Following your passions, listening to your heart and soul’s purpose, and even throwing caution to the wind when following a whim can be great for spontaneous, inspired living. Too often, however, people take huge risks in the name of following their heart’s desire, without realistically addressing the risks and fears. In the pursuit of following our desires, we lose all semblances of common sense and just hope and dream that everything will work out.
Fear can often be our friend. It can be a useful tool to help us discern when we are unprepared – perhaps putting ourselves in financial or emotional danger. Fear can also run rampant, totally out of control without context if we don’t address it head on, and confront what we are really scared of.
Tapping into creativity and following one’s gut is paramount in building a successful business, but you’d better have a plan too. If you don’t, fear can come up and paralyze you, and rightly so. In business, fear is often an indicator that you are off track, that the extra expense wasn’t planned for, or that a customer isn’t going to pay.
I want to share a practical way to address your fears and the risks of following your dreams.
- When working on a new project, list all of your fears.
- Discern which ones are ‘real’. For example, maybe you think I won’t have enough money. Or No one will like what I have to offer.
- Address each fear with a plan of action. Maybe you save for three extra months or cut costs before venturing out. Or, perhaps you do a bit of test marketing to discover what your clients really want.
If you discover the fear is totally unfounded and it is a subconscious or pattern in your life, then you can find a way to ease your fears and start taking small daily steps to build up your confidence and calm the fears.
Perhaps you have a fear of starting your own business. That might be a a realistic fear with lots of real dangers – but if you’ve got strengths, talents, clients and expertise in your field, then you’ll have confidence to build from. (No clients yet? Go get just one. Nothing calms entrepreneurial fears like a paying client!)
It is amazing how a plan helps turn fear into butterflies – life plans built from excitement rather than from unnecessary worries.
When fear comes up to bite you in the face, don’t just turn your back on it, or just plow through and ‘do it anyway’. Take a step back for just a day or a moment, and determine what that fear, if anything, is trying to tell you. Then, when you’ve addressed the fear with a plan, you’ll discover it magically disappears. I call this following your heart, and using your brain!