We are often taught that fear is bad. That when it arrives, we should run away. But in actual fact, real fear brings up a ‘fight or flight’ choice. This is true of running your own business. Fear is always present and we have a continual decision to make. Do I stay and fight, build my business and succeed? Or do I go and get a job because this just isn’t working out? It’s really hard to know sometimes what our fear is trying to tell us. So we’re going to help you watch out for fear when it's playing Good Cop and protect yourself when it turns nasty.
Change the Stories You Tell Yourself
One of the best ways to overcome your fear of entrepreneurship is to change the stories you tell yourself. The best person to teach you this is Tony Robbins, the worlds foremost success coach. If you really want to overcome your fears, watch the video below. I know it's a bit long, but it's worth it.
As entrepreneurs, we face two kinds of fears. I'll call them Good Cop and Bad Cop. The fear is real because you never know what each new day will bring.
Fear as Good Cop
This is real fear. Generally, you know what this fear looks and feels like. This is the fear that tells you to move out of the way of that car driving straight for you. This is the fear that is good to you, helps you out when you need it most and that talks to you in such a way that you get what it’s saying immediately. Good Cop fear saves your life or helps you understand that you are in danger. As an entrepreneur you won’t face this fear too often but when you do, it’s important to listen. It may be your instincts screaming at you as you sign a contract with a new supplier knowing that you doubt their ability to deliver your most important order yet. It may be ‘day of reckoning’ fear when you discover your partner has been siphoning off all your profits and you have no money to pay the mortgage this month. This is fear that is based on something real or on instincts. And you need to listen to it. It is trying to be good to you.
Fear as Bad Cop
Bad Cop fear is sneaky. This fear disguises itself as Good Cop fear but slithers its way in slowly but surely. This fear waits for you to be tired or have a bad day to make its appearance. It silently waits for you to be at your lowest before taking over your mind. And it does not let go easily. This is the fear that says bad things to you. It tells you that you don’t know what you are doing. That you aren't good enough. That no one would possibly want to buy from you. That you will never bring in enough money to make a living. Bad Cop fear preys on your insecurities and backs up all the negative self talk with real feelings. The sickness in the stomach, the panicked reaction and the weary, ‘I can’t possibly get out of my pajamas’ tiredness that overcomes you sometimes is Bad Cop fear making an appearance. And Bad Cop is delighted when the people around you join in on its game too. It soaks up their fears for you and makes sure you pay attention to the fact that they can’t understand why you are doing what you are doing.
But here’s the thing. Bad Cop Fear is not unique. It appears often and it appears for everyone. It does not always look the same but it is always hovering, hoping for a weak moment. The answer to dealing with Bad Cop fear is not to ignore it and hope it goes away while you stay hidden under your blankets. You must face it. And fight it. Recognizing when fear is just playing Bad Cop with you should help you see past its dastardly ways. If your life is not in immediate danger or your partner hasn’t taken all your money today, you can pretty much assume that Bad Cop fear is playing tricks with you again.
Here’s how you can make Bad Cop fear disappear:
- Breathe deeply. Repeat after me. ‘I am doing just fine. My business will be a success. Money will flow to me with abundance.’ If this sort of pep talk is not your thing, come up with another positive mantra that works for you in these moments.
- Walk away. Don’t run. Walk. Leave whatever you are doing behind and do something that you enjoy for a little while. Whether that is reading, listening to music, working out or cooking, just do it.
- Laugh. Just laughing will help you get out of the moment. And, if you are by yourself, you will feel more silly than fearful. That’s a good thing.
- Call a friend and talk about it. Tell them your fears and let them help you down off the ledge.
None of these techniques will make Bad Cop fear go away forever. It will always be ready for a return visit. But the more you look after yourself in the moment, the less grip it will have on you in the long term.
Don't let the Good Cop, Bad Cop routine adversely affect your business. Know when to listen to your fear and trust it. And know when to ignore it. Sometimes, it's just not real.
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