Are You Afraid?

images-1Let’s face it leaving the security of your job to go into business for yourself can be downright scary. In fact, it can be scarier than that first time you took your parents car out of the driveway without a co-pilot. But whether you are buying a business or taking that first solo foray onto the freeway, once the fear is dealt with, the risks soon begin to diminish in your mind.

“Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” —Dale Carnegie

 Too often, we allow fear to justify the inaction that eliminates risk. Risk can be managed to produce results. Inaction can never produce results. So how does one, when making important decisions, overcome the natural tendency toward fear?

I have always thought that, in business, there are three types of fear that get in the way of decision making: Fear of Change, Fear of Failure, and Fear of Self.

UnknownFear of change. It’s the fear of that first cold shock as you dive into a swimming pool. Before you get in, you might walk around the pool several times testing the water with your hand. Next you sit down at the edge of the pool and first you put one toe in and then your foot and after a few minutes you drop in up to your waste. The minor discomfort of adjusting to the water temperature prevents you doing what you actually WANT to do!  You fear only the change, not the result. Meanwhile everyone else just dives in and the shock is over with in a blink.

If you are considering change, you have reasons. Those reasons are compelling, or you wouldn’t be considering the change. Focus on your desire to change. Don’t succumb to fear and fall back into indecision.

“By changing nothing, nothing changes.”-Tony Robbins


CEvIUcoWYAAfBxLFear of Failure. It always amazes me that most people think of failure as something soul crushing and life ending. Anyone who is successful will tell you that the key to success is …failure! It’s true.  An old proverb says:

“Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.”

You will fail in business. You will fail during the first transaction. But it will be the last time that you fail at that. And you will go on to fail again and again, all the while building an inventory of practices that have been perfected by failure.

 If you are afraid to fail, your successes will be few, common, and unmemorable. Lorii Myers


Fear of Self. The thought that it takes someone better than you to succeed is completely self-defeating. Before General US Grant’s first Civil War battle, he found himself terrified of meeting the enemy. But as he approached the enemy’s location, he found it had been abandoned. Grant realized that Confederate Colonel Thomas Harris was “as afraid of me as I was of him.” Grant would write later, “From that event to the close of the war, I never experienced trepidation upon confronting an enemy.… I never forgot that he had as much reason to fear my forces as I had his.”

41-300x200Don’t sell yourself short. Others do not possess mysterious powers that you lack. If you have a track record of success in your career or in life, you are just as likely to succeed at starting up a business as the successful entrepreneurs that you hope to emulate.

“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” ― Vincent van Gogh


Fear is real, but it is merely an obstacle to be overcome. Change is destiny, failure builds strength and you have the power to succeed.