Have you ever thought about why people like to be scared – especially on Halloween? We watch scary movies but clinch our teeth and cover our eyes when it’s too much. In haunted houses, our throats drop to our stomachs and we let out screams as zombies and ghosts jump out of nowhere. We create the most gruesome costumes for Halloween parties. We love the shivers and tingles Halloween fears and scare tactics cause within us. It seems like the entire month of October thrives on them and our society enjoys being genuinely scared. Halloween is just around the corner, and the joys of fear have come back yet again like a zombie coming back from the dead. We spend the entire month trying to be scared, yet it seems we spend the remaining 11 months of the year avoiding real-life things that scare us. Things like trying a new hobby, starting a health or diet regime and even starting or running a business can all paralyze us with fear.
Most entrepreneurs are continuously dealing with their greatest fears surrounding starting a business. A 2010 article in Entrepreneur Magazine listed the top five fears of entrepreneurs as: fear of failure, fear of economic uncertainty, being your own boss, business consuming your life, and staying afloat. How does one move on/through such fears?
Entrepreneurs have to remember failure doesn’t hold power over you; it doesn’t change who you are as a person. It’s not being down, it’s staying down that makes for failure and a business-owner can overcome failure through a well-thought out and executed plan – of any kind. Failure can be unpleasant, but it is also an opportunity to achieve great accomplishments and stretch beyond our boundaries. Break through the ghosts and zombies of failure and start making your business dreams come true.
How we deal with our fears is similar to the way we are able to shake ourselves off and even let out a chuckle after watching a scary movie or walking through a haunted house. We change our attitudes towards our fears. We remind ourselves the ghosts and zombies are only in our minds, and we hold the power. Here are five ways tackle the fear of failure:
1. Talk to Others
A great way to get comfort from your fears is by talking to others who overcame similar fears successfully. Join entrepreneurial and professional groups to get support and knowledge from your peers.
Research your industry and all the potential outcomes. Understand the possible outcomes of failure and all the benefits of success. The unknown is a major cause of fear and the more you know, the less you’ll have to fear.
3. Have a Safety Net
Create multiple options so you won’t be surprised or caught off guard when things don’t go as planned or as intended. Daring to fail doesn’t mean risking everything, it just means risking intelligently. Let yourself know you have the means around obstacles that may appear.
4. Get Specific
Set specific goals and deadlines to push you to get things accomplished. When you’re trying to get to a place you’ve never been before, you plug the address in a GPS and get step-by-step direction to get you there, giving you confidence on your drive. Similarly, your goals are your destination and by planning the steps you’ll take to get there, you’ll have more confidence to take the path.
5. Climb On
The hardest step is the first one. It’s a lot like rock climbing. Start by building your confidence and take small manageable steps. Take moments to rest if you get tired, but don’t give up on the climb. You’ll never reach the top if you never take those first steps.
What is your biggest Halloween or entrepreneurial fear?
This is part 1 of our 5 part “Entrepreneurial Fears” series. Keep on the lookout for our next post!