The universe is giving me a lesson in dealing with fear in business this week. I have finally gone out on my own and for the first time in over 10 years I don’t have a steady wage. I am completely responsible for ‘bringing home the bacon’ through my business to pay the mortgage.
When I went through my coaching qualification I was taught that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. This had great resonance for me as I have a tendency to get caught up in fear and anxiety. This acronym challenges you to think about the conclusions you naturally jump to when you feel fear, and whether they are really true.
I must admit, fear still sometimes takes hold, especially with my recent transition, so as a reminder to myself and a gift to you, I’d like to share my tips for beating fear.
Don’t avoid it. Ask yourself: what is the worst that could happen and what can I do to prevent it from happening? Acknowledge the fear, but don’t let it consume you. Going into meltdown is not going to change anything for the better.
Meditate on it
I can get quite overwhelmed by fear. My chest gets tight, I have trouble breathing, I seek instant comfort (usually chocolate!) but I find meditating on that fear is an effective way to work through it. Try guided meditation, or even just sit or lie quietly, listen to some peaceful music, breathe slowly and let your body and mind process those feelings.
Talk to someone you trust
Often fear gets blown way out of proportion but it’s difficult to put things into perspective when we’re so caught up in it. This is where we need to ‘phone a friend’ who we know will be understanding but also help us see a clearer reality beyond the fear.
Go for a walk
Sometimes you just need to get away from what you’re doing, get outside, get some fresh air and move your body – you will be amazed how it improves your mindset. You might even come up with a solution or realise it isn’t as bad as you thought.
Focus on productive work
This is really important. But by ‘productive’ I don’t mean staring at your Facebook business page. You need to do something of value that takes your focus off the fear. It sounds strange but I find whenever I do this, all of a sudden – ka-ching! – I get an email from PayPal with a sale!
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask a mentor for advice or ask your followers, friends and family for help spreading the word about your business, if times are slow. Most people genuinely will want to help you and if they don’t know anyone who is interested in what you provide now, chances are they will down the track. But – and this is really important – you need to ensure you return these favours.
Gratitude attracts abundance, so make an effort to be grateful for what you do have – beautiful kids, amazing partner, brilliant clients, your creativity, your passion – whatever it is that makes you feel fortunate.
You gotta hustle
Business is not meant to be easy: everyone would go out on their own if it was. Few people are overnight successes so it’s important to get out there and hustle! Contact potential clients, network on social media, answer questions on forums, submit guest posts, respond to SourceBottle call-outs – whatever you need to do to get your business name out there in front of your ideal client.
So let’s make a promise together, we are going to beat our FEAR, avoid the chocolate and give these strategies a go. Now, I’m off to do a guided meditation…
How do you stop fear in business from becoming paralysing?