I have a confession to make. Sometimes I dream of dumpsters. Why? Because even though I have had a successful business for over 15 years, I still fear that I will fail and end up living in the closest dumpster. Sound familiar?
Maybe, well probably definitely, your thing is not sizing up the neighborhood dumpsters for the perfect fit, or fantasying about a new entry for that tiny house blog. Chances are, however, that fear sometimes stops you in your tracks.
So what is Fear? A great definition is false evidence appearing real. I think most small business owners, service professionals, and freelancers feel fear from time to time. Having tips to banish it once and for all will help not waking up at 2:00 or being so paralyzed you get nothing done. Of in my case, starting to plan the perfect dumpster decorations.
Here are 5 tips to banish fear because it is always better to have the tools to overcome fear and move forward.
Be super clear about what you are doing and why. We can’t hold two strong feelings in our mind at the same time. Our brains don’t work that way. If you are focused and passionate about what you are doing (failure is not an option passion), it helps cancel out your feelings of fear and uncertainty. Write down your vision for your business and add the “why” you do it.. Keep it in front of you. Visit it each morning. Think about it as you fall asleep.
Learn to note fear with interest. Humans are fascinating. Unlike animals that experience their “fight or flight” until the threat is gone, humans remember. We project and worry about what “could go wrong”. And remember absolutely every misstep we have ever made. All of which fuels the fear and the doubt and keeps it alive. Try something different. Note it with interest and move forward one step at a time. Minimize the emotions.
Remember fear is false evidence not reality. When anxiety begins to take over, use logic as a tool to banish it. Write down all of the reasons it is not real. Let’s take my occasional attraction to dumpsters. Instead of fueling the fear, I write down my current and previous clients, revenue trends, and how booked I am at the moment. If you are just starting out, use the strong successes that exist in your background. And then ask, “is there any reason why now should be different.”
Don’t try it alone. Isolation can be dangerous for small business owners, service professionals, and freelancers. Sitting and obsessing about how fearful you are doesn’t help. Make sure you have a network of colleagues and friends to support you. Create a mastermind group. Join a professional society. Do whatever it takes to connect with like-mind business owners for mutual support and problem-solving. We all need our tribe.
Keep taking action. Stay focused on “doing” something to move forward. Even if it is cleaning out your sock drawer. Action cancels fear. Accomplishment gives us the confidence to do more. Plan your high impact activities each day, write them down and check off those baby steps.
Fear happens. Try these tips to banish it once and for all. As for me, I am glad to report that my dumpster fantasies are gone once again.