You must keep on doing what you feel a passion for, and stick to your plan.
You might not be where you wish to be at the moment, but one thing’s for sure: You’ll get there faster if you keep on taking action rather than if you do nothing.
Of course, it’s easier said than done.
That’s why I’m giving you some tools to keep you on track, so you don’t get distracted by fear and insecurity.
It might be helpful to keep in mind that nature has programmed our bodies to react quickly when we’re exposed to danger.
It’s a survival mechanism that ensures we don’t get eaten by predators, or that we move away before being run down in traffic.
Our spontaneous reactions have protected us through the ages, but they aren’t always appropriate in our modern society.
Becoming self-employed is, for many people, an uncertain process: You try something new, you stake your economic security for a while, and prepare yourself to being very vulnerable in many ways.
This sets off danger signals in our bodies, and fear rears its ugly head.
Negative experiences take up more space more than the positive ones.
Depending on which studies you may have read, it takes between two to ten times more positive feedback to make up for one piece of negative feedback.
In other words, your fear will be activated more frequently while you develop your business.
Your body’s spontaneous strategy will typically be fight, flight or freeze, which are seldom the best solutions to the challenge you might be faced with.
I have collected three effective and reasonably quick tools to steer your mindset back on track, back to a positive one.
You can use these, based on what lies behind your concerns.
The success diary
One of the things you can do to handle this type of situation is to start keeping a diary, or creating a document or file.
Here you should write down all your success stories, big and small, and gather positive feedback from clients, former colleagues, friends and family.
Writing and the reading these uplifting pieces will remind you that you’re good enough, competent, appreciated, can do it and so on.
This has a powerful and quick impact when you are troubled by doubt or fear.
The more positively you can look at a situation, the better.
It sounds trivial, but if you look at it every day, you’ll end up having a good, solid belief that you will succeed.
Your state of strength
Another exercise you can do is to find your own state of strength.
Your state of strength is the way you are when you have a surplus of energy and are in balance.
Think of a situation where you feel strong, have a surplus of energy and are in balance.
Try to describe how you feel in that situation.
How does it feel?
What are you thinking?
What do you do with your body from a purely physical point of view?
It will typically be something along the lines of you straightening your back, breathing calmly, smiling, relaxing, and thinking everything will be fine, and feeling positive about the future.
Next time you’re insecure, try copying this state by having the same body posture, thinking the same thoughts and doing the same things.
It might feel silly at first if you haven’t tried it before, but it works, because the body sends signals to your brain to improve your mood.
By actively using your body posture and mimicking, you can fool your brain into thinking that you’re happy.
You can also find an energetic song that makes you happy, crank up the volume and dance all you can for five minutes.
The latter I’ve done in periods when I was tired and needed to boost my energy before having to hold a coaching session with a client over the phone.
The specific approach
The third exercise you can do to overcome fears and insecurities is to be more specific.
Often, in our minds we can make a situation worse than it really is, and then we quickly lose perspective.
By being specific, you direct your mind to see that it’s not as bad as you’ve made it out to be.
1. Take a look at what you have to do, but fear will go wrong
2. Write down; On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely is it to happen?
How long the problem is likely to last, or how great will the damage be?
What can you do to reduce the likelihood of it going wrong?
For example, I was terribly nervous the first time I had to speak in front of many people.
But when I got specific about it, I found out that the likelihood of something going wrong wasn’t that big, as I knew my subject matter well and was prepared.
Worst-case scenario, I could read from my notes, and should that go wrong, the damage would be mostly to my ego and the participants, who would have been bored at worst – which they’d probably forget about quickly anyways.
Life goes on.
Last, but not least, I could reduce the likelihood of it going wrong by practicing and getting feedback from a performance coach I knew.
It ended up going quite well.
I was nervous and it could probably have gone better, but the audience was pleased and got what they came for.