What I’m about to share with you can have a profound effect on not just your business, but all areas of your life.
It’s one of those issues that we all like to believe doesn’t really affect us. We tell ourselves “we grew out of that a long time ago.” Or, “sure that affects other people, but not me.”
We all pay a steep price for ignoring it.
I see this with my business clients all the time. These would-be entrepreneurs look at their business performance and they can’t understand why their struggling.
They have no idea what’s really holding them back.
Yet it’s obvious to me. It’s the same thing that holds all of us back in all aspects of our lives…
I’m talking about fear.
We all suffer from it. The only difference between those who are successful and those who struggle is the successful people learn to master it. That’s what I want to talk about today…
When You Succumb to Fear, You Lose
Fear is the oldest and strongest emotion that all human beings share. It’s actually hardwired into our nervous system – our subconscious.
And it creates its own self-fulfilling dynamic as we give in to it.
You see,the majority of people are too afraid of offending others. They’re afraid of stirring up conflict, of standing up or out from the crowd, of taking bold action.
And when an entrepreneur gives in to fear like that, they suffer extremely damaging losses.
They lose energy. They lose momentum. They lose the ability to be confident in their decision-making. They can no longer take advantage of the opportunities that fit in with their own strategic alignment.
Unfortunately all that eventually translates into inaction. And that inaction or procrastination ultimately leads many people to have less and less confidence over time. (Yes, procrastination can be a form of fear.)
Again, this is natural. Everyone is born with this kind of fear. We all have to master it.
So to overcome these constraining forces on your growth – of you as a person, you as an entrepreneur and your business – you have to go through a conscious process to overcome it.
But before I walk you through how to do that, I want to give you a little bit more background.
The Scaring Of America
From my perspective, America was once a country that was full of pragmatists and realists. Realistic thinking.
But today, the threats we face in society are no longer as violent or hazardous (at least overall).
So as a society, our character has changed.
Reality has become something that people try to avoid. Something to escape. And our culture has manufactured endless ways to escape that reality: Movies. TV. Websites.
Today, the majority of people have a fearful attitude about just about everything. They see almost every life event in terms of risk. In doing so, they exaggerate their own vulnerability, and focus on the potential adversity as opposed to the upside.
So let’s focus on the upside for a second…
We Are Better Off Than Our Ancestors
No matter how challenging the economic times might be, we now live in a society of relative prosperity. We are all better off than our ancestors.
But in many ways that has turned out to be a detriment to the resilient spirits of many people.
Today, most people feel that they naturally deserve things. They are due certain privileges. When any setback occurs, it’s almost like a surprise. How could that have ever happened?
And because we live in these comfortable circumstances, our main goal is to maintain the comfort and security that we have.
Remember we have layers of fear that we’re neurologically hardwired for. So our natural tendency is to interpret any minor, temporary obstacle as something larger – as a bigger setback, as crisis.
We become more sensitive to the slightest risk or threat to the status quo.
We find it harder to tolerate feelings of fear because they are now more vague and troubling as opposed to direct and acute. So many people default into a passive mode rather than taking action to face down our perceived threats.
You Have To Buck The Trend
You can’t stop the tide of fantasy and escapism that pervades our society. But what you can do as a successful entrepreneur, is decide to buck the trend and create a more powerful you.
Ultimately you are born with the greatest weapon in all of nature – a rational conscious mind.
Your mind has the power to expand your vision. It gives you the unique capacity to distinguish patterns and events and learn from the past.
It allows you to glimpse into the future. See through facades and appearances.
You must use that gift to fight escapism and move in the opposite direction. Focus outward and become a keen observer of everything that’s going around you.
You are fighting for your own clarity. You don’t want to escape.
A Real Challenge…
Know that things will always happen, but it’s your mind that chooses to interpret them either as positive or negative.
If you can see everything (or at least most things), as a challenge, a positive – it will help you combat that fear.
What every successful entrepreneur needs to do at some point is take the opposite approach to the norm if they’re going to be successful.
Instead of becoming discouraged and depressed by any obstacle, see it as a wakeup call. As a challenge that will transform you into a better, more successful entrepreneur. Into someone who can be successful no matter what’s thrown at you.
When that happens, your energy levels rise. You move to the more aggressive side of growing your business.
You are able to surprise your competitors with boldness and ultimately, you care less what people think and paradoxically this causes them to admire you more.
It starts with a choice: Decide to NOT live in fear. Suddenly all those obstacles won’t be so insurmountable.
Some Questions to Consider
1) Have you ever considered that procrastination or a lack of action could be tied to fear?
2) If not, do you think this realization will help you overcome it in the future?
3) Do you already see all obstacles as challenges? And if so, does it help you overcome them?
As always, I’d appreciate it if you could answer in the comments.