Advantages to Fears in Business

How does fear play a part in your life and business?

What is it that stops you from really tackling your fears or desires? Why do they continue to linger with no resolution in sight?

When you’re in the middle of a dark place or feel like nothing is changing no matter what you do, it’s easy to feel like it will be this way forever. When the light at the end of the tunnel is nowhere in sight, how can you be sure it’s really there? We become complacent and stuck in our fears instead of stretching for the freedom we receive when we overcome them.

This is where your foundation is there to save you, and if you find that you don’t have one or that it’s shaky, create a new one.

A strong foundation will get you through the dark, scary, and rocky times – both in life and in the life of your business. This starts with knowing who you are, what you believe, and specifically the direction you are headed. Since none of us can accurately predict the future, we won’t know where we will actually end up but if we don’t even know the direction we want to go, we will toss and turn with an identity crisis that keeps us running in circles instead of moving ahead.

If you do have a strong foundation, go back to the truths that you do know. On what is your business based? Do you have a mission statement and a vision statement? Are the core competencies of your business written out? If you wrote these truthfully, cling to them as you walk forward in the darkness. You will eventually find the end of the tunnel.

If you don’t have a strong foundation, this is the best time to create one. You need to sit down and do some honest brainstorming with yourself. Forget what everyone tells you that you should want or the way you should do something.

Write down what you know is the core of who you are and how you yearn to use your gifts and talents for others. Once you let your defenses down and are honest about who you are and what you want, reread the thoughts you wrote down.

Start whittling it down and see the words, themes, and ideas that arise as a pattern. Boil it down to a few words or a sentence for each of the key areas you find. This will likely also reveal what is holding you back.

Use your findings to clarify your mission and vision. Use those to guide your decisions, thoughts, and actions about your business. You now have the beginning of a strong foundation that will keep you steady when you go through doubts and trials.

When you get to the heart of your fear, you can face it. When you face it, you can finally begin to move forward with a strong momentum and the work gets easier. You become more pulled than pushed.

So, the advantage to having fear in your business is that it can ultimately lead you back to your foundation or help you create one. This is powerful because it can be a springboard for the growth you desire and provide fulfillment.

There is an exercise I offer in my free ebook Step Through Fear into Success that focuses on digging into the heart of the reason why you’re never able to cross something off your to do list. It will help get you moving in the right direction. When you uncover the deeper reasons why you aren’t able to move forward, you can then begin to cut out whatever is holding you back.

Take Smaller Bites

What is a good approach to starting something new? Are you working on creating a new habit or starting something entirely new?

When you think about what you want, it’s easy to get really pumped up about it. Once you start walking out the day-to-day, that can be a different story. Suddenly, there are other people/fire drills/priorities that pull you away or at least distract you. Now, this big, exciting, shiny, new goal you want in your life seems like it’s moving further away and you don’t know how to bring it back. It can be frustrating and disheartening.

Three things to help you with this right now: 1. Prioritize the 2-3 most important, specific tasks you need to accomplish today and write them on a sticky note or dry erase board. 2. Give each of these tasks a time limit that you will spend and set a timer when you start working on them. 3. Do not let yourself do or think of anything else while the timer is running for your important tasks of the day.

While you have many tasks that need to be accomplished each day – some planned and some spur of the moment – when you boil it down, there are usually two or three that MUST happen. Maybe every Monday it’s setting aside time to write your blog or schedule your social media for the week. It may be a spur of the moment task like putting together a pitch for a lead that you just received. Whatever it is, try to prioritize by what is most important for me to do today for the future success of my business. You may want to include 10 things but I’m telling you, pick three at the most. The remainder of your 10 items should go to a second or third tier priority.

I know how easy it is to let an important task consume all of your time. It may end up taking extra time than you planned, but often when you have a deadline, you will do everything in your power to meet it. Setting a timer can help you stay focused and push other distractions away. When it is the sole focus and you don’t have all the time in the world to work on it, you will do more work – and faster. My ebook gets into more detail about how much time you should set aside for each task to keep things manageable.

With 24/7 technology beckoning us, it’s easy to be scatterbrained. When you notice a thought trying to creep into the forefront of your mind that has nothing to do with the task at hand, either push it out and get back to work or jot a short phrase that will remind you of it when you finish. Turn your phone to silent and don’t check email during these bursts of time focused on your priority task.

What do you do to stay on track or get back on track? Click on the video for a critical piece of the puzzle to keep you moving forward and gaining momentum.

To be or not to be...Successful

Why do some people become successful while others do not when they start from the same place?

Even when two people grew up in the same or similar environments, they likely have drastically different thoughts and thought processes going through their minds. We often hear stories of siblings who grew up in an abusive environment and one sibling fell into depression or aggressive behavior that seemed to ruin his/her life while the other sibling thrived and climbed out of it by becoming stronger with everything endured instead of clinging to a victim mentality – because that will get you nowhere fast.

While there are obviously a lot of factors beyond your control, there are many things you can control.

It may not always seem like it but we really can control our thoughts. It begins with an awareness. Initially, it will feel like you are making your brain hurt as you focus on becoming more aware of your thoughts as often as possible. Keep a sticky note near your desk, on a bathroom mirror, or on the end table by the couch with a reminder to pay attention to your thoughts. There are two specific ways you should consider paying attention to when you do this exercise:

1. Pay attention to your thoughts and situations to see what situations, people, conversations, and times of day trigger an emotional response for you like anger, fear, or anxiety.

2. Pay attention to your thoughts to see what learn what thoughts seem to blip through your head just for a second – often unnoticed – but now you’re gonna catch them since you’re paying attention. (I am very curious to know what you discover when you do this, so please add a comment below.) You will find all sorts of interesting things popping up that you previously had no clue about, it’s kinda weird.

Once you do this, you’ll begin to understand what is holding you back. The two keys I’ve found to be most helpful after you’ve done this exercise are focusing on positivity and persistence. Learn what takes you into a negative place and then find ways replace those thoughts and responses with positive thoughts. Plan in advance where you want to be and what will motivate you to get there. I suggest writing it down or having an image somewhere near you to remind you to stay positive.

At that point, the key is persistence. Change may not happen right away but if you keep at it, the change will come. Download my free ebook to learn more about how to harness these to become more successful in business and in life.

To quote my ebook, Step Through Fear into Success, people who succeed… “choose to let their imaginations lead them to heights others no longer believe are possible. This allows them to find opportunities that others overlook or never saw in the first place. They do not stop at obstacles and say, oh well. They find a way over it, under it, or around it.”