Fear is an emotion. Many times you may feel stressed or afraid without really knowing the cause.
Well, you’re not alone.
Even people who have all the signed and accolades of “success” experience fear. So whether you’re millionaire or a new entrepreneur, I want to share with you these 5 fears and some things you can do to counter them
Fear of the Unknown
Fear of the unknown is one of our greatest fears. When we don’t know what’s ahead, we often let our wandering mind take over. Our imagination goes wild with one scary “What if” after another.
- What if he doesn’t like me?
- What if I don’t make this sale?
- What if I get laid off?
On the other hand: What if he does like you? What if you do make the sale? What if you do keep your job?
Which scenarios do you focus on? If it’s the first three, then your fears are in control.
Follow these tips to lessen your fear of the unknown:
- Know what you want and how you want to get there. When you know what you want, you’re anchored and focused. You aren’t blown willy nilly by the slightest breeze. You act rather than react.
- When you get in your car to go somewhere, you can’t see the entire route, but you aren’t scared to start the car, are you? In the same way, make a plan to achieve your goals and get started on your way. If you have to take detours, so be it!
- Be prepared. Planning ahead naturally helps to reduce your fear of the unknown.
- Go ahead and allow yourself some “What ifs” and make contingency plans for probable The difference here is that you’re preparing solutions in advance, not simply worrying about everything bad that can happen. You’re making it easier on yourself.
- Example #1: Keep an emergency kit in the trunk of your car with a flashlight, flares, tools for minor repairs, and a first aid kit. Do regular maintenance to keep the car running smoothly.
- Example #2: Add funds to a savings account regularly so that you have the money to cover emergencies. A good goal to start with is to accumulate an amount equal to 3 months of your household income.
- Be flexible. Keep your plans flexible so you can adapt them if need be.
- Seek solutions. When challenges arise, devote your time and energy to finding workable solutions, rather than fretting and worrying. Worrying won’t get you anywhere.
- Nurture your curiosity. When you’re curious about something, you feel a sense of excitement. Life is an adventure! Become curious about what adventures lay ahead for you and you’ll look forward to whatever may come, rather than dread the worst case possibilities.
- Live in the moment. Yesterday is already done and tomorrow may never come. All you have is the present. Every moment is precious, so make every moment count!
- When you immerse yourself in the present moment, you don’t even think about – or fear – what may be around the corner.
- The best example I’ve ever seen about living in the moment is the movie The Peaceful Warrior. The movie is based on the life of Dan Millman, a world champion athlete.
- When a tragic accident leaves him paralyzed, a mentor appears who teaches him to live in the moment. Although the doctors say he may never walk again, Dan stuns them all when he uses his philosophy to become a world class athlete once again.
- Not only can living in the moment eliminate your fears for the future, but it can also propel you toward a life of happiness!
Fear of Failure
Are you preventing yourself from pursuing your dreams because you’re afraid you might fail? One of the best ways to lessen this fear is to know with certainty that you’re going to succeed! And the best way to have this confidence is to set S.M.A.R.T. goals.
What are S.M.A.R.T. goals?
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for the ultimate goal setting technique.
Here are the 5 steps for setting S.M.A.R.T. goals:
- Avoid generalities. Rather than saying you want to run faster, you can say that you want to be able to run a mile in four minutes flat.
- You should be able to measure your goal so that you know when you’ve reached it. If you want to save more money, then put a dollar figure on it. If you want to lose weight, then state how many pounds you want to lose by a specific date.
- Regardless of how big your goal is, divide it into attainable micro-goals. If you want to lose 20 pounds, then make a monthly goal of losing 5 pounds each month for 4 months. As you reach each smaller goal, you’ll be motivated to keep working toward the bigger one.
- Do some self-reflection here. Are your micro-goals realistic for you? Be honest for the best success!
- Set a timeline for your goal. In doing so, it will keep you focused on achieving each micro-goal, while helping you brush away distractions.
