What is your greatest fear about starting and or running your own business?
The Anatomy of Fear
Fear <a noun> is like a monster. A monster that spits out mindless chatter (often full of semi-valid arguments for why they should exist). A monster who shows up exactly when you least need it. It sits quietly in the back of your mind waiting to see how you will respond to it. And then, when you haven’t eaten all day, the washer machine breaks, or an emergency trip to the E.R. for your kid’s skateboarding accident happens, it shows up unannounced. The shy little monster with manners begins to take over your space with more clutter than know what to do with. And of course you’re exhausted, and off your game, so you start to feed him with some ammunition of your own. You begin saying things like “I knew I was stupid to think I could start my own thing.” or, “My Dad was right, I can’t make any money writing books.”
Here are some of the fears that were shared by women like you:
- I’m afraid that the products I create won’t mean anything to anyone. Not that people will either love it or hate it, but worse, that they will be indifferent.
- I’m afraid of having to go back to a day job; working for someone else if I fail.
- I’m afraid that I will let down my clients if I ever have to close up shop.
- I’m afraid of FAILURE. (The legit “f” word.)
- What if I give it my all and my all isn’t good enough?
Now you feel yourself slipping into that space you hate to be. The one where you are simultaneously overwhelmed, depressed, and feeling sorry for yourself. Then, once you are relegated to a tiny space in your own mind, you suddenly wake up. You realize that you must put your foot down. Sadly, it’s often too late. He has already taken over every square inch of your mental space. You have been thrown completely off course.
But I hear you pleading, “I want him gone, I really do.” What you don’t realize is that the more you try to fight him, push him down, spray mace in his face, the more venom he spits back at you. And now, they aren’t just the run of the mill fears that he is throwing at you. Now it’s gotten personal. Every deep-seated fear you have ever had is being thrown at you. All of those secret fears that you wouldn’t even want your closest friend to know about you, even though you know that sharing them her would be the most productive thing you could do…and...Bingo! There’s your answer. You’ve got it!
Becoming Friends With The Fear
Sometimes all it takes is writing down your greatest fear to begin to conquer it. Letting it sneak out of your mouth is another huge step. Letting other women hear and witness and mirror back the horror and shame you feel for giving it all your power. Staying balanced: getting rest, eating well, getting exercise, enjoying the sun. All of this helps tremendously.
But the doozy that gets him every time is to become friends with him–welcoming him into your mental space. Giving him just enough attention so that he doesn’t feel the need to act out, but not so much attention that you actually give in to what he is suggesting you do: “Just quit!” “Stop creating!” “Give everybody their money back!” “Stop dreaming!” “Your passion is lame!” “Go get a real job.”
Before you know it, he will regain his sense of manners, quiet down a bit and let can move on to accomplishing the things you want to accomplish. It sounds crazy, but just try it. It’s not so bad once you get used to it.
If you weren’t able to attend Sip, Savor and Serve, then we missed you! The other women missed you. Please please consider leaving a comment with the answers. We all need to know we are not alone. Now is your chance! In the comments section below, answer the following questions. I’d love to hear from you and hug you and give you that shove back onto the basketball court, as if to say, “Go get’em tigress.”
What’s your greatest fear about being your own boss? How does your body feel when you think about your fears?
Next Steps: For further reading on how to tame these monsters (or gremlins, as Rachelle calls them), check out Rachelle Chapman-Mee’s post over at Magpie Speak:
Magpie Speak: The Care and Feeding of Gremlins