people immediately jump to fear of failure. Maybe that is where your mind went immediately too.
Fear of rejection, criticism, not belonging – that all comes from an evolutionary need to belong and be a part of a group.
But I’m not talking about that fear today. Well, at least not directly.
The fear I’m talking about is fear of success.
And you may be thinking, why would I be afraid of getting everything that I wanted? That is kind of silly.
But that is the fear that can hold you back more than fear of failure because you may not recognize it.
And we aren’t alone as entrepreneurs with this fear.
I recently finished reading Matthew McConaughey’s book Greenlights and he talks about his own struggle with this fear of success in a part entitled The Art of Running Downhill. Think about that title – running downhill. It sounds easy especially when you compare it to running uphill. But the reason it gets hard is that if you trip and tumble, you are going to fall down faster, hitting the bottom harder. If you get up really high, the opportunities for a big fall are much higher.
But the “Art of” running downhill suggests that while we may not innately know how to run downhill gracefully without falling flat on our face, it is an art form, or a skill we can learn. And part of that is overcoming the fear of getting everything you ever wanted.
Because let’s be honest, it’s not just being successful in others’ eyes and meeting or exceeding their expectations. It is about reaching your own level of success. When you feel successful and enjoy it. And if you are constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for your fall from grace, waiting for someone to take it away from you, it isn’t something you are likely going to enjoy.
You are going to overcome this fear the same way you overcome any other fear — fear of rejection, fear of failure, anything.
You have two options when it comes to fear:
- Forget everything & run
- Face everything & rise
What does facing your fear look like?
Here are a few ways for you to do this:
The first thing is to visualize the positive – paint the picture in your mind of what the success looks like. This is a common practice in manifestation, being able to see something in your mind before it is reality in the tangible world. But often, the thing we leave off of this step is anticipating the negative.
Now, you may be thinking, isn’t that just going to undo all the work that I am putting into the positive visualizations? Not exactly.
By just telling yourself you aren’t going to think negative things, you are basically setting yourself up to worry about those things without the power to address them.
By anticipating the negative, you allow yourself to create opportunities for control.
You are likely going to find yourself falling in the spiral of “what if” when you start to visual the positive. that voice that is telling you that if you reach a level of success, more people will know you exist and potentially hit you up for money, or that you are opening yourself up to opportunities for people to sue you, or just that you’ll be more visible and can say something that turns everyone against you. And what I teach my clients and students is that when that happens rather than trying to ignore it, is to follow that trail.
What would happen if that happened? What if someone asked you for money? And then what? And then what? Usually if you take it as far as you can, you end up broke and homeless. Which sounds counterintuitive and depressing. But you don’t stop there.
You then ask yourself “Are there things I can do between the initial bad thing and ultimate rock bottom?” And the answer is always yes.
Don’t pretend that negative thought patterns don’t exist. It will just take up space in your brain if you don’t address it and will prevent you from moving forward.
The second thing is to control what you can control. A lot of that fear is hinging on the fact that there are people or circumstances that can come in and burst your bubble and you can’t do anything to stop it.
This success is a total new level that brings with it the fear of uncertainty. It’s a new level with it’s own set of challenges and that concerns you because you haven’t had to overcome that set of challenges yet nor do you know exactly what that looks like. You don’t know what you don’t know, and that scares the hell out of you.
So you have to focus on controlling what you can control.
Can you control other people? Or the weather? Or the current political or economic climate? Nope.
But you can control you— your actions, your mindset, your words, your response, your leadership, and how you show up, step up, and move forward.
The third thing I want you to do is to practice succeeding and fail faster. Wait, what?!
Success & failure go hand in hand. I want you to start setting yourself up to practice succeeding & failing faster.
Everything in entrepreneurship is an experiment. A giant series of experiments. If you can look at it like that, it will take some pressure off.
Speaking of taking the pressure off, we often hear these great stories about people who are overnight successes and tragic stories of those who have overnight downfalls. And usually the immediacy and suddenness of that is what scares us. “I saw someone else’s life change overnight for better or for worse. OMG that could happen to me.”
But the reality is, those we have a bias towards stories of overnight successes and downfalls, that is the exception to the rule. Most times, the rise is slow and steady and so is the downfall.
Any one thing in your business — any one podcast interview, any one launch, any one post— is not likely to be THE thing that launches you to stardom or ruins you.
Usually it is lots of tiny little actions and decisions that are responsible for an outcome. So take the pressure off of any one thing being the THING, and take solace knowing that the road to success will likely be a gradual climb.
Just build piece by piece by piece. Every tiny new level of success lets you practice success, so pretty soon it becomes your new normal. And then you do it again and again and again. Rather than trying to make a massive jump. That massive jump makes it hard to adjust so we avoid it, we avoid any level of success.
But by practicing success, you build a habit of succeeding on smaller levels, making THAT your new normal.
And finally I want you to take daily action. This directly supports failing faster & practicing succeeding. If you are building a profitable business, make sure you are taking daily action towards building that. If you are writing a book, take daily action at it.
If you can take daily action, even tiny daily action, toward something that still scares you, you’ll start to feel more comfortable and that fear will dissipate.
After a year of taking daily action, you’ll have had 365 opportunities to practice succeeding and failing faster. And you better believe that you’ll be damn good at it after doing it 365 times.
What does that daily action look like? Well, here are a few to spark your creativity:
The first is affirmations. Figure out what it is that you need to be telling yourself everyday to rewire your brain so you are ready for your success.
The second is gratitude. Being grateful for what you currently have will help attract more of that into your life. What we focus on, expands. Whether you believe in manifestation or not, if you can be grateful for what you have, it will put other things into perspective like being successful.
And finally, your dreams. Every day you should be visualizing your dreams and what that means. Visualize yourself in them because the more comfortable you get with seeing yourself in that dream life, the less fear you will have about being at that level of success.
I always like to end each episode with an action step that you can take right now to help you move forward and begin to implement immediately. Here is your action step for this episode:
Write a letter to your fear. Be kind but firm. Address the fear as a kind house guest who has overstayed their welcome and it’s time for them to go. Thank your fear for helping to keep you safe and let your fear know that you are strong enough and have the tools you need to move forward and reach that next level of success.