Fears. We all have them. Spiders. Heights. Being visible. Failing. Not being as ‘good’ as everyone else. To be quite frank, I’d challenge anyone who says they aren’t afraid of anything at all! And as entrepreneurs, we would also, in an ideal world, all be able to find ways to overcome our fear in a business context, as we know that doing so is crucial for our survival.
Is fear a good or bad thing?
Personally, I think fear can be good for you in many ways. When we’re scared of something, our survival instincts kick in, and when channel that fear effectively, it can drive us forward. But equally, fear can be paralysing. It can hold us where we are and prevent us from moving forward. Or worse, it can even send us backwards. Fear makes us start to question ourselves and our abilities, albeit unnecessarily.
Perhaps then, the key to how we overcome fear in business lies in how we approach it. If we see it as a battle, that automatically makes it harder. A negative experience. Something we’re going to find difficult. But if we flip it, and think of it as harnessing our fear, using it as a tool to propel us forward, our perception of fear becomes more positive.
May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.Nelson Mandela
How to overcome fear in business
Everyone reacts to fear differently, and it will take some people longer than others to be able to turn their fear into a positive force, but the first step for all of us is to get started. To decide to take positive action that will eventually result in sustained change in your approach. To help you, we’ve put together nine tips on how to overcome fear in business:
1) Acknowledge your fear
This is the first step. Admit to yourself that you’re scared of something, and if you can, try to understand what’s causing the fear.
2) Think about the big picture
To you, your fear might seem enormous. It might be something that feels completely insurmountable. But in the context of the big picture – the wider world – your fear is actually pretty small.
3) What’s the worst that can happen?
An important part of acknowledging our fears is to consider what the worst is that can happen. This means that, when confronting our fears, we already know what the worst case outcome might be. Then when the worst doesn’t happen, we realise that whatever is causing our fear isn’t actually that bad, after all!
4) What about the positives?
This point is about the good things that could happen if we overcome fear and choose instead, to push forward. For example, if you choose to post a video of yourself on social media despite your fears, what might the positive effect be on your business?
5) Think about your why
Whereas steps 3 and 4 above where about the immediate repercussions of the fear itself, this step focuses on your why. Think about it in a broader context. Do you want to overcome your fear because of the long-term impact it’s having? Because you know that it’s holding you back? Or perhaps you simply want to confront that fear because you want to prove to yourself (and maybe to others too) that you can beat it?
6) Make a plan
Some people are lucky enough to be able to dive head-first into new activities without much thought, but with fear, that’s not usually the case. Which is where planning comes in! You don’t need to go straight for the biggest version of your fear (unless you want to of course!). Baby steps is absolutely fine, so long as you maintain momentum!
7) Make sure you have support
If you want to go it alone, that’s absolutely fine, but many of us will benefit from having support around us when we’re gearing up to challenge our fears. This could come from a friend or family member, or in a business context, perhaps from a coach, a colleague or a community.
8) Be held accountable
A great way of making sure we get things done is to ask someone else to hold us accountable. This is especially true when the ‘thing’ is something we either don’t want to do, or that we’re scared of. So, choose someone who you know will be supportive, but also who you know won’t let you back out. Then commit to them. Explain what you’re trying to do and why. And ask them to hold you accountable for your actions! We do this very thing for our business coaching clients a lot – and it really makes a difference!
9) Celebrate your achievements!
This last point is both to incentivise yourself, and also to celebrate your progress! Knowing that we have something to look forward always helps provide momentum. Then once you’ve achieved your goal, celebrate – and share your achievements. You never know – you might well be able to inspire someone else to face a similar fear!
We hope that this blog has inspired you to try to overcome your fears, or at the very least, consider doing so. The rewards you could reap from doing so could be huge! But if you don’t want to do it alone, don’t forget that we’re here for you! You’ve got this!