Three Big Fears can cause you to play small
I met Marci at a writer’s group.
She retired from her career as an educator and had spent the last year or more following a dream that she had nurtured her whole life; writing a novel. The manuscript was complete and she was looking for someone to publish her work.
When it was her turn to share a piece of her work Marci was so nervous, I offered to read it for her. It was an intriguing story line and the group was very supportive of her efforts. Soon after the meeting though, she dropped out of the group. When I followed up with her to ask about her plans going forward she said, “I’ve decided just to enjoy my retirement. Trying to get my book published is just too stressful.”
On the surface it sounds like a reasonable decision doesn’t it? After all who doesn’t want to enjoy their retirement?
What if it were possible to enjoy retirement and get a book published?
What if her decision not to pursue publication was really an excuse because pursuing publication of her book was just too scary?
Creating the business, developing a product, writing a book is fun and exciting. Marketing and selling your business or product… not so much. It will tap into fears that you may have ignored or been unaware of.
When I coach clients who are starting a business the area that they usually need the most help with is taming their fears. There is really no way around it. Becoming an entrepreneur is a marvelous lifestyle but it requires that you become a person capable of not only dreaming but acting on the dream. It is a journey of growth and becoming.
Dreaming is passive.
Becoming is active.
What fears are holding you back?
Most of my clients have one or more of three fears. Wonder how I figured this out? I’ve had them all. Here they are:
- Being seen–This is a fear of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable by sharing who we really are at our deepest level; not the facade or mask that everyone sees, but our real fears, dreams and inner selves. Sharing our authentic self means stepping out and sharing our soul.
- Showing up–This means taking action, following through with our dream and living with the consequences. Often we are our own worst critic and we trash our efforts before we even take the first step. We see ourselves as incapable impostors when we actually have amazing strengths, talents and wisdom. Overcoming this fear means recognizing and acknowledging our gifts and talents. It means saying, “I’m a teacher and a darn good one. I can tutor your child and make a real difference in his life.”
- Being Criticized–-Just as we are our own worst critic, we often imagine that others are critical and ready to shoot us down. When we encounter criticism, (and we will), we take it personally and are often incapacitated by it. It becomes a reason to give up. Overcoming this fear means actually leaning into the criticism not running away from it. It means saying, “You thought the training I developed was not practical enough for your business? What could I do to improve?”
It’s imperative that we separate out the business strategies from the drama when we are building our business. We need to recognize our fears when they come up, so that we don’t give them more power than they deserve.
It’s not necessary to do battle with fear. We can recognize it for what it is…unrealistic thoughts that generate feelings. Then move forward…anyway.
Building a business is not easy. Creating a successful career is a lot of work. It requires you to be more than a dreamer. It requires you to become a dream achiever. But the reward is not just the business that you create. It is who you become in the process.
Fear is going to be a player in your life. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossible to reach and ridiculous to expect so we never dare to ask the universe for it. Jim Carrey
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