7 steps to getting past fear
I had an email recently that included this line: “I’d love advice on how to get past my fear of turning up live for my business. It terrifies me”.
Well, I can’t give advice – because I’m not you, I’m only me. But…I can talk about what’s worked well for me and what hasn’t!
First and foremost: make peace with your decision to build your business.
Dig deep into why you are doing it, and take responsibility for that. It as YOUR business. Not a lottery ticket. Not finger crossing and hoping. And your fairy god mother isn’t coming.
The good news is it’s a business that you can build brick by brick, if you take the actions and upgrade your skills for long enough.
Some ideas on how to do that:
- Revisit (and WRITE DOWN) why you are building your business. Put it on a piece of paper and keep it in your wallet. I wrote myself a note like this when I quit smoking. It was something from my lucid self that I could read when that nicotine monster was whispering in my ear tricking me into thinking it would be easier to give up on my goal. Keep that to-yourself-from-yourself note and read it in your full-of-fear moments. Use it and then tweak it so it’s harder hitting if you need to. It works like magic.
- Cut out pictures that represent your REASONS for building your business. Stick them up in your house – where only supportive people will see them but you glance at them several times each day. This takes about an hour but SO MANY PEOPLE never do it! It’s easy to underestimate because it is disguised as a fluffy cutting and pasting crafty activity. But this visual representation of your reasons makes a HUGE difference. (NB although Pinterest is a good place for inspiration you can’t stick those images up in your house like you can real pictures. And you can get lost for hours numbing-out on your computer procrastinating).
- Share those reasons and that visual with someone who takes you seriously. Ask them to brainstorm ideas with you / listen to your ideas on the steps you’re going to take to achieve those things. Hint: some of those steps are going to include turning up live for your business!
- Create a calendar for the next month, 6 months, 12 months and 2 years. Obviously the length of time dictates how detailed that calendar is – but establish a rough idea of actions that need to be taken in those time periods.
- Create accountability with one or more people. Excuses we give ourselves don’t seem so tasty when we ask an accountability partner to swallow them.
- Take baby steps every day. Show up in a small way, today, for your business. And then do it again tomorrow. Make two calls to connect with someone you think could benefit from what you’ve got to offer. Follow your calendar. Hold your accountability person’s out-stretched hand.
- Rinse and repeat. It’s easy to look at mega-earning super stars and think ‘it’s alright for them’. It’s easy to kid ourselves they shot straight to the top and didn’t have to grapple with themselves, their self esteem or their fears. But that’s just not true. Building a big business is often unglamorous and filled with plain old hard work. There are no secret bullets. There is no magic wand.
Gary Vaynerchuck says it best: “The single reason 99% of businesses go out of business is: it’s hard”.
When I’m choking, it really helps me to look at what my fears are costing me.
A woman I respect very much (and a very high residual income earner) once said to me about her own fears:
“One day as I found myself sick to my stomach staring at the phone I realised I just didn’t want to feel like this anymore. I knew I was going to keep building my business because I wanted my life to change so much. And so I made a decision – I was just going to do it scared and stop feeling sick about it. Because I couldn’t let this awful feeling keep ruining each and every day anymore”.
So, like I said at the start: make peace with why you’re building your business.
Honour the fact you are going to have to take action if you want to get anywhere.
Stop wishing and wanting.
Accept that it’s going to be hard sometimes – and that’s why it’s worth it.
If it was easy then you wouldn’t yearn so much for those goals of yours. They wouldn’t be special if it was a piece of cake.
Everyone gets scared.
That’s part of the process. What makes you so special that you should bypass all the tough stuff and just get the cream?!
Embrace those challenges. Support yourself. Commit.
And then take one step after another.
Until one day people are looking at you wishing they had your special bullets.
PS Sally McAllister goes through exactly this struggle in The Networker – you can follow her as she comes up against that fear and watch what she does and what she uses to handle it. Get the first two chapters by clicking in the side bar, or buy the book and USE it! Better still – read it at the same time as a friend, and apply what you learn!
See you on the road,