business coaching

A Great Fear Killer

overcome fear and grow your business

It’s no secret that many things in life are beyond our control. While we cannot control what happens to us and the situations where we find ourselves, we can control how we respond to them. Positivity is a great fear killer. One could say that we do have some control over the situations where we find ourselves because often it’s based on our responses to past situations.

If you already know that 99% of life is mental, then there must be quite a bit that we are able to control. One of the most powerful ways you can walk through fear and be successful in all realms of life is by exercising positivity in the way you frame your thoughts and responses to situations.

According to the Mayo Clinic, researchers report the health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:

  • increased life span
  • lower rates of depression
  • lower levels of distress
  • greater resistance to the common cold
  • better psychological and physical well-being
  • reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

There is an exercise I have seen many times. One person asks the other person to hold their arms outstretched and keep them strong and firm. Then, the person is asked to think of a happy memory. The person who asks tries to push down the person’s outstretched arms. This is difficult. Next, the same person is asked to think of a sad memory while keeping their arms outstretched. Again, the first tries to push down the others’ arms. This time it is much easier. There is little resistance. It really is amazing the way our thoughts so powerfully affect us – even physically!

Aside from physical health benefits, postivity can make an enormous difference to the level of success you experience. Here are a few pieces of Shawn Achor’s article in the Harvard Business Review titled Positive Intelligence that I want to highlight for you.

“Research shows that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves.”

“Yet happiness is perhaps the most misunderstood driver of performance. For one, most people believe that success precedes happiness. In fact, it works the other way around: People who cultivate a positive mind-set perform better in the face of challenge.”

“Another common misconception is that our genetics, our environment, or a combination of the two determines how happy we are. To be sure, both factors have an impact. But one’s general sense of well-being is surprisingly malleable. The habits you cultivate, the way you interact with coworkers, how you think about stress—all these can be managed to increase your happiness and your chances of success.”

“Training your brain to be positive is not so different from training your muscles at the gym. Recent research on neuroplasticity—the ability of the brain to change even in adulthood—reveals that as you develop new habits, you rewire the brain.”

The other day, I was thinking about some ways that I want to grow my business online. My mind became so wrapped up with the incredible pace that online marketing and social media trends constantly change and I quickly became overwhelmed and felt like I was trying to run a marathon at a sprint pace. I had to remind myself how far I’ve already grown in a short period of time and that my pace will continue to quicken the longer I continue. Changing my thoughts calmed me down, gave me strength, and hope. However, this isn’t unique to me.

Keep this in mind as you go about your day. The next time you find yourself in an uncomfortable, upsetting, or annoying situation or simply battling negative thoughts in your head, think about how you can change negative self-talk to transform a situation and grow your business by shifting your perspective. I would love for you to share in the comments section telling how your thoughts have affected your business, positively or negatively.

Also, check out today’s 1-minute video and download a free ebook about overcoming fear on my homepage to learn how you can become a more positive person and lead a more successful life.

Here are links to the above-mentioned articles.

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.”

Know Your Reason Why

Tweet: Gain power over fear by knowing that the reason why you do your business is stronger than your fear @stellanovastrat. When you have doubts that what you are doing or the fear or pressure are getting to be too much, there is one place you can always go to get you through it. Think about the reason why you do what you do. When your reason for doing it outweighs any hurdle that comes your way, you will succeed. You may do what you do for your kids, for your future, for your health, or for something completely different. Whatever your reason, if it strikes you at your core and triggers a strong emotional response that tells you that you can never go back, then you’ve got what you need.

This can be a powerful way to get through fear.

Common Fears of Entrepreneurs

Starting your own business can be intimidating or scary for a number of reasons. You may be starting the business by yourself and if you don’t bring in the clients, you are left with very little or nothing. It can really do a number on your brain, especially when you’re in it alone. Common fears for entrepreneurs include: failure, success, inadequacy, financial provision, time, others’ opinions, and loss of reputation.

I’m not saying that the only people who battle these fears are those who start their own businesses but at least one of these certainly rings true for those starting or running their own business.

What can you do to prevent your fear from sabotaging you or your business? Click on this 75-second video to learn how to fight back when fear has the upper hand.

The Amazing Power of Negativity

Negativity is a powerful beast. It can kill your dreams before they ever take root, let alone blossom. So, should we use the negativity pesticide and rid it from existence altogether? I say no.

What good can possibly come from allowing it into your fragile chamber of hidden dreams? The secret is to use it to your advantage – which requires careful navigation through murky and potentially treacherous waters. During this process, I recommend working with a coach or friend who can provide a reality check and encouragement, to prevent you from going “to the dark side.”

First, sketch out your idea. Identify how it can truly benefit others.

Two, what makes it grrrrreat, and better than what the competition is already offering!

Three, think through the possibilities – starting with the positive outcomes. Be specific.

Now, if you haven’t identified obstacles, you may not have thought through your idea far enough. That’s ok. Keep going, do your homework, and talk to others who have gone before you in that industry or with a similar project.

After you've mapped out the potential positive outcomes, pick apart the possible negative outcomes, individually. As you walk through what could go wrong, let your mind run completely free, thinking of any and every possible way to avoid or overcome the obstacles, as well as ways to flip them on their heads. Jot these down, even if some seem completely wacko – you especially want to write down those ideas!

Once these are identified, utilize a coach or friend to make sure you’re not going too deep into the rabbit hole that you forget come up for air and clear thinking.

Before you start to lose hope or have a panic attack, remember what the benefits are to others. Others need the help that you offer. Keeping this in mind all the way through execution is key because it gives you purpose, and that can provide the persistence needed to see your plan through from start to finish. Also, remember the possible positive outcomes for YOU.

When you have completed this exercise, your planning process and idea will be stronger, and you will walk with greater confidence as you execute your plan.

If you have already gone through this exercise with your project, please post how it went. What were your results?