I don’t know about you, but I spent YEARS in my business trying to make my fear okay. I tried to dialogue with it – I also tried to mask or ignore it with positive thinking.
The end result? I still had frigging fear popping up all over the place and it was keeping me in resistance. For, like, 17 years.
Let me go ahead and save you 17 years of trial and tribulation. Trust me, this will be the best 8 minutes you spend this year.
Most of us in the spiritual development world have a warped relationship to FEAR. Here’s what I mean:
As entrepreneurs we must learn to take risk. For our businesses to grow we MUST take risks. Our desire for personal and financial growth demands that we move towards fear and take new action.
When we take risks we don’t know the consequences of those actions will be – we can’t possible know whether we are wasting our time, money and effort – that is the truth of the situation. A lot of entrepreneurs try to whitewash that truth with positive thinking, and inspiration and motivation to mask the truth – the fear that we might fail.
Most people hate feeling fear – our first instinct is to run from the fear, our second instinct is to fight the fear. In the spiritual development community we have vilified fear – we have been taught to never feel fear. But fear is inherent to the human experience – you can try to numb yourself to it with positive thinking, medication, meditation, spiritual practices, alcohol, or drugs.
The truth is that if you have to work at thinking positively it is because you are actually afraid – you just don’t want to feel it. Collectively we’ve decided as a society to avoid fear, no matter how much medication and numbing it takes to avoid fear. Most people try to get to death as safely as possible.
But as an entrepreneur you must take risks to make money – and that means that you will experience way more fear than most people – especially for new entrepreneurs.
New entrepreneurs especially try to fix the fact that they are afraid because they think feeling the fear means they are on the wrong path. For new entrepreneurs – when they experience fear they go to a stand still (and stop implementing in their business) or they completely override their fear and go into fight mode with positive self-talk.
For the record, fear can be our very best friend – there are perfectly legitimate fears out there in business! Sometimes your fear is totally appropriate – and sometimes fear tries to move us into action.
When you invest all of your energy into feeling good you are not living in reality – sometimes your fear tries to warn you that you aren’t living in reality. We’ve become very good at not feeling fear even when fear is actually appropriate – there is NOTHING wrong with being afraid.
You are human, you will experience fear, stop making that a bad thing!
The trick is to learn to work with fear. Feel the fear, and take action anyway – most people never let themselves actually feel their fear – they numb it or push it away. But you can’t selectively push down your emotions – when you push away fear, you also won’t let yourself feel peace, comfort, well being, happiness – all of which are wrapped up in safety. Because fear and safety are polar opposites.
When you push away your fear, you will also feel less passion. And passion, or desire, are important for business. So the way to manage risk is to not necessarily act on the fear. Start by making conscious, rational evaluations and decisions about what to do with the fear, but begin by acknowledging it first. Risk is not taking a blind leap of faith.
There is an unfortunate trend in personal/spiritual development community of taking crazy leaps of faith – people are encouraged to quit their jobs and hope the universe will catch them – this is not RISK, this is UNCONSCIOUSNESS.
We are capable of taking risk in a way that is highly grounded, that does not deny fear, but that also embraces our need for safety. The trick is to embrace both fear and safety equally, and to let fear be our teacher when appropriate.
Let me know how this blog resonates with you! Leave a comment below.