Today, I’m talking about fear and when it stops you moving forward in business.
Maybe your fear is around networking? Or perhaps you get it when thinking about delivering a talk to a group of people at an event? Maybe it’s fear about recording videos for your Facebook page or website? Or even just getting started with launching your business?
Whatever the fear relates to, for you, firstly I want you to know, that you’re normal.
Even though you can feel like the only person in the world who seems to be struggling with this, you’re not.
Or prefer to listen via the podcast?
To feel fear is to be human, it’s what you do with it that counts
In fact, part of what it is to be human is to experience emotions like fear, anxiety, happiness, sadness, anger – they are all normal feelings.
So even though what you’re feeling, feels very uncomfortable at times, it is just an emotion. So what we’re talking about is not eradicating an emotion completely because, in the right circumstances, fear and anxiety are very useful indeed.
Instead, what we’re talking about is having an appropriate level of anxiety for the task in hand.
So….if you’re someone who has struggled with fear and anxiety in the past, to the point that you feel it holds you back in your business, and in life too, then I’m guessing that you may have searched on Google once or twice “How to overcome anxiety” is a pretty common search term. You may have read one or two books on the subject. You may even have sought out therapy, or been to the doctor. But despite all that, the thing you’re anxious about still doesn’t seem to be going away. It still has the power to trigger you at times?
If you’re pretty well read up on anxiety, I’m going to ask you to do something…
I’d like you to take a breath, and just put all that you know, and all that you think you know…about anxiety, to one side. And as you read the rest of this article, do so, not with just your head but your heart as well. Because this is going to appeal to the part of you that has innate wisdom, the part of you that’s able to understand things on a less cognitive, intellectual level, and in more of an abstract way. We all have that ability. It’s an innate resource within all of us as human beings.
So allow that part to be present now.
A very powerful resource that we humans have is imagination – which is designed to enable us to focus our attention away from our emotions and creatively problem solve our way to solutions.
Imagination is a resource nature gave us to help us get our needs properly met. In other words, its there to be used as a force for good.
Now, the thing is, we’ve come to misuse our imagination, and instead of drawing upon it to think creatively and come up with ideas and insights, we get stuck in the feeling of the emotion bit.
You see, it’s not the ‘thing’ that is actually causing the fear, it’s the thoughts about the ‘thing’ that are doing it.
So picture the ‘thing’ that you’ve felt up to now has caused your anxiety. Be it a situation, a person, an activity.
Bring it to mind now.
And whatever it is that you’re thinking of right now…. that is not causing your anxiety.
I know it seems like it is.
But actually, it’s your thoughts that are creating that for you.
It’s a very clever trick of the mind.
Because when you think about it, if that situation, that person, that activity were responsible for causing that reaction in you, then they/it would also be responsible for causing that reaction within every single human being that comes into contact with it/them.
And of course, that’s not true, is it?
So if a thing or a person or a situation is not *zapping* the anxiety into us, then it really is just a thought, generated by us in that moment.
And that thought….is fleeting.
We know thoughts are fleeting – because how many times has someone given you the name of a book to read, or the name of a website to look up, and you think “argh I need to write this down, or I’ll forget”.
That’s because thoughts are fleeting – when we leave them alone.
So just leave them alone…because it is just a thought…and what’s a thought, really? A puff of energy?
But what happens is we mess with those thoughts and give far too much attention to them. Anything remotely worrying or disturbing, we metaphorically pull it out of our head and say. “What does this mean, what does this mean???” and then it becomes a something, a great big something.
When really, it was just a thought floating along, minding its own business
Until we meddled with it.
So.. do let that settle, as I said this will appeal to the more metaphorical, abstract part of your mind. Let it settle, and see what you notice as you absorb this later today, or in the next few days, or even weeks.
Let me know how you get on. I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment (or at least say ‘hello’), over on the Facebook Page.
Until then, keep learning, keep developing, and most of all….keep going!
Sarah Swanton is the founder of Happy Healthy Entrepreneur, an organisation that supports small business owners to successfully navigate the ‘inner journey’ of being self-employed, so they can do their best work with clients and have a business that supports them, not exhausts them! For more information about how you can work with Sarah click here ==>