Astronaut. Firefighter. Doctor. Movie Star. When you’re little and the world is a wide open field in front of you, the options for what do when you grow up seem endless. You think about your passions and you naturally set the bar high. So what happens over the course of your lifetime that keeps you from pursuing those big dreams?
Sometimes we grow out of those dreams naturally when we realize how many amazing career opportunities there are out there and where our talents lie, but, too often, we’re held back by fear. Fear of the amount of education required. Fear of the risks associated with the job. Fear of the competition. If you take a step back at where the journey of life has led you, are you happy with the paths you took? Or do you regret the fears that kept you from doing something more?
At The Growth Coach, we often talk to our clients about understanding your fears, overcoming them and using them to push your business forward in smart, sustainable ways. It’s hard – fear is part of our instinct to survive – but it’s possible. Here’s a simplified, three-step guide to get started:
- Identify Your Fears
The first step to overcoming your fears is understanding what those fears are and where they come from. Take the time to write down all the fears keeping you from taking that next big step. Are you worried about failure? Is your fear financially driven? Are you scared that you’ll let people down? Are you afraid of change? Identifying your fears can help you face them.
- Face Your Fears
Once you’ve figured out what fears are holding you back, it’s time to face them. Are your fears founded in reality (and, of course, some are) or are you immediately jumping to the worst case scenarios? We’ve found that, with our clients, it helps to walk through the worst case scenarios, the best case scenarios and then come to terms with something in between. Being able to figure out what’s driving those fears and then come up with counter-points or solutions to those fears can help you ground them.
- Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
In The Matrix, when Morpheus offers Neo the choice to take the red pill or the blue pill, he’s letting Neo decide whether to face the cold truths and reality of the new world (red pill) or stay ignorant (blue pill). Taking the red pill is hard because it means living in discomfort and finding ways to overcome challenges you might not have known you’d face. But the ability to do great things – and build great businesses – doesn’t start with the blue pill. You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
So if you are thinking about starting your own business, scaling your business, trying something new with your company, taking a new leadership position at work or breaking into something new, don’t let fear hold you back. Focus on having a growth mindset, set your goals, create your plan and take action.