“𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒍𝒅𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒐𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒆𝒎𝒐𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒊𝒔 𝒇𝒆𝒂𝒓, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒍𝒅𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒐𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒖𝒏𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘𝒏.”
– H.P. Lovecraft
Entrepreneurism is filled with uncertainty, and uncertainty fosters fear.
We’re born with the instinct to avoid fear. Historically, that instinct served to help us avoid danger and to survive. Today, however, the fear of uncertainty can prevent us from taking calculated risks and exploring bold options.
When your fear emanates from uncertainty, what happens if you head towards the fear instead?
Move Towards Fear
This approach is often the only way to grow your business and yourself.
In her book, Startups and Downs, Mona Bijoor talks about fear as a beacon for an opportunity. Visualizing fear as a beacon changes it from a danger to an observation, like picturing a lighthouse warning us of rocks to guiding us to safety.
Weighing the pros and cons objectively may lessen the fear.
What's the Worst That Can Happen?
Break this down into specifically "How" "Why" and "What's next".
To move towards fear, first understand what is scary. Visualize specifically what could happen, both good and bad. Talk with trusted family, friends, mentors, and peers who will be candid and who can offer perspective and support.
Review your concerns and, if justified, create a plan to mitigate them. Focus on a huge success as your motivation to push past fear.
It’s definitely harsh, but incredibly valuable, to face your worst fear - the failure of your business. Imagine everything you built is simply gone.
Now, imagine you have unlimited resources to rebuild. Putting yourself in this place is a good assessment. Describe this redesigned company. What would you value? Who would you bring to help? Take notes freely and quickly and without judgment.
Compare those notes of a rebuilt business to your current company and determine how to move closer to the imagined company.
Follow This Process:
List all the steps between now and the future company
Keep dividing those steps into smaller, clearly defined task
Ask others how to accomplish any task that is not clear
Identify a few steps to begin now
Track your progress along the way and adjust as needed
Facing your worst fears focuses your energy on what truly matters and allows you to visualize success without being grounded in the moment.
Whether publicly or privately, most incredible leaders faced their mistakes many times before discovering what works for them.
Those successful leaders stared directly at their fears, responded quickly and fully, then learned and adapted from their experiences.
Photo by Sammie Chaffin who can be found here: https://bit.ly/3OLY7TV