Fear Has a Bigger Bite Than You Realize
How we recognize and deal with fear is probably the most critical skill entrepreneurs can have. Being able to recognize fear and consciously taking steps to overcome it in any given situation is a part of being a successful business owner and a mature adult. But sometimes how to deal with fear escapes us, largely because we let it inhabit us too quickly and don't shed it fast enough.
The Fear of Not Being Liked
In the first meeting, a friend and colleague in the online world was asking advice about a referral source. Over the years this source of referrals has given her a lot of good business. Now, however, the quality of the referrals is poor and that's taking a lot of her time without earning any money. She wants to turn away or screen the referrals, which is a totally good decision on her part. But as we talked, fear took its bite out of her brain. “Maybe I shouldn't do anything, I don't want to make them mad. What if they stop referring anyone to me?” She lost her business acumen to the big bite of fear, and couldn't see that educating that referral source about good versus bad referrals was helping them respect her and work more smoothly with her. She couldn't see how to deal with her fear.
The Fear of Losing Money
The second meeting was a lunch meeting of a local group that wanted to tour one of the local honey places here. The cost is $5 for the tour. But the honey company also wants a guaranteed purchase of at least $50 from the group from their gift shop. This could easily be taken care of by just charging everyone in the group $10 instead of $5 to take the tour – the $50 minimum would be met. But before things could be decided, one member of the group got the big bite of fear. “What if I don't like the tour? What if I get stung by a bee? I might waste the entire $10 and I should only have to put $5 at risk.” This was said by a woman who had at least $30,000 of jewelry dripping from 4 fingers, her ears, and around her neck. She got everyone so irritated that the whole idea of the honey company tour was canned completely! Fear runs this woman's life – and it's irrational to begin with. She is extremely well off and owns two homes. Losing ten bucks is the least of her worries.
The Fear of Social Change
The third meeting was with a group of women who wanted to discuss immigration and why some immigrants seem to assimilate into US culture and some don't. One woman in this group got off on a tangent of “why are so many billboards here all in Spanish? They should at least be in English first and then in Spanish. Or maybe they should not have Spanish at all. Is this right?” The big bite of fear had gotten her – she is afraid of changes in her community that make her feel scared. She is scared of her community changing to a new normal.
The fact is, billboards in Florida have been in Spanish and English for at least 10 years. And all Spanish billboards are common in heavily Latino neighborhoods. and at least 5 years I've seen billboards in certain neighborhoods only in Spanish. The horse is out of the gate on this topic, and has been for a long time. But the big bite of fear keeps this woman focused on the small issue of billboards rather than the bigger issue of what our immigration policies are right now, how they might change, and how immigrants can succeed and thrive in a country that is foreign to them.
How to Deal With Fear So That You're Not Stuck
The big bite of fear will almost always force you to focus on the minor stuff and keep you from really considering the big issues that you must solve to be successful. Fear is a lower lever energy, and by its nature it is a dark energy – meaning that you cannot see the path that's best for you to take when you are stuck in fear.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself if you think the big bite of fear has you.
- What's the single most important thing I really should decide right now?
- Am I worrying about things I cannot do much about?
- Am I trying to influence other people by playing to fear?
It's really hard sometimes to remind ourselves that our job as mature adults and as business owners is to make decisions on the most pressing things, despite fear we may have about a smaller, related issue. It's also our job to remind ourselves that even as just one person we have a tremendous amount of influence and power, and we lose that completely when we let the big bite of fear grab us.
Fear is operational all the time. It plays to the base energy. In some religions fear is treated as the work of the devil because of its negative effects. In other traditions there's a rite of passage that includes taking an action despite being afraid – staying overnight in a forest alone, for example.
What's your biggest fear for your business in the coming month? How can you say no to the big bite of fear and turn that big fear into love and success? Because you can. Fear is always conquered by love.
Don't let the big bite of fear get you. It slows you down in ways you don't even realize.
By the way, if you're fearful that your videos over on YouTube aren't getting enough views, you can download my checklist and use it to help solve that problem.