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Mindset 6 – Dealing with fear

In business we will all experience failure and our biggest fears will be challenged, whether that is public speaking, cold-calling, negotiating, dealing with complaints or sacking someone.

It’s important to acknowledge that fear is dangerous; it can paralyze and stop us doing what needs to be done. The fear of being not good enough is the driver of procrastination and perfectionism.

I recently read that we are actually only born with two fears; loud noises and the fear of falling. This is not the same as the fear of heights, just the fear of the sensation of falling.

Everything else is learned. And, we can unlearn it.

Humans fear what we don’t know and often over-react to pain. For example, if someone complains about our prices we lower our prices to everyone, when actually only 15 or 20% are unhappy. This can cost us our business.

Being successful in anything means learning to be comfortable outside our comfort zone. An Olympic Athlete does not win gold without constantly pushing themselves past their pain barrier. In the end they get used to it.

We can look at fearful things as an opportunity to open new doors and grow as a person. And, remember what we are fearful of is probably what our competition is too weak to do; it’s where we have a competitive advantage.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Profits come from risk
  • Everything is a test
  • There is no failure, only feedback
  • Everything is relative

To make a profit we must take a risk. We need to manage our risk but not look to eliminate it.

Having the attitude that everything is a test takes the pressure off.

Expect 80% of what you do not to work. That way you can get it done quickly and without risking much. If you are going to make mistakes do them quickly and without wasting much time and money.

Also treat failure as feedback. If you make a cold call and get rejected look at this as an opportunity to learn what doesn’t work so you are closer to finding out what does. Failure is defined by a timeline and tomorrow is a new day.

Everything is relative because we are always comparing when we make decisions.

So, it is worthwhile asking ourselves is what you fear really worth worrying about?

What is the worst that can happen?

Whether it is a new positioning strategy, new logo, higher price, cold call or anything else how does that compare to being in Afghanistan dealing with the Taliban?

I think our soldiers have the right to be fearful, we don’t and if we are fearful of business then perhaps we are wasting our time and should go and get a job.