If someone asked me to think back to the times in my life when I was most petrified, if I’m honest, at least half of them relate to running my own business! I can remember many a sleepless night, or a yoga session where I stared rigidly at the ceiling while everyone else relaxed, panicked senseless by the idea that I wouldn’t be able to make ends meet, and that my grand idea would end up a grand flop.
But do you know the funny thing? The more times you put yourself into fearful situations, the easier it becomes. Now, at this point I should probably underline, I’m not suggesting we all start standing on window ledges, or playing chicken in the middle of the road. But a little bit of healthy fear every now and again can be a good thing. If you can do something you were scared of, and not only live through it, but also succeed … you start to realise exactly what you’re capable of.
For me, it’s sport. On a daily basis, the things I do which most frequently scare me, normally involve some kind of sporting aspect. A roller derby game, a marathon, a triathlon. As I stand on the start line, waiting for the whistle, I am consumed by nerves. Not a full on fear, but enough to make my tummy wobble and make me worry I’m somehow going to fail. And yet do you know what, I rarely do.
This kind of self-controlled fear – where I’m the one who has put myself in the scary situation, can be really character building. Because the more times you succeed, and the more you achieve, the more capable you realise you really are.
And if you can run marathons, or jump off a ledge attached to a bungee cord … why shouldn’t you be able to launch your own business, or sell the world your idea.
It can be tough to find something every day that scares you (though sometimes the most insignificant things on my To Do list can seem pretty scary and looming, particularly where accountancy is involved!) But why not start tackling something once a week, or once a month which scares you. It doesn’t need to be business related. Maybe it’s a sport, maybe it’s a hobby, maybe it’s just going on a date with a complete stranger. Each time you do something which scared you beforehand, and yet you live to see the other side of it, reflect on how that has made you feel, and all the other incredible things you just might be capable of!