Use this process to overcome fear

You’re going to struggle with certain varieties and degrees of fear over the course of your entrepreneurial journey.

It goes without saying that the entrepreneurs who know how to navigate these emotions will tend to be the ones that can stay in business longer.

After all, a common characteristic among the most successful entrepreneurs is their level of persistence despite the obstacles they face.

With that said, I want to share with you a process I’ve developed, so you can better navigate the fears, emotions, self-doubt, etc., you may face on your journey.

I’ll share this with you through personal anecdote.

I've been working on a side project which has led to a bit of anxiety and fear.

I wasn't sure if I should go ahead with it or not.

The initial investment was a lot of money (but not that large in the grand scheme of things), and it was really weighing on me.

“What if I invest in this project but then there's absolutely nothing to show for it?”

I grabbed my journal and decided to work through some things before the doubt and self-sabotage really crept it.

Here's what the process looks like

Grab a pen and paper and answer the following questions. Really try to dig deep into these questions. Don’t quickly just write the first thing that comes to mind and move to the next question. You don’t want to merely scratch the surface here.

1. What's the fear that you have?

2. Why does this fear really bother you?

3. What is the fear teaching you?

4. If you do these things, will your regret of not taking action outweigh your fear from the potential consequences after doing it?

Why this works

1. Defining the fear and writing it out helps you to clarify what's really standing in our way. When it's living in your head and you don't consciously acknowledge it, it will dictate your life subconsciously.

2. Bringing awareness to why it bothers you will help you to get to the root of the fear itself. Often, it's not really about the surface level "fear" we believe it is. It often acknowledges a need that is going unmet in our lives.

3. Fear can be good because it's actually there to teach you something. It gives you information about what you should or shouldn't do. But often, we associate fear with something bad, something that we should run away from. When you take the time to sit with it, you can uncover hidden opportunities and lessons that the fear may be presenting.

4. After going through steps 1-3, ask yourself if you've reached a point where you'd experience more regret by not doing the thing you wish to do. If the risks are still too heavy and you feel like you would be ok to not take action, then so be it. There's nothing wrong in that, and now you've actually given yourself the time and space to know if it's really worth your pursuit!

In my example, my biggest fear was that I'd come out of the project thousands of dollars in debt and with no product to show for it.

This scared me because I didn't want to experience a lot of debt. Having my own job for a few years that ultimately came to an end because of the pandemic has left a sour taste in my mouth for starting a new business.

However, what this fear was really teaching me wasn't anything about avoiding debt.

It was about de-risking the new venture to the best of my ability.

Being smart, doing my due diligence, writing a proper business plan, understanding the market desirability, feasibility, and viability of the idea, talking with experts and mentors, and creating a solid plan to pay off the debt - ahem - investment.

When I looked at these action items, my fear dissipated to the point that I would be more upset with myself for not going through with the project.

I'll be able to recover my financial costs, but I'd never be able to recover the potential opportunity and regret from having not attempted it.

I hope this process helps you on your journey.

Venture well,
Paul

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