As an entrepreneur, I can voice for all other entrepreneurs (start-ups or experienced players) that we keep waiting for opportunities. Why just entrepreneurs, each one of us want to grow big and stay optimistic for a big door to open. Yet, sometimes we get caught in the storm and an eye-hole escape gives a sense of assurance that we are doing okay.
Last 2 weeks brought some exciting opportunities for me. A mega-corporate invited me to address their women employees on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2020. Initially, I was excited, jumping and dancing everywhere; gradually the thought gripped me and excitement turned into fear. All sorts of self-doubt, and self-criticism started clouding my thought process making me feel nauseated. I had worked hard towards creating such opportunities and now was the time to give my best shot.
I can't let fear take over...
It was time to take a pause and breath.
Every time I get crippled by fear, I use one of the following tools, sometimes even a combination to get myself back into game:
Depression and anxiety are the results of worrying about past and future. By being mindful, we can live into the current and analyse the situation realistically. This allows to channelize the energies towards what matters the most, instead of wasting the resources in what happened or what may happen. Being mindful helps to know exactly what is happening. It lets us differentiate real fear from self-created fear. I created a time for mindful meditation to seek my answers of what was leading to this fear. By being with myself I could identify my fear, and accept it. In that moment I needed to relax to allow my fear to disappear.
One major reason of fear building inside us is the urge to fit-in instead of being the authentic-self. Fitting-in might feel easier but is extremely suffocating. I have tried it, felt it and also fallen flat. It’s an act of desperation where we keep looking for acceptance from others, without any guarantee of the outcome. To overcome the strong desire of fitting-in one needs to work towards unconditional self-acceptance. It was time to go back to my basics and acknowledge who I am instead of who I am trying to be. Do I need acceptance from everyone and burry myself under a huge burden? Or am I okay with helping women who need me? Fitting-in is not an option for me so let’s go authentic.
Know your why
Simon Sinek in his TED Talk – Find Your Why- shared the relevance of knowing your reason of doing anything. Whenever I get into any confusion or start doubting my action, I actively check my WHY. As my mind gets the clarity or the logic behind an action, I am able to shift my feelings and thoughts from negative to positive. Why allows to know the motivation behind an action which acts as a strong force in continuing with the action and taking it to the goal-post. After I reminded myself, my reason (or the Why) of supporting women, I could gather the courage to overcome my fear of being judged, and not being good enough. I could start thinking of the strategies on how to move from non-action to action.
One best way to overcome the fear and take maximum benefit of the opportunity right in front of you is to get curious. Ask questions like what is stopping me from taking this challenge wholeheartedly? What is at stake? How much am I willing to let go? What could be better ways of handling my fears? Whom could I approach to share my feelings? Doubt can’t stand curiosity.
As Brené Brown says, “Curiosity is an act of vulnerability and courage”
What are your strategies of managing your fear while maximising your opportunities?
Till we meet again.
I am a Holistic Wellness Coach and author of book – I Love Myself. I actively work with women to help them find balance, health and joy in life. I love to talk about ‘Progressive and Positive Mindset’ and ‘Finding Feminine Confidence.’ I hold individual and group sessions to guide in living a fun, fulfilled and flourishing life.
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