It took me over two weeks to write the very first article for this blog because I was afraid nobody was going to read it. I remember refreshing my WordPress stats every few minutes to see if anyone had read it yet. And when someone eventually read it, I was worried stiff if the first comment was ever going to come. Till today I’m still confronted by one fear or another. Over time I have learned to deal with my fears using some useful tips which I will share with you in this article. I hope you find the strength and ability to overcome your fears using the tips I share with you.
We all have our fears – I have never met any successful entrepreneur or any person at all who is not afraid of something. One of the commonest fears most of us have to deal with is fear of failure. As an entrepreneur, if you must get ahead and prosper, you must have to confront your fears and overcome them.
The first thing you must understand is: fear in and of itself is not a bad thing. In fact, fear could be a good thing. It is OK to admit you are afraid of failing. Fear only becomes destructive when it prevents you from taking action towards achieving your goals.
Fight your fears and you’ll be in battle forever. Face your fears and you’ll be free forever. — Lucas Jonkman
Here are some ways I have learnt, over the years, to deal with my fears:
I have realized that action is the best antidote to fear. As John C. Maxwell explains in his book, Failing Forward, the destructive power of fear lies in its crippling our ability to act. When fear breeds inaction, inaction results in inexperience which breeds fresh fears over handling any task, and the cycle continues. The only way to break that cycle is to take action.
I was afraid nobody was going to read my first article but I wrote the article anyway. Just taking the first step could be enough to provide the momentum you need to finish the task. Before approaching a client I would have all kinds of doubts and fears, then I would dress up, put on my game face and I would approach the client anyway. Go on and do it! You will never know how successful or unsuccessful you will be if you do not act.
Do the thing you fear, and continue to do so. This is the quickest and surest way of all victory over fear. — Dale Carnegie
Zone out the voice of fear
I learned this tip from Richard Caldwell’s book, The Law of Attraction. What this means, in a nutshell, is to change your negatives thoughts the way you would change a television channel. When you find yourself entertaining thoughts of fear just say ‘NEXT’ and zone out that particular thought until you can focus on the thoughts you want. I practiced this in my final university year when I had issues with getting my project approved. The result was magic!
Say something positive about yourself and the project at hand. Nobody explains positive self-talk better than Zig Ziglar in, Over the Top. You see, thoughts become things. When you find yourself going down the ‘stinking thinking’ road, turn your mind around and focus on the positives. A good way to do this is to focus on what you DO want instead of what you DON’T want.
You don’t want a business deal to go sour; you want it to become a huge success. So don’t think of the business deal going sour; think of the business deal becoming a huge success. You become what you think, eventually.
Express your fears
You may choose to talk to someone you trust about it, compose it into a song and let it out, write it down in your diary, talk to God about it in prayer, whatever works for you so long as you express your doubts and fears. When you express something it leaves your mind so new things can enter. I talk to God in prayer about my fears and then I talk to my most trusted friends. I almost always get a new insight about the problem at hand just by talking about it.
Begin with the end in mind
Have a clear vision of the outcome you want in your mind. If you approaching a potential investor, visualize what you would want the result to be. See yourself signing the deal, shaking hands, smiling from ear to ear, telling everybody about it, etc. When you visualize the result you want, you are motivated to pursue that result and to achieve it.
You have to be careful on this one though; don’t think about the result in a way that you forget to act on it. I have experienced this many times. Visualize the result, but make the action the goal. Of course you want the result, but maybe that’s not in your direct control. Your goal should be consistent and persistent action. The action will eventually produce the result that enables you achieve the goal.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur is not living without fears; it is succeeding in spite of your fears. The tips I have shared in this article have worked for me to astonishing and miraculous results. I am confident they will work for you too. Don’t give in to your fears. Face them and you can overcome them.