Feeling the fear and going on anyway is the best way to reach your potential. Fear is one of the difficult emotions that creatives and entrepreneurs have to face as they build their businesses and careers.
I had the privilege of interviewing Kathryn from Alyght about this very subject. She is a business strategist and coach, helping women get out of their own way to take their business and careers to the next level.
Kathryn has helped many clients face their own fears and work through them. She suggests one of the ways to start is to ask yourself “If I could do anything, what would it be?”. Then answer the question: “Why aren’t I doing that now?
We talk more in the podcast about what you can do next to turn the what if, into the now.
How to feel the fear and do it
It can feel like a huge mountain to climb to reach our goals when fear shows up. We worry about every small detail, and end up frozen on the spot unable to make a rational decision about how we move forward.
We can make excuses for ourselves, telling ourselves that “we are too busy’, “we don’t have any funds”, “we need more training before we can start”, or else “we need to do some more research”. Believe me when I say that you are not alone having these thoughts. I have had them all at some time during my career, and I know the damage they can have on your future potential.
Start small. Don’t jump ahead too far. Think about what the next small step looks like for you, and then take it. If that feels too scary, find a friend to help you take it, or join an online group of women also trying to do the same thing. Needing support isn’t a weakness, it shows that you are committed to moving to the next level.
Where does the fear come from?
Being able to identify where the fear is coming from is half of the battle. We tell ourselves stories to stop ourselves from moving out of our comfort zone. This was all very well when we lived in caves and spent our time avoiding being attacked by other tribes; but it isn’t very useful when we are trying to build a business we love.
Kathryn suggests making a list of Facts and Feelings. In the Fact column list all of the things that you are worrying about at the moment, the things that you think are holding you back.
Then in the Feelings column write a list of the stories we are telling ourself to stop us taking action on those things we want to achieve.
Next look through the Feelings column and pick out what are true stories and what are the stories we are telling ourselves that aren’t true. Take the negative thoughts and turn them around into positive ones.
Finally, take those new positive thoughts and write them up or turn them into affirmations that you read everyday. Put them somewhere that you can see them first thing in the morning, and last thing at night.
The problem with fear
Spoiler alert- fear doesn’t magically disappear. It will appear in those moments of self-doubt, those times when we feel alone, when we are trying something new, when we aren’t sure, when we have been asked to do something out of our comfort zone. The more that we grow and build our businesses and careers, the more it will show up.
The secret is to not let it take over. You have the right to decide how you respond to it. You decide if you are going to let it stop you, or get you feeling the excitement of change and pushing through the fear anyway.
If you feel that you need more support, Kathryn’s website has lots of great resources to help you out. You can access it here: Alyght.com
There is also a free worksheet for you to use to accompany this podcast.
Here are other articles that might help you as well
If you’ve enjoyed this free content and workbook, I’d love to raise my coffee cup to you.