In this episode, we’re talking about the thing that’s holding you back from starting your own business and creating the life that you want.
You’re an ambitious WOC who’s already achieved a great deal of success. You crave the opportunity to create something that’s yours and make a great impact on your community. But you feel stuck when it comes to starting your own business.
So the question is what’s holding you back?
Fear is the number one reason why most people never make the decision to go after their dreams of starting a business.
Most people are afraid of failure. Starting your business would mean trying something new that may not work. Maybe you’re afraid of failing and disappointing yourself and others.
Another fear that may be stopping you is feeling inadequate. You may feel that you don’t know how to run a business and that you don’t have what it takes.
Maybe you’re not comfortable with the uncertainty and change that starting your own business brings to your life. You wonder if your family and friends will approve of the idea.
So how do you know if fear is what’s holding you back? Here are the signs to look for:
You procrastinate a lot
When you’re afraid of putting yourself in the arena because of fear of failure, success, uncertainty, judgment, criticism, or rejection, you’ll tend to stand on the sidelines where you feel safer. When you face fear head-on, motivation replaces procrastination. Your mindset shifts from I need to “make it happen.” To your natural desire for making a positive impact that inspires action.
You settle for less than your dreams
When you’re afraid to take risks and go for what you really want, you compromise in the name of being “realistic.” But settling isn’t realism; it’s a devastating symptom of fear.
You struggle to make decisions
When you’re afraid, you avoid making decisions that lead you to your goals. You feel uncertain about the outcome, so you do nothing. What you’ll discover on the other side of fear, though, is that uncertainty is the gateway to possibilities.
You are a perfectionist
When you’re afraid (of criticism, failure, and rejection), you’ll do anything to try to become “perfect.” Of course, the mask of perfection also stops you from what you most want: to be free to pursue your dream business
You say yes when you mean no
When you’re afraid to disappoint people you’ll fall into fear-based, people-pleasing, self-sacrificing behaviours that lead to resentment. But when fear is no longer running the show, you say no when it feels right for you.
You say no when you mean yes
When you’re afraid, you’re unlikely to take risks. You’ll feel the yearning to start your own business, but you’ll say no because you’re afraid to fail, afraid to succeed, afraid to get rejected, afraid to stir things up, afraid to get out of your comfort zone.
You get sick
Fear can trigger a stress response in the body that puts you at risk of disease and makes it hard for the body to heal itself. That’s why you can feel physically sick every morning if you have to go into a toxic work environment. This can have a long-term negative effect on your overall mental and physical health
Do these signs seem familiar to you? It’s important to realize that you’re not alone. Fear is present in everyone’s life.
But how can we overcome fear and use it to our advantage when it comes to going after our dreams of starting a business and living our best life?
Becoming aware of your fear is the first step to understanding how it’s controlling your life.
To help you become aware of your fears; make a list of them.
It could look like this:
- Fear of failure – I’m afraid of investing my time and money in a business that may fail
- Fear of rejection – I’m afraid that my family and friends will not think it’s a good idea and I cant to risk losing them
- Fear of change – Starting my own business will change my life drastically and I feel scared of that change
- Fear of ridicule – What if people think what I’m doing is stupid
Face your fear
When we have fear-based thoughts, our minds over exaggerate all the things that could go wrong. It’s important to address your fears in a realistic and rational way. Know that it’s natural to feel scared whenever you’re about to do something you’ve never done before. That’s just how your brain functions to keep you safe.
Think of the first time you drove a car or took an airplane. How did you overcome your fear? You’ll need to learn to do it anyway especially when it feels as scary as hell!
Focus on gratitude
Whenever you recognize fear in your body, think of gratitude. For example, if you feel afraid of failure, think about how grateful you are to be able to start a business that can improve people’s lives.
Gratitude and fear cannot co-exist, therefore being grateful is the easiest and fastest way to get rid of fear.
Feed your Dream
I often get the question “How did you get the courage to walk away from your job to start your business?”
My response is – You have to carve out time every day to feed your business so that it can grow bigger than your fears.
When you take regular and consistent action towards your dream business, you will reach a point where you’re no longer willing to settle for less.
Some of the things that I do to stay focused and inspired are: creating vision boards, journaling, meditation, and prayer.
Now I’d love to hear from you! How will you carve out time this week and every week to feed your business?