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When confronted with something new, an idea, suggestion, or opportunity, I look for the reason it won’t work before anything else. I acknowledge it with “Yes, but...” the but usually being a short tirade depicting how ludicrous the idea was to begin with.
It drives my husband crazy, but more importantly it limits me. I don’t sit with the possibility. I don’t imagine how it could work. I let my fear of failure speak first and quickly say, “Yes, but...”
I declared this my year to embrace failure and this terrible habit is keeping me from my goals, but I'm tackling it head on. I’m sharing this because I suspect many of you have the same terrible habit.
So what do we do?
When you feel that sudden tightening and urge to quickly shoot down anything new; stop yourself. Take a moment and say nothing. Sit with the fear and get comfortable with it.
Then shift your mindset.
Think through the idea, is it really all that impossible? Probably not. A big task, maybe. A new direction, quite possibly. Requiring of new skills, hopefully.
I use two techniques to help me push through that fear. First I think through to the end result. What if I were to make this work? What would I gain? Where new possibilities would open up? How absolutely wonderful could it possibly be? Often that’s enough to push fear aside.
If I need a little more coaxing then I imagine the worst-case scenario, how bad would it really be? Chances are not so bad, probably something you could deal with, accept even as part of being a creative entrepreneur. Sometimes by imagining the worst-case scenario you see that you can easily avoid pitfalls by preparing for them, even better.
However, if even after taking time with the idea, imaging positive outcomes, planning for inevitable pitfalls, you still feel that deep down, gut wrenching fear. You must ask yourself if there truly is a reason you shouldn’t push through. Trust that gut instinct. Although if it’s just the “yes, but...” fear yelling louder, take a small step forward, notice that the sky hasn’t fallen, your friends and family still love you, and the world is not laughing and pointing at you. Everything is fine.
Keep taking small steps, each one will get easier.
Fear is natural, but if we let it rule we accomplish nothing. Instead we must act even though we are fearful.
What will you tackle this year?
Genevieve not only writes The Savvy Entrepreneur she is the Co-Founder of Lightbox SF where she empowers creatives to take over the world. Check out the blog or how to work with her.
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