Fear /ˈfir/Noun

An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

I hadn’t seen my family in Croatia for over 10 years, but last summer, I was fortunate enough to be taken on a vacation to my home town of Split. I was really looking forward to going,  but getting on that airplane to fly over the pond, was REALLY difficult. You’re probably asking yourself why? It was because of my debilitating fear of flying.

My fear was not irrational nor unfounded. In 2009, I had a terrible flight from Akron/Canton to Saint Petersburg, Florida. We hit the tail end of a hurricane, the plane plunged a few thousand feet,  leaving passengers sick, screaming and bleeding. I was really shaken up – physically and emotionally – and after that nightmare flight, I developed a fear of flying, so much so that I had been unable to get on a plane again. My aerophobia was so debilitating that hours before a planned family vacation to Paris, France in 2011 I had a meltdown and canceled my flight, leaving my family to go without me!

So last summer I decided it was time to face my fear. I knew if I got to the airport and changed my mind about flying, it would be okay, but at least I was trying. I had been holding on to this fear and couldn’t let it go, but once I sat in my airplane seat, I was enjoying the thought of seeing my family soon and the fear was gone. I would have missed out on so many memories and experiences if I had allowed the fear to takeover my life. By reading a lot of self help books (my personal choice being the Bible)  I learned not to live in fear.

There are many types of fear, and as an entrepreneur, we face many of them. But to be successful we must overcome them all.

The main categories are:

The Fear of Risks

-You need to put obtainable dreams and business plan goals into action.

-That means that you don’t drain your savings on a new project, but you do consider some low cost options that can move you forward (new self made website, social media marketing, and joining some network groups)

-Stick to calculated risks, not over the top ones

The Fear of Failure

-It’s ok to make a mistake – no one is perfect and mistakes do happen, but make sure you take actions and have a plan for how to fix them and learn from them.

-It’s ok to have self doubt but you have to push through and overcome it

-You have to do “you”- there will be moments that you may disappoint your family, friends, co-workers or even your clients, but the person that matters the most is you.

Fear of Change

-Challenge yourself to do something different. Sticking with the “same old” is likely to lead to boredom and a lack of forward motion.

-You need to train your mind to push that anxiety and enter into a new comfort zone.

-Change is uncomfortable, but the more change you experience, the more comfortable you become with it. Not all change is good – but most of it is!

Fear of Saying No

-Allow yourself to say “no” to others so you don’t over commit yourself. That way you can give your attention to what’s important.

-You don’t have to give everyone PTO every time they request it.

-You don’t have to engage with every potential client.

-You can say no to tasks and jobs you don’t want to take or don’t have time to

We have all experienced fear – of flying; of being interviewed; of taking a risk; or presenting a speech, but at some point if we are to move on we have to overcome it.

Fear should never stop you in your tracks. If you have a stressful or risky situation then analyze it. Find the cause of the feeling of fear and address it. Some times that means asking for help from a friend, family member, or co-worker, manager, consultant- and it is ok to do so. Asking for help is never wrong.

But ultimately fear is a favor – it pushes and stimulates us. So take your fears and embrace them.  Don’t let them hinder your performance. Admit you have a weakness, that is an opportunity to improve. Find out where it stems from and leverage your learning to improve yourself.

Push yourself to never stop or give up, but to push on forward to benefit yourself and those around you. Having help and support leads to the ultimate success.

If you are struggling with fear in any area of your life give Jager a call at (440) 385 6737 and ask us to give you a hand. And if you’re fearful of making the call…….get someone to make it for you!