We all have fears in business—whether it’s around the fear of failure, the fear of visibility, the fear of being too “salesy”… Whatever the case may be for you, we all have something that scares us and holds us back, so we quietly stay put in the shadows.
Unfortunately, when we’re quiet about our fears, we’re doing everyone a great disservice. First, we’re struggling alone, literally. Second, since we all have this fear of “not doing it right,” “getting it wrong,” or “making the wrong choice,” we’re blocking the flow of support and connection.
Today, let’s look at the one thing you must do so you can overcome your fears and be visible in your business so you can overcome your fears and step out of the shadows!
The One Question to Answer to Help Overcome Your Business Fears
As Dumbledor says: “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” Part of the reason you may be feeling your fears is that you’re afraid to name it, thus giving it power. Like suffering alone, keeping your fears a secret will help them replicate and grow out of proportion.
To overcome your business fears (or any fears, really), you must first discover what you’re really, truly afraid of.
When we dig deep into our fears to address what could possibly be behind it all, we’ll find surprising information that will help us overcome those fears.
Ask yourself: Why are you afraid of putting yourself and your business out into the world?
Once you get to that answer, keep asking why. Ask: Why can the thought of [your particular flavor of fear] be so scary?
You might be tempted to give a blanket, generic answer to this question, but I’ve found that only when I actually dig deeper do I understand my true resistance. And once I do, the only way out is through.
Success Tip: To overcome your fears, name it to remove its power over you.
Let’s start with an example of my own resistance.
How Resistance Manifests for Me
Fear: If I speak my truth, I could upset people. There might be people who unfriend or unsubscribe.
Truth: That happens all the time, so what’s really underneath my fear?
It turns out, my specific flavor of fear is around “The Nasty Comment.” I’m afraid of someone publicly writing a nasty comment in a place where others can see it, specifically about my personal life and choices.
That cuts deep, especially if I receive criticism from people I know and trust.
But now that I have a clear understanding of who and what I’m actually afraid of and what’s holding me back, I can create an action plan to move forward.
(Like I said, you’ll want to keep digging deeper into the specific whys, but you get the point for the sake of this example I hope!)
Fears that Could Be True for You
What fears might be underlying for you? Here are some I hear from my clients:
- I don’t know what to write / I’m not a good writer / I have writer’s block
- I don’t like my physical appearance / I need to change my appearance first
- I’m terrified of video / I don’t like how I look or sound on video
- Nobody will actually care about what I create
- I’m not an expert yet / I’m not an authority / I don’t know enough
- There are plenty of other people doing what I do, and I have nothing new to contribute / It’s all been said before
- I have a lot of people in my life who will cast judgement / I don’t want to attract negativity or haters
This is by no means and all-encompassing list, but I want you to know that whatever you’re experiencing, you’re not alone.
It’s essential to understand what’s really going on under the surface. For a lot of us, it can be really tough to put ourselves out into the world. That said, you are capable of finding out what’s going on to overcome those business fears so you can start living your success story and lifting others up with your business!
How to Move Forward and Overcome Your Fears
The act of naming your fear will give you some immediate relief, but to fully understand what’s going on requires deeper work. Once you have an idea of the initial fear or block, dig a layer or two underneath it to get a fuller picture of what’s really going on. That’s where the real good stuff is found — the sneaky, uncomfortable stuff that keeps us stuck and scared.
When you have a more holistic understanding of what’s holding you back, you can work on busting through your fears, whether it’s with a mindset coach, a therapist, or a more specialized practitioner who can help you claim the truth behind your fears so you can fly right by them.
Success tip: Keep asking curious questions about your fears. Only then will you be able to fully understand its nature so you can overcome it.
When I asked myself that first question, the answer brought up all kinds of emotions, but it also got me thinking about why we choose to let our fears keep us quiet. So many of us choose to be less visible in our businesses out of fear, even when we know that connection is what brings in clients and customers.
There are good reasons for all of us to feel our fears. At the same turn, there are even better reasons to do the work and overcome those fears!