On Tuesday we explored what courage can mean to a business owner. Courage is knowing that there’s danger, feeling the fear, and then going ahead anyway.
But, being courageous is different from being fearless.
When I look back at my career and think about when I was afraid, but pressed on anyway, those situations mostly worked out OK.
What is more interesting is that it’s a slightly different story when I look back at times I took a big leap and I was totally confident about it. No fear. No questions. I couldn’t see any bad potential outcomes. I was fearless! In those situations, my success rate of achieving what I set out to do is much lower.
Truthfully, many of my worst failures came when I was 100% confident — when I was totally fearless!
FEAR IS NOT A BAD THING.
When you feel fear it’s your body’s way of telling you, “Watch out! You might get hurt.” That happens anytime you are trying something new, making a big
bet investment, or putting yourself out there.
Nothing moves forward without taking some risk, without plowing new ground, without being vulnerable. When you feel fear you are likely on the right track. You’re scared when you are trying something big, something that matters to you. When you trust someone (your team) with your baby (business) that’s scary!
We all got here by either ignoring that fear or by telling it to go sit in the corner while you went ahead and did the scary thing anyway and that’s perfect. Fear doesn’t mean stop. Fear means double check your safety harnesses—then do it anyway.
My speech and debate coach in high school (yeah, I was one of those people) would tell us before every speech, “If you’re not scared I don’t want you out there!” She knew we were always going to feel nervous or anxious, but that we had to do it anyway.
Is there something that’s got your stomach in knots? You know you need to do it, but it’s risky? You might look foolish but it could also be great? Take these steps
- Stop right now and write down the first three steps to take to get started. Don’t worry about getting the steps perfect. Just write whatever comes to mind.
- Put time on your calendar to do those things. Today.
- Then, hit reply and tell me about it. Take a picture of your scribbles if you have to! Show me where you have it on your calendar. It’ll help make it real to you and (bonus) — you might even bring me to tears.