If you’re just starting your business and working on getting clients and defining your business and figuring out how to talk about what you do and what it is you really offer, the fears can be huge. They’re probably things like:
- What if I’ve picked the wrong business?
- What if everyone else is successful and I fail?
- What if I’m not enough to do what I’ve felt is my path?
And you’re likely to think that once you’re settled on your business and you’re getting clients and have a pretty steady income, everything will be fine.
The good news is that it definitely gets better in some respects. Yea for that!
However, I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and I can tell you that fears and “stuff” can come up when things are going well, too.
When money’s coming in and there’s a steady stream of clients, the fears that come up are typically things like:
- Do I deserve this?
- Who do I think I am to have all this and strive for more?
- What if this all disappears tomorrow? What will I do?
No matter where you are in your business or what the specific fear is, when one comes up you’re tempted to contract, to stay where it feels safe. To play small.
When this happens, the typical response is to push the fear down and do your best to move on, to roll over it. And that might even look like it’s working, especially in the short term.
But that’s an illusion.
Three things happen when you do that – and they may have much more of an affect on you than you realize:
- You invest a part of your energy in keeping the fears down, not seeing them, pushing past them.
Imagine that when you wake up each morning, you have 100 units of energy to invest that day in whatever you want. Well, except that you’re using 30 units to hold down all those fears and thoughts from the past. And 25 units are managing those worries about the future and what might happen. And 10 units are tied up in your anger and frustration with your partner about what happened yesterday.
You’ve just woken up and you only have 35 units of energy – about one-third of the total – to use to create new materials for your course, take the next step to build your list, follow up on your warm letters and write those emails. Oh! And you want to interact with your children. And you need to run errands after work. And have a real conversation with your partner. And exercise. And your body needs energy to maintain (or regain) its health.
No wonder you feel tired! Your energy’s spent before you start your day.
And it’s not just your energy – it’s your attention and clarity, too. All that chatter in your mind that distracts you and interferes with your focus comes from your fears. It makes everything feel harder than it has to be, a struggle, like trying to run through water.
Pushing something down and not looking at it does NOT mean it’s no longer there.
- Your decisions and choices are influenced by these fears.
Even though you may feel like you’re moving past them when you push them down, the fact that they’re still there creates a sense of contraction that shades your perspective.
For example, you have an idea that you feel really excited about. When you’re feeling positive and in your power, you’re likely to go for it in a big way. You feel up to – even excited about – making changes and finding better ways to do things.
However, when there’s an undercurrent of contraction, you have thoughts like, “Maybe I shouldn’t try something that ambitious.” “What if people don’t like it and I alienate them?” “This is probably too risky.”
And you play small. You contract. You try to stay safe.
- They don’t go away. In fact, you’re actually holding them in place. And you add to them.Those thoughts and fears you hold down are like a magnet for other thoughts.
– I can’t believe I still have that fear! After all the work I’ve done!
– I’m so stupid! Nobody else thinks like this!
– I’ll never get away from this! I’m stuck with this horrible darkness forever.
– If my clients could see me now, they’d run the other way!
Burying all that stuff creates a less-than-ideal foundation for your business. And your relationships. And your life.
And it makes you dream about selling everything and go live on a quiet beach where the only question you get asked is, “Would you like a drink?”
Or it keeps you feeling really, really stuck.
Know this – you don’t have to stay there. You CAN build a solid foundation.
How? Download and read my free ebook (the link is on the right hand side of this page). There are a lot of great suggestions there.
And stay tuned. I’ll be announcing a new course soon addressing these very things.
Great piece, Sara.
Thanks, Carol. I’m so glad you liked it.
I look forward to hearing about your new offerings. Thank you for a thought-provoking article Sara.