This is a reprint of Susan Sherbert’s business humor column from Caypen Magazine
As an entrepreneur, you have to be wiling to travel on whatever road will get you to your destination. No one wants to experience pain so most people avoid it whenever possible. When they see pain headed their way, they instinctively head towards the road to pleasure, even if means they are heading in the wrong direction.
Entrepreneurs don’t let fear scare them off course. They don’t question their internal navigation even when the road looks like it might be going in the wrong direction. They may not always take the right path, but they try to avoid roads that go nowhere, or ones that lead to a nice safe spot, where you might want to stop and stay for awhile.
Pain hurts, pleasure is a lot of work, and both are full of uncertainty. It is this unknown that makes people uncomfortable. If they don’t know whether something will bring them pain or pleasure, most people will forgo any and all pleasure associated with the situation and choose to stay right where they are. That is not a trait of an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs acknowledge that they are scared, or feeling uncomfortable, but they don’t avoid the situation. They assess the fears and look for ways to take precautions, because they have learned to be careful – not fearful! There was a lady who was afraid of the water, so she avoided going out on boats. When everyone else was enjoying a cruise around the harbor, her fear kept her safely on the docks. Then one day she faced her fears, by doing something as simple, as picking up a lifejacket. She realized that if there ever was a problem, all she needed to do was wear a lifejacket. The lifejacket would protect her. How simple was that? Wear the jacket, get on the boat and enjoy the ride. She learned to be careful instead of fearful.
Another view of conquering your fears is to do what little kids do and take big huge leaps of faith. Most people call them “baby steps” but there is nothing small about the effort and passion with which a toddler learns to walk. They may be unsteady on their feet and yes, kids do take small little “baby” steps, but it is simply because they have tiny little feet and short little legs. Baby steps are no small feat and fear and apprehension are nowhere to be found. Each small step is tackled with vigor as their entire body moves forward full of determination and purpose.
Small unsteady steps on the right path are far better then stumbling down the wrong road. Babies and entrepreneurs understand this. You don’t hear either one complaining, that learning new things is too hard, or that falling down might hurt. They don’t give up because they are tired, and they don’t try to justify why it can’t be done. Toddlers and business owners aren’t afraid of failing because for them, there is no other option. So try and try again they must. They practicing placing one foot in front of the other, and before you know it they are off and running full speed ahead, hopefully headed in the right direction.
Taking powerful confident baby steps will help you conquer your fears and achieve your dreams. But first you must realize that both fears and dreams are nothing more than images in your head; products of your imagination. And when you mix imagination with emotions fears become more terrifying and dreams become an unstoppable power. Entrepreneurs know this. That is why they don’t let their dreams turn into fears. They understand that dreams require positive energy and fears feed on negative energy. So the moral of this column is: Don’t let fear take you down the wrong path. Stand up and fight for your dream. Put the bogeyman to bed because fear is nothing more than a figment of your imagination.
Did you read the sample from chapter 6 about facing your fears?