How to Overcome Fear if You Are a Women Entrepreneur
Fear can be a healthy response to a situation. It warns us away from danger, it heightens our attention, and it helps us focus on what’s important. And fear is a natural part of starting and running a business. The key is not letting it scare you away from trying! This article is a bit of a pep talk – I’m not going to sugarcoat it but I will help you succeed in spite of your natural fears.
Admit it, Business is Hard!
I know there’s a lot of talk out there about encouraging you, motivating and inspiring you. You hear it on every motivational Ted Talk: you can do it, you can live the life you want, you can have millions of dollars! But the truth is there are so many difficulties and challenges in running a business. Just motivating ourselves or hearing inspiration from others, is not enough to overcome our real fears or move us towards success.
The reason why it doesn't cut it is that sometimes we just have to call a spade, a spade. Just admit to yourself that it’s damn hard to build a successful business. It’s damn hard to build a business that gives you the level of freedom, authentic success, and money that you really yearn to have and deserve to have.
But often, what can make it so much harder, are all the negative thoughts we let roam around inside our heads. These unhelpful (and usually untrue) thoughts create fear and make us keep procrastinating and not doing things that we need to be doing in order to at least walk into the direction that we want to be walking into in terms of success. Fear, feeling inadequate, feeling we can't do it, that other people do it better, that they're better at it than you are, than you ever will be, that you're not the smartest, and on and on.
Being Afraid is Normal
We all have these thoughts! I was really surprised in my last online course when I heard from my students that they believed that women who are successful entrepreneurs do not have negative thoughts about themselves. This couldn't be further than the truth! Having these thoughts about ourselves is so normal and so common. The trick is not listening to these thoughts because if we did, they would simply stop us from ever doing anything.
Fear that’s based in negative self-talk can also trick you into thinking that you’re “feeling” something you aren’t. Fear will masquerade as avoidance (you know, when that stack of invoices is still sitting there from two weeks ago). Fear will sneak in as procrastination. You're never going to “feel” like doing the hard parts of running your business or tackling the pieces of your business that you have fear around. Maybe you’re dreading shooting a video, or you keep procrastinating around coming up with fantastic page offers; or you’re avoiding dealing with month-end bookkeeping. And usually the bigger the thing, the bigger the fear! Maybe you need to make a huge decision like quitting your day job to run your business full time. All of these things are going to be outside your comfort zone and you’re never going to be unafraid about any of these big decisions. But you need to make the decision, do the task, take that leap in order to bring your life to the next step.
Success is on the Other Side of Fear
Let’s first acknowledge the fact that this is scary. Sit with that for a minute. There will be fear, there will be doubt, there will be questioning, there will be negative thoughts. But this is the clincher: you do it anyway. Because there is no cure for fear but you can overcome it.
How do you move through it? The only thing that will help it to shift is taking action to do the one thing that is the most scary. I know it's a total contradiction, I wish it wasn't but it is. The one thing that will help mediate fear and bring it down from overwhelming to a manageable level you can live with is to take that action you’re afraid to take.
Fear is real. Fear is here. Fear is an evolutionary response that we all share. I just want to mediate it for you and I want to normalize it for you as well. We will only get over fear by taking action that scares the crap out of us.
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Who is Leslie Kuster?
I became a 7-figure woman entrepreneur in my 50s -- with my successful Back from Bali clothing brand! It took some getting real with myself to finally say, “Damn it, I want money!” Now I am here to ignite women entrepreneurs -- like you -- to experience the empowerment, independence and joy of creating a business that brings you both money and freedom. Read more about my story here.