No entrepreneur is without FEAR!! The difference between success & failure is facing the fear, acknowledging the fear & doing it anyway!!
If an entrepreneur says they have never experienced fear, they are lying!! We ALL do!! It is how we handle that fear that makes ALL the difference.
What is FEAR?? Why is it important?? How can it help us….protect us?? How does our brain interpret & process perceived fear??
What does FEAR mean….the belief that one must protect oneself against almost certain loss, attack, disappointment, or death; the anticipation of misfortune or pain; something dreaded. Does that sound like something you have experienced??
The feelings that accompany the perception of FEAR are:
- Lack of trust
- At risk
- Not good enough
What words do we associate with FEAR, both external & internal??
- What if
- If only I hadn’t
- Being taken advantage of
- Isn’t it awful
- Protect yourself
- Don’t get cheated
- Pay attention
What does our brain typically do when we perceive FEAR??
The brain’s immediate response is “fight or flight” reflex. This is predominately right brain reaction & centers in the limbic system. It can manifest as the flight aspect – withdrawing, running, hiding, etc. or by fighting, antagonistic speech or behavior. While this reflex allowed our ancestors to survive in a hostile world, it can often overwhelm us & our common sense in today’s world. It can express itself in disorganized chaotic thinking & actions, we can look & feel frantic & out of control.
When the left brain is dominant, we feel an overwhelming need to feel in control, so we place rules and restrictions on ourselves & our world so we feel in control & therefore “safe”. Also, when left brain dominates, we tend to laser focus on one small detail thereby missing the big picture and positive possibilities. Conversely when right brain is dominant, we tend to see all possibilities…too much at once…and so are unable to focus on what action steps need to be taken to move forward.
While there is some integration between the right & left brain, most of us lean to one side or the other, predominately, in our thinking.
What we have talked about so far is the emotional/mental side of our feelings about “fear”. What about actual physiological responses?
Our adrenaline level shoots up which creates the jitteriness and shakiness we feel, our palms start to sweat, we feel queasy like butterflies in our stomach, we may have chest discomfort, our breathing rate increases and becomes more shallow, our heart races, we experience an overwhelming sense of dread, and we can get that “awestruck”….deer in the headlights….look!! (This is the “focus on small details and miss the big picture”!!)
So how are we usually perceived by others when we are in the state of “fear”:
- out of control
- control freak
- not calm
We can be perceived as any of the above!! Think about how animals are able to sense fear….they can sense the change in our energies.
There is a saying that FEAR is “false evidence appearing real”, and this is where we come to our senses!!
We evaluate the situation….is the threat real or just perceived?? What will it take to move on?? What can or cannot be changed to improve the situation?? This is where we must be willing to stand up for ourselves, make ourselves a priority, look to the positive. What can we let go of in order to move forward??
Fear can often look larger, more problematic, and more menacing than it actually is.
Now is when we try to put things into perspective.
We need an accurate assessment of the situation in order to make an action plan that will have the positive outcome that we want. This is where we acknowledge the fear, look it in the eye and move forward anyway. We need to feel safe, and nonjudgmental or dismissive attitudes allowed or we will feel we should be afraid and will not want to trust others.
We need to look for opportunities and put threats, or perceived threats, in perspective. We need an environment of openness and trust. Yes, we take the fear seriously, accurately assess it, face it, look for the opportunities, acknowledge the fear and move forward & act anyway.
Fear is the land of boundaries…so do we cross them?? Do we set them?? Do we walk away??
Fear can lead to frustration, distrust, chaos, defensiveness, insecurity, anxiety, anger hopelessness, etc. BUT it doesn’t have to!! WE control our fears, WE set the boundaries, WE look for the opportunities!! WE are in control…NOT fear!! WE make the choices!!
Here is how I handle fear & it works for me & it will for you too!!
- Evaluate the situation – really take a close look & accurately assess what is going on.
- What factors need to be in place in order for you to move forward??
- What do you need to let go of to move forward?
- What can or needs to be changed?? What can’t be changed??
- What is the positive side of the situation?? The negative side?? Make 2 lists – “Pros” & “Cons”.
- Are there boundaries?? Do we need to set boundaries??
- Can we accomplish this alone or do we need help?? If so, what kind of help??
- Make a list of the positive opportunities the situation affords you.
- Acknowledge the fear….remind it that YOU are in control.
- Make your choice to move forward or not!!
HOW WE HANDLE OUR FEAR DETERMINES OUR OUTCOMES!! WE MAKE THE CHOICES!!
I created JaeByrd’s Nest as a place where women entrepreneurs can come to rest a little, recharge, & gain perspective, in order to reboot their brains & make their lives more sane & fun & their businesses more successful!!
I hope the information in this post has been helpful for you. I am so glad you joined me on this Journey!!
PLEASE ask any questions you have, because you never know who you could be helping with your questions!! I WANT to hear from you!! You can leave a comment here or you can just email me at Jaebyrd@jaebn.com with “Fear” in the subject line.
I promise I will get back to you as quickly as I can!!