Here’s an example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal: I will save $50 per week by depositing the money into a savings account. It meets all the criteria above. If my bigger goal is to save $2,500 in a year, the smaller weekly goals will get me there in 50 weeks. It may seem like a long time, but success is more than possible with a rock-solid plan.
Also, you’ll want to be flexible with your goals. If you need to, adapt your plan – there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s better to make a new plan that will work for you than to worry about failing in your original plan. Your success will reduce your fears and spur you on to completion.
Realize, also, that everyone has some sort of failure in order to really succeed. In reality, the same mistakes you fear might be the one thing that brings about your success. Overcoming challenges often gives you the ideas you need to succeed.
For example, Thomas Edison tried hundreds of times to invent a commercially viable incandescent light bulb. Each failure taught him something that brought him closer to success. How do we remember him? Do we think of his failures on his journey to success, or do we think of his success – the light bulb?
Changing the way you think about failure can help transform your fears into success!
Fear of Change
Another biggie that affects many of us is the fear of change. Does change make you uncomfortable, even if it’s a change for the better?
One of the best ways to get more used to change is to initiate changes yourself. Start with small changes in your daily routine.
- Take a different route to work.
- Try a new food. You might like it and find a new favorite.
- Read a book or play a game instead of watching TV.
Think of these small changes as adventures. Little by little, you’ll get used to making changes on a regular basis and discover many pleasurable consequences as a result. These good feelings will start to replace your fears.
The idea is to build your tolerance for change. Soon enough, you’ll find that you’re looking forward to more and varied experiences, and even the big changes will be easier for you to handle without fear!
Fear of Lack of Support
Sometimes you may fear that no one will support you in your pursuit of your goals. This fear may be unfounded or it may have some vestige of truth behind it.
Here are some tips to help you get to the bottom of this fear and take action to stop it:
- Discuss you feelings with loved ones. The trick here is to first determine why you feel the way you do. Talk to the people that you’d like to support you. Find out the truth – will they support you or not? Let them know what you desire in terms of support.
- If you get positive feedback, set mutual goals with the other person. By involving your close family and friends with your goal setting, you’ll be far more likely to gain the support you desire.
- If you get negative feedback, ask them why they feel that way. Work out a plan together that eliminates the obstacles holding back their support.
- Perhaps it’s a fear of their own that prevents their support. Work with them on reducing their fear.
- If the reason is because they think you need to further develop your knowledge or skills first, then take the advice to heart. Are they right? If so, proceed with further education. If not, show them how qualified you are.
- You have four options: Act on the advice of others, come to a compromise, prove yourself and your qualifications, or find another support network to rely on.
When you’ve put everything out in the open like this, your fears will lessen because you now have the knowledge you need to deal with any lack of support, if it exists.
Fear of the Worst Case Scenario
One of the greatest fears that can paralyze any of us is the biggest “What if” of all: the worst case scenario. However, just as with the fear of the unknown, remember that most of these fears never come to pass.
Take these actions to bring the fear down to a size you can handle:
- Stack the odds in your favor. Give your project more of a chance to succeed than to fail.
- Do your research on the best ways to succeed with the project or venture.
- Further your skills or knowledge before starting the project.
- Get your support network in place.
- Set your S.M.A.R.T. goals.
- Take action on some small, achievable tasks to jump-start your successes in your plan.
- Be prepared. Make your contingency plan for a quick recovery just in case.
- Figure out your recovery plan if the worst case scenario does If you fail in a business venture, how long will it take you to regroup and move forward? If you don’t get the job, what are you going to do next?
- Weigh the risk with the reward. Is your reward of a more fulfilling life worth the risk of a few months of hardship if things don’t work out?
- In many cases, you’ll discover that the risk is worth the reward.
Once you’ve stacked the odds in your favor and you’ve prepared for a quick recovery, you’ll feel more secure and you’ll be ready to move forward with confidence.
So what do you think? got a few more fears to add to the list? Shoot!