Tina Downey says “You can run from your dreams in fear or run to your dreams in faith.”
For me this is a ‘no brainer’, but the question is always, which one will you choose? I was recently interviewed on Summit TV on the issues around fear and how that fear impacts on Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners and how these Entrepreneurs and Small Business owners (or actually anyone for that matter) can deal with and even ultimately conquer or get over their fear.
There are of course different types of fear, fear of the dark or fear of heights and for the average business owner, fear of commitment, fear of failure or even fear of success. Then we are often fearful of our own perceived shortcomings, our belief in ourselves (or lack thereof) – you know the one that I mean, that little voice in our heads that often says things like ‘don’t be ridiculous – of course you can’t do that’! The little voice in our heads that second guesses our every move, our every decision, that little voice that mocks us at every opportunity.
The biggest problem with fear is that it paralyses us. We get sucked into its core and then it overwhelms us and the perception is that we need to ‘get away’ from it as fast and as far as possible. We focus our entire beings on – getting away!
The reality of course is that fear will always follow and if you are fearful about something, (irrespective of what that ‘something’ is) and you don’t deal with the issue or the cause of that fear or the fear itself – there is nowhere on this planet that you can actually hide safely from that fear.
So how do you deal with that fear? How do you reclaim your power (and make no mistake, we are all incredibly powerful beings)?
Like most things in life different people deal with situations differently. For me, facing my fear is the most difficult but yet the most liberating way of dealing with my fears and like we here in Africa say, “You eat an elephant one bite at a time”, the only way that I can deal with my fear is one step at a time. I have to face that fear and ask the questions and believe me they are often incredibly hard questions because you have to dig deep inside yourself to find the answers. The “what exactly am I afraid of” and “why am I afraid of that . .” type questions. Oh . . . and there is no point is lying, no matter how much your squirm and try to get away . . you have to be honest with yourself, brutally honest!
Oh, and whilst I am on the subject – be prepared to make some changes in yourself, your mindset and the very core of who you are as a person. You know the ones I mean – the hard ones!
I find the easiest way to do this is, as usual, to write things down. Let your pen be governed by your thoughts as you write down the question that you asked yourself and then the answer that comes – usually very slowly to start with and then like a gushing faucet or raging river – don’t worry about spelling or even writing down full sentences – don’t worry about whether you are making any sense at all, just write. Once done you will be exhausted – well I always am. Then it is time to be gentle with yourself, take a nap or have a massage – take your mind off what you have just gone through.
Once refreshed, go back to your writing and go through each item individually – make notes on what can be done differently to change the outcome and then work through each one individually. Put your thoughts into an action plan and make sure that the plan has dates by which tasks must be accomplished and slowly but surely get on with it. Make sure that there are consequences if you don’t meet your deadlines and rewards if you do. If you need to, turn it into a challenge or a game and before you know it, that particular fear will have dissipated and you will be well on your way to successfully accomplishing your goals.
Will you ever be afraid again – probably! The fact of the matter is that we are human and we doubt ourselves, our actions, our plans. We doubt who we are and what we are capable of and even what our intentions are. That said, it is also our very ‘human-ness’ that makes us courageous and strong and committed too.