5 Ways to Crush Fear and Get Your Mind Right
Any time you are about to make a change in your life, or do something outside of your comfort zone, fear comes up.
There’s no shortage of articles, videos, podcasts, books, and programs on how to overcome your fear as an entrepreneur, and for good reason. Fear can be a sign that you’re doing something correctly, because you’re coming up against a belief that you have that is holding you back somehow. It’s common to be afraid of failure, of not making enough money, of making the wrong decision, and even that you don’t know what you’re doing. What I’m interested in is where these fears really come from, because what they appear as on the surface isn’t really what they’re all about. Rather than just pumping yourself up to push forward and power through or over your fears, I think one of the best things we can do is truly understand how they developed so we can get rid of them for good, and make the path ahead a little bit clearer.
Going after what you’re passionate about and chasing your dreams is no small feat. It takes a lot of courage to leave the safety and stability of a conventional path and job behind in favor of creating your own.
There’s no question that it can be daunting. We can top this off with, as Millennials, growing up in a social media world where we’re all exhibiting our accomplishments to each other and playing the comparison game for whose life is more outrageously awesome. So, we’re also feeding the fears of not being smart enough, cool enough, pretty enough, you name it. There are constant opportunities to feel like we just aren’t where we want to be, or that we’re not going to get there.
One of the biggest fears I had to overcome was the fear of what people were going to think of me. The fear of being judged is a huge one for so many people, but especially when you’re stepping up to the plate to do big things and really put your ideas out there, you become an ace target for the opinions of others, and unless you learn not to take them personally, it can be really challenging. I haven’t talked publicly about my experiences with this, but I’ve also experienced cyberbullying firsthand. Generally speaking, people tear other people down because they’re not feeling great about themselves. It doesn’t have much to do with what you’re actually doing, but that fear of being criticized is real, because it still doesn’t feel good. The Millennial generation is the first to really face down cyberbullying, and basically it’s one person projecting their fears onto another person, which then causes that person to also develop or grow their own fears. It’s a cycle. However, any fear can be broken.
The big secret? Overcoming fear is all in your mind. Change your thoughts and you will change your life. What you perceive is what you believe, so you better make it epic.
Fear of judgment, fear of failure, and fear of change are three of the biggest human fears out there when it comes to going after your success. Here are my top tips for shifting your mindset to overcome your fears and keep your thoughts positive so you can crush:
1. Change is good.
One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to accept that change is the only constant in our lives. We can embrace it, learn to see it as an unfolding adventure, instead of something jarring us out of comfort, and allow it to be what it is. Change facilitates tenacity, creativity, and resilience. These are three character traits you absolutely need to have as an entrepreneur, and as any person who wants to have an impact in the world. You have to be willing to bend a bit, trusting that you won’t break, and trusting that whatever you experience is contributing to your growth so you can show up more fully for the huge success that’s coming to you.
2. The process is your plan.
You know the saying “roll with the punches”? That applies here. If you can let go a little bit and not try to control things that are beyond your control, you can see that there’s something valuable to gain from everything you go through on your journey. The whole experience of just doing it, alone, is its own process which not only transforms your life but you as a person. It might not look how you expected it to. In fact, more often than not, it’s not going to. It’s good to have your vision, but always leave room for it to be negotiated on, and in particular, for it to be better than you imagined. It’s a ride you just have to flow with. Follow your heart and embrace your mistakes. There is no other way.
3. Trust yourself.
Having confidence is a number one key to accomplishing anything. If you can’t trust yourself, you can’t trust anyone, because you’re the one in charge of your life. It can be a hard thing for people to really believe in themselves in the face of fear, but if you are truly moved by the work you’re doing, and feel passionate and lit up about the impact you’re having, it becomes a lot easier to not focus on yourself. At the end of the day, it’s not about you, it’s about what you’re creating. So rather than criticizing yourself, lift yourself up and stay focused on the next steps ahead so you can keep working towards your goals.
4. Be patient.
Nobody’s path is a straight shot! And it doesn’t happen overnight! Truly most anyone you admire has worked hard to get to where they are, and it took them time. There’s a reason for that — sometimes we have to grow and change to really be ready to step into the role that we’re aiming for. If we got there before we were ready, we might totally blow it and wile away our finances or make poorly informed business decisions that could have been easily avoided. It also goes without saying that you can’t really plan life, and referring back to number one, things constantly change. You change, your goals change, your views on things change, and it’s one step at a time. One day at a time, one task at a time, one goal at a time. When you stay grounded in the small steps it becomes easier to not be freaked out by the larger picture, because you’re always on your way there. It will come to you when you’re ready.
5. Failure isn’t the end.
Even if you do fail, which at some point in your life you will, it’s not the end of your story. It’s a necessary part of your growth. If you don’t understand failure, you don’t understand entrepreneurship, or business, or life, because it’s a reality. That doesn’t mean you will fail, it just means that it’s possible, and embracing it is a hell of a lot easier than living in constant fear of it. If you do fail, what happens? You get back up and start again. I failed. Then I founded Elite Daily and my entire life changed. I owe so much of who I am right now to that failure, and I’m grateful for it. It was a catalyst. It was the motivation I needed to really kick myself into high gear and take full responsibility for myself and what I wanted to do. Sometimes that’s what it takes. Often that’s what it takes. So look at failure as a potential ally, rather than an enemy. You don’t need to focus on it, but just trust that if it happens, it’s not for your detriment, it’s for your knowledge.
Here’s the truth: if you trust in and believe in yourself, have faith in what you’re doing, and take it one day at a time, there is absolutely nothing that you cannot do.
So long as you embrace change and stop worrying that failure will ruin your life, you’re already 80% of the way there. The rest is dedicated hard work, refining your vision, and having a blueprint for your success. Fear is a sign that you’re leaving your comfort zone, which is a place where revolutionary ideas and innovative creations do not usually happen. Staying there would absolutely be to your detriment. Get your mind right, keep it positive, and every time your fears come up, shift your thoughts away from yourself and onto the impact you’re going to have and move forward.