What’s the most common reason that people don’t start a business? Because they’re afraid.
They think they can’t do it. They think they’re not smart enough. They justify it by saying things like “there’s no way I can compete with those guys.”
Know this, we are all dealing with fear in business. We are all arguing with the voices in our heads.
The trick is to act in spite of your fear. The trick is to be courageous and to leap into the unknown without the crutch of certainty.
The people who know me best, know that I live most of my life in a state on anxiety. I’ve been this way my whole life.
But my fears don’t control me. I do what I want to do when I want to do it, regardless of how much fear I have about a particular matter. I get messages from people every day telling me about ideas they have to start a business. Then they tell me about all the reasons why now is “not the right time.”
These are all different ways of saying that you are full of fear. And that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with being fearful. The problem becomes when we let our fear hold us back from chasing our goals and dreams and desires.
How can you deal with fear in business? This is what works for me, I know it will work for you.
Write an Inventory and a Power List Every Night
Things seem much more terrifying when we play the tape out in our heads.
It feels as though you are trying to accomplish a monumental goal all at once. You are trying to hit that million dollar mark today. It’s not reasonable or practical.
So much of my ability to deal with fear in business comes from this simple habit.
Every night, I write about my day. I write about what I could have done better and I write about what I did well. I celebrate the small victories because it can be easy to beat yourself up in this process.
Then I write down my tasks for the next day. I write down at least 5 tasks that need to be completed that will help me get closer to my goal.
I only write down tasks that have a purpose behind them. This isn’t a to-do list. This isn’t a reminder to go to the grocery store. These tasks must have a purpose and play a role in achieving a larger goal.
Then you get the list done. You do the work. You break down your vision into simple, manageable tasks and things don’t feel so daunting.
If you do this for a month, you’ll be amazed on how much progress you’ve made. You’ll be blown away.
It’s so much easier to deal with fear in business when you are making progress. It’s easier to hit a long term goal when you do it a little bit at a time.
Consistency is the name of the game.
I Work Out (Almost) Every Day
Exercise is the ticket to happiness. Do you want more confidence? Do you want to stop feeling insecure? Do you want to have more energy? Do you want to learn to cope with fear and anxiety?
Then work out.
I’ve written about this subject so many times and I will continue to do so because it’s the simplest and most beneficial thing any one person can do to improve their lives.
How does working out help you deal with fear in business?
It builds confidence – Working out is hard. It’s painful. Yesterday, I could hardly walk up the stairs because of these awful gorilla walks my wife made me do.
But I did them. I walked around with my head held high and my chest proud, because I know I did something that most people can’t do. If you exercise, you will look good and feel good and that confidence will affect all areas of your life.
It builds toughness – Half the battle of dealing with fear in business is being mentally tough. It’s knowing that no matter what happens, you will be okay.
Fitness trains your body but it also trains your mind. Inevitably, you will find yourself in a position where you hurt so bad that you want to quit. And you can quit. At any second, you can stop your workout and the pain will go away.
What will you do in that moment?
Eventually, with commitment and training, you will calice your mind to a point where it doesn’t quit because of a challenging workout. You won’t stop when it hurts you will stop when you’re finished.
That’s the same mentality you need in business.
It clears your head – For me, fear is just another way of saying that you’re thinking about the future too much.
Fear only lives in the future. You can’t be fearful of the past or the present, because you have already lived the past and you’re in the present. There’s nothing to fear. You’re alive. You’re fine.
So fear is nothing but a construct of what could happen. If we have too much space in our minds, we will always think of the future.
But not when you work out.
With fitness, you will have no extra space in your mind to be thinking about anything other than the present moment. Your focus will be tunneled and sharp. Your body and your mind will both be in tune to the right now.
And right now, there is nothing to fear!
Work With People Who Are Smarter Than You
What a relief it is to have that comfort.
If I pass an assignment to someone on my team, I know it will get done and it will be excellent work.
It’s about aligning yourself with people who are better equipped at solving problems that you can’t solve.
I am terribly disorganized when it comes to data. I have been trying so hard to be better at using data to help me make educated decisions.
Every time I start digging through numbers, I get overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. It makes me feel stupid and I get stuck. I freeze.
And that’s why Molly does the numbers. Because her brain works in that way. She loves spreadsheets. She loves data. She loves finding patterns and making distinctions on what they mean.
So if I need data crunched, I pay Molly to do it. This way, I can focus on my skill sets. I can focus on sales or bringing in new business.
You can’t let your ego get in the way. If someone is better equipped to handle a task, then you should give it to them.
This will help you deal with fear in business because you will gain faith in your peers. Teamwork makes the dream work and every member of a strong team increases your chances of success.
Before my grandfather died, he told me that…
“life shrinks and expands in proportion to ones own courage.”
I keep those words very close to me. I repeat them to myself often. What my grandfather was trying to teach me was that there is no such thing as an absence of fear, there is only a presence of courage.
Courage doesn’t mean fearless. It means you act even though you are afraid. That’s what I ask of you.
These three methods I have listed are not going to remove fear from your life, but they will help you cope with fear. They will help you move forward in spite of your fear.
Before you know it, you will be looking back and asking yourself “what was I so afraid of?”