Fear is poison and part of everyone’s DNA. Our ability to conquer it allows us to live free. Our ability to make money is also derived by our ability to be fearless in business. While you can make money working for others, you will always be limited unless you get rid of the fear of the unknown and go work for yourself. Taking chances is what life really is about, discovering new things and making connections along the way. I think it was LIFE magazine’s motto that summed it up best…
“To see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to, to draw closer, to see and be amazed” – Walter Mitty
This motto is the ultimate message on how to overcome FEAR and while it is staring you in the face for decades, very few really understand its meaning. We, as human beings, are simply afraid of things we don’t understand, and therefore the only way we can overcome our fears is by understanding them. We do so in three easy phases.
The best way to overcome fear of anything is understanding what you are dealing with, and information is key in this process. The more you understand something, the less it is emotional and the more logical it becomes. Meaning that you assign values to what you understand but none to things that are unknown.
Lets define this from the entrepreneur standpoint. Working for yourself is unknown and seems very risky in nature. While it may seem as such to begin with, the more informed you become on the process, the more you observe what others have done, the more you understand the logistics behind making it work. Therefore the less scary it seems eventually.
Curiosity is the first step to overcoming your fear.
Taking the Plunge
Once you have collected enough information and as a result built enough confidence to take the plunge; you come to a cross road where you are obligated to face your fear, and the only way to do so is by trying to actually do what you fear failure in.
By trying, you start understanding the dynamics of the situation and realize that success or failure is actually driven by belief coupled with your ability to deal with being uncomfortable. The real issue that many people have with this phase is their inability to deal with the pressure of not knowing when it will all end.
Taking on entrepreneurship is, after all, an open-ended game until you choose what the finish line looks like. This is difficult for many who find the uncomfort unbearable and find themselves giving up and returning to the known and comfortable zone they had.
Repeating the Process
While failure may have been imminent as we all will fail several times before we actually win, the result of the failure makes you realize that it wasn’t that bad, and that perhaps that unknown feeling is now familiar. It allows you to self-reflect back on your actions rather than emotions and look at the same equation understanding why you failed.
This now re-enforces your belief that you must try again and you now have the answers you seek. Reality is that you really don’t but your belief system is re-enforcing your decision to try again which is good. You will need to realize that the more you fail, the faster you get up and the more you try. It is simply in our nature to do so.
The reason why many never make it to this stage is because they don’t try at all. Think of this as a video game, the more you play, the less you can put the controls down thinking you now know how not to lose or beat the level you are stuck at.
This is your survival instinct kicking in, and while it may not kick in fully if your ass is not against a wall, it also is still within you and you are provoking it until you put yourself entirely at stake. This is typically why most people succeed once they cut their lifeline and put themselves entirely at stake. Their survival instinct kicks in entirely then.
Understanding yourself and why you currently can or can’t do things enables you to take many leaps forward and eventually leads you to the success you seek. The hardest part is simply taking the first step.