“I will not give in to fear. I will not give in to fear.”
This is the mantra that has taken hold within my head lately. As soon as I start to feel the talons of this emotion take grip, I close my eyes and begin to chant, “I will not give in to fear. I will not give in to fear.” With intention I release the fear back into the world and keep pushing forward.
Fear has always lingered in the periphery of my life. In some ways, it has controlled many of my decisions. I always chose the safe route; never putting myself in risky situations. Sleeping without a night light – not often. Driving over the speed limit – not really. Walking home alone at night – yeah right. Sky diving – hilarious.
This is why when people ask me what the hardest part of opening a brick and mortar has been, I always say, “overcoming my fears.”
I knew that this venture would be a risk. I knew that there would be good days and there would be bad days. I knew it would be stressful. What I didn’t realize is how much the psychological part of starting a business from scratch — with no real model to follow – would factor into everything.
Fear is a powerful emotion. It has the ability to make you question EVERYTHING. It makes you want to curl up into a ball and book a trip to some remote island. It makes you wonder if running away is an actual possibility. The farm is a good place to raise kids, right?
There are days I run multiple reports, check my spread sheets, look at my bank account, and start to feel like everything is going to get pulled out from under me at any moment.
Then I have a good day and I start to feel like I can conquer the world. I AM DOING THIS THING! I laugh in the face of my fears and want to spit in its face… ok maybe not that. Perhaps just awkwardly pump my fist and high-five myself.
It doesn’t matter how amazing my numbers look or how many good testimonials I receive or how many smiling faces I see walk in and out of my doors, that pesky old fear comes roaring back. It screams in my ear. It says things like “Who do you think you are?” “This will never work.” “You should’ve just stayed home.”
I hate those voices, but here is the truth – those voices are all mine. No one else is saying this… and frankly I wouldn’t let anyone say this to me. Yet, I do it to myself.
WE do it to ourselves. We manifest our fears.
But, what I’ve learned since I started this whole adventure is that WE can just as easily manifest success. We can push beyond this self-imposed barrier and try new things. We can push our boundaries and do the unexpected. We just have to find a way to be in control of these feelings and recognize that this is part of the journey.
You have to ask yourself what you are afraid of and why. Are you afraid to fail? Are you afraid of losing something?
What I have come to realize is that the only things that truly matter in life can’t be lost in a bad business deal or by speaking in public and forgetting your speech, or by writing a subpar book. I have also come to realize that while you can’t fail if you don’t put yourself out there, you also can’t succeed if you don’t try.
Taking a chance on what drives your passions is not the same as jumping out of an airplane — even if sometimes it feels this way.
So keep pushing forward and don’t allow yourself to be controlled by your fears. Embrace it and tell it who is boss. Then repeat after me, “I will not give in to fear.”
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