They kill ideas and keep many promising entrepreneurs from realizing their dreams. Here's how to put a stop to those nagging fears.
Some measure of fear is not necessarily a bad thing; it's perfectly natural to feel hesitant about doing something new. But when fear becomes paralyzing--or even slows you down--it's time to do something about it.
Fear keeps too many amazing ideas from coming to fruition and too many promising entrepreneurs from realizing their dreams. To keep yourself from being on the wrong side of this statistic, determine your fear factors and move into action.
It's important to know that the most successful people in the world experience fear just like you do. The only difference is that they have learned to recognize their fear and move forward in spite of it.
How did they attain this valuable quality? From experiencing failure! Failure is in fact a necessary steppingstone to success; without failure, we have nothing to learn from.
An important part of my job is to help people to identify and neutralize their fears. Once these roadblocks are out of the way, we can create the master plan and take action on the vision. There are many beliefs that hold people back, but in my experience as a coach, these three fears seem to be the most common.
1. The Fear of Losing Hope
Your inaction may be frustrating and disappointing, but as long as you have hope that someday, your dreams will come to life, you feel safer and more optimistic about the future. So, you keep your ideas tucked safely away in the recesses of your mind, where they can't fail. If you fail, all hope is gone, and that's even more frightening.
But really, is that true? Is every promise of a fulfilling future eliminated if your concept fails? Nope. There will always be another idea, another way of doing things. Release your ideas from their internal prison, allow your creativity to flow, gather information from your missteps, and your hope will grow into satisfaction and success.
2. The Fear of Judgment
What will others think if I fail? If you hang in the right crowd, others will think you're a hero, whether you succeed or fail.Most people never act on their dreams; you may be the only person in your circle who has ever had the courage to step out. Others admire that quality and often wish they possessed the same strength. Of course, the reality is that there is no such thing as failure if you persevere, only the opportunity to learn and grow.
3. The Fear of Not Keeping Up
I once coached an amateur golfer whose goal was to break 80 on the course. Although he had been golfing for many, many years, he had never done it. And he made every excuse to not do it: He had a bad knee; he was too old; his clubs were never good enough. These excuses were all signs that he was afraid of succeeding at his goal. What we discovered was a self-limiting belief that if he broke 80 once, he would have to do it every single week, or his golfing buddies would never let him live it down. Wow, what pressure! But with a single session of EFT tapping (the Emotional Freedom Techniques), this golfer let go of his self-imposed limitations, broke 80, and still enjoys his game, regardless of his score.
You can handle success, but only if you let go of your doubt and fear. Sometimes facing the fear is enough; sometimes we need a little professional help. But the first step is to identify the personal barrier that's even more daunting than failure. What are the perceived negative consequences of success? Typically, your fear is based on a false belief, not a reality. Put it into perspective simply by asking yourself, Is this really, honestly going to happen, or am I just afraid that it will? Then test the waters, one step at a time.
So, what's your fear? Do you let it stop you, or have you found a way to make things happen in spite of it? Share your story with us here.
MARLA TABAKA is a small-business adviser who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions. She speaks widely on combining strategic and creative thinking for optimum success and happiness. @MarlaTabaka