What is it that stops someone from pursuing a dream?
Fear is a greatest enemy in the world of entrepreneurialism. It is fear that causes us to halt when we need to step forward. It is fear that views any risk as an insurmountable obstacle. It is fear that will keep the ‘dream’ alive only in the most private of thoughts.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
Eleanor spoke very wisely when she encouraged others to look fear in the face. So often we have the tendency to recognize fear and then allow that fear to grow until we can hardly breathe when thinking about it.
Mrs. Roosevelt also provided the same encouragement expressed by Nike – Just Do It. She made no attempt to minimize the fear we may experience, she simply provided a bold declaration that there is something waiting beyond the fear if we will move through the thing that instills fear to the other side where we are likely to find courage and success.
It’s not always that easy though. Stepping up and looking fear in the face is a challenge for many folks including me. People tell me they see me as a courageous person and I appreciate that compliment. I’ve got to tell you that fear is debilitating for me and many others. One of the things I should do but rarely do is ask for help. I am always the one who steps in to help and I love helping which makes it even more difficult to ask for something.
Unfortunately, fear is not a rational thing. You cannot simply explain it away, but you can look for the truth about what you fear the most. I’ve been on that search for some time now and I have found many answers. Some useful and employed and some, not so much.
In entrepreneurialism you can find the truth by asking questions of those who have developed a business of their own. Brian Tracy calls it, OPE – Other Peoples Experience. It can also be accomplished by researching the risks involved in the endeavor. Once these steps are taken you may need to ask an unbiased, yet trusted, source to help you honestly understand your strengths and weaknesses to determine if you can face your fear with a strong chance of success. I rely on asking my coach or the members of a mastermind group that I am a member of and have been from some time.
It is interesting to note that often we fail to trust ourselves enough to make a determination on our abilities to do something. I’ve noticed it over and over again. When I ask someone how they think they did on a scale of one to ten where ten is excellent and one is, well, not so much, clients always underestimate their performance. Sometimes a word of encouragement and catching them (ourselves) doing something right… more mileage is gained.
If you don’t have someone you can talk with to encourage you and to determine the truth about the fears you may have when contemplating something new, be it bold or not, you can always begin by taking a notebook, your journal, and listing your strengths and weaknesses. You can follow that up by identifying the pros and cons of the endeavor that want to do. Write a letter to yourself about the fears you have and try to determine how much truth there is to the fears you’ve expressed. Doing this allows you to come back to the journal entry or letter and read it in a more “removed” or disassociated way. This strategy is very helpful and practical.
Starting, owning your own business or launching a new service or product does require a certain amount of risk and that risk can instill that damn thing called fear in the best of us. You should always seek the truth about yourself and face your fears one at a time. With each small victory you come closer to gaining what Eleanor Roosevelt described as “Strength, courage and confidence by every experience.”
Here is my step up asking you for your help. In 2018 when you have a need or are curious about how training, coaching or mastermind participation can help propel you past most any fear, think of me. Together, we can assess your situation and see if you need resourced, accountability or just some ideas. I’ll be there for you.
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