The word fearless bugs me. Not because it isn’t attainable (there’s times when you can definitely be fearless!) but because it makes me feel like I’m striving for perfection all the time, which I know isn’t the reality of running a business (or the reality of life itself.)
So, what is the reality?
Running your own business means you have to do things that are scary and fill you with fear. Not all the time, but often.
It means stretching yourself out of that comfort zone and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.
The truth is, the fear is normal. It happens to everyone. Even the big names or experts you see still feel fear in their business.
Trying to be fearless kept me in a state of fear…go figure
For me personally, trying to be fearless actually kept me playing small. I was so doubtful that I could be fearless and it seemed so far fetched, that I stayed in my comfort zone and didn’t take action. It had the opposite effect of what I wanted.
That might not be the case for you, but if you’re tired of trying to find your fearlessness, and you’d rather make things happen in your business, whether there’s fear or not, then read on!
What if you made friends with your fear instead?
I have to give full credit to Kylie Patchett – an amazing mindset mentor who I discovered this term from.
As soon as I thought about making friends with my fear, I saw fear in a whole new way.
Let’s get “sciencey” for a second..
Fear is a chain reaction in the brain. It starts with something stimulating a chain reaction (a spider – run!, a scary business decision, a speaking gig etc) This stimulus then releases chemicals that cause you to physically feel the fear in your body (racing heart, sweating, fast breathing etc).
This is the ‘fight or flight’ response that we all know. Basically fear is your brain’s way of keeping you safe.
Back in the day (I’m talking the earliest civilisations here), fear was instinctual and was a way of telling humans to either run, fight harder or escape danger. These days though, many of our fears are simply not true. We have evolved to believe there is a fear, when most of the time there really isn’t.
Since most of the things we’re afraid of aren’t real (especially in business), it makes it hard to take the right action to escape the fear, so we let it consume us. Anxiety, discomfort and agitation are often experienced. Sound familiar?
Have you ever felt fearful to do something in your business and you create an endless loop of thoughts playing out a hypothetical situation in your mind?
Yep, been there done that.
So instead of aiming for a state of fearlessness, we need to build a relationship with our fear instead. We need to understand what the fear is really telling us and start to connect with it.
Yep, I’m talking bonding with your fear! Sleepovers. Coffee chats. Long soul conversations. BFF’s.
How do you start making friends with fear?
Removing your old stories and blockages that have created certain ongoing fears isn’t a simple process, but you can take action today to start bonding with your fear and start to see it in a whole new light.
Each time you feel fear, start the process by firstly writing down what you’re fearful of doing. Write down how you feel, what you’re thinking and the situation at hand. Get it all onto paper.
Next, look at the situation and ask yourself ‘what is the real fear underneath this?’. I call this ‘unpacking the fear’.
It’s about getting real and honest and understanding what you’re actually scared of or worried about.
For example if your fear is to launch that new program, the real fear may be that you’re worried you’ll be judged or rejected by your community.
This step isn’t always easy, but it’s essential to the healing process.
Once you’ve unpacked the fear and you know what you’re really worried about, it’s time to make friends with it! You can do this by creating a new “I am..” statement that changes the original fear into a positive.
“I am good enough to launch this program. I am talented enough to teach and mentor my community”
Creating affirmations for your business are a powerful way to get you moving forward from your fear zone and into inspired action.
As I said before, making friends with your fear isn’t an overnight thing, but starting the process of understanding your fear, unpacking it and turning it into a positive can really help you move forward.
It’s ok to not be fearless.
It’s ok to make friends with your fear.
It’s ok to feel the fear, take it with you and do it anyway.