This past summer our family went to Colorado for a vacation. Our oldest daughter lives there and this was a chance for our entire family to experience the beauty of Colorado. I have to say – we had an amazing time. We packed in a ton of things to do during the 5 days we were there. We went hiking, soaked in a hot spring, drove through the Rocky Mountain National Park, attended a Colorado Rockies baseball game AND rafted down a portion of the Colorado River. And it is this last activity that got me to thinking how I could conquer my fears in my business.
First, let me set the stage. I had never been white water rafting. My two daughters both have during church mission trips and both got popped out of the raft. I DID NOT WANT TO END UP IN THE RIVER like they did! So when I went to research where we could white water raft, I made sure there would be little possibility about this happening to any of us.
I found the perfect trip on the Colorado River outside a very small town called Kremmling. It seemed like the perfect fit – it was half a day, rapids were between Class 2 and Class 3, time on the river was about 2.5 hours and it went through a very scenic area called the Gore Range. An area you cannot see from the road. Sounded perfect – so I booked the trip.
Keeping in line with my very cautious personality, the morning of our big adventure, I began to get nervous. As we drove to Kremmling, I kept trying to assure myself that it would be fine. The moment of truth came when we finally launched the raft onto the river. It was then that I realized I was dealing with some VERY irrational fears.
Here are three facts I should have kept in mind to keep me from these irrational fears:
- I researched the trip before hand and it was chosen based on our level of experience, length of the trip and rapid class.
- This company would be out of business very quickly if people were injured on their trips
- There was a boy in the front of our raft who could not be more than 3 years old. If the parents thought it was safe for him, surely I should be okay.
It wasn’t until after our guide told us we had gone through the “roughest” rapids that I began to relax. Looking back, I wished I was able to conquer these irrational fears because I think I may have enjoyed our rafting trip even more.
Well…maybe next time.
Conquering Fears in Business
When I returned home from our trip and dived back into my business, I started to think about all the irrational fears I have (or had) surrounding my business. I decided in order to keep these fears in check – I would keep in mind this rafting trip. And bringing it one step further, I developed a plan for the next time I faced a fear in my business.
One of my fears has been around posting or publishing content. There I have said it. I can’t tell you how many posts I have started that have not been seen by anyone except me. I have gotten close a few times to hitting the publish button but always got second thoughts. I started second guessing myself so instead of publishing the post, I would tweak it. Reread and tweak it. Compare it to others. Reread and tweak it. You get the picture. It was never perfect enough to actually post.
How to Conquer Fears
1) Recognize The Fear
In this case, my fear was publishing content. But it could be any fear you may have in your business (i.e. public speaking, client meetings, not knowing enough, etc). The list could go on and on. The important piece here is to recognize it is a fear. If you are not doing something in your business and attributing it to an outside cause, perhaps if you dig deep, you may find that it is actually a fear holding you back.
2) Determine the Cause
Next figure out what the real cause is behind your fear. In the case of publishing content, I developed quite the conumdrum for myself. What if no one read it? What if someone DID read it? Seems ridiculous, right? But remember, I am talking about irrational fears. In either case, the fear boiled down to being judged. In today’s world of the internet, being judged is certainly a real issue and concern.
3) Put the Fear in Perspective
Putting a fear in perspective can really help. Like the rafting trip, if I kept the 3 facts I listed above in mind perhaps I would have enjoyed the trip just that much more.
What about writing posts? How could I put this in perspective? I started with a little research. According to some stats – OVER 2 MILLION posts are being published every day. That is a crazy big number. There could be a real possibility that my post is not read by any one (except maybe my Mom – thanks Mom!). And the flip side is that my post does get read by someone. Okay – so how does that help with my real fear of being judged.
4) Reframe It!
Reframing a fear is a great tool. In the case of publishing a post, here is how I reframed it.
As I write this post, I am not writing to the millions upon millions who may read my post (if only – right?) I am specifically writing this post with the idea that my best client or friend is reading it (or people like her). I know that the experiences I have had in my own business are very likely to be challenges for “her” as well. And that instead of being judged – she will probably read this post and hopefully relate to something I said here. In some small way, perhaps I am helping her move over some hump in her business.
Using this framework – writing posts AND publishing them have become a bit easier for me. Sure, as I get ready to hit the “publish” button, I feel that fear rising up a bit. But now that I know what it is and how to control it, well here goes, I AM HITTING PUBLISH!!!
I would love to hear back from you.
What about you?
Do you have fears holding you back from accomplishing something in your business?
How have you managed them?
Do you think following the steps I outlined might help you to conquer this fear?
LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!