An exercise in stepping through fear
Last week I wrote about twelve truths about fear. I also wrote an article on overcoming fear in starting up your business. See Overcome fear of starting a business
So last week we looked a little at the theory of overcoming fear. Today I want to get a little more practical by sharing a good “stepping through fear exercise” from international business authors and speakers Kevin and Jackie Freiberg. (Please visit their site for super free resources that help entrepreneurs/business people alike-http://www.freibergs.com/)
Stepping Through Fear Exercise
The nine questions listed below are designed to interrupt your automatic fear-based response, help you think through your fear and ultimately step through it.
- What is the risky thing you want to do, but are afraid to?
- What exactly are you afraid of? Is it fear of being:-
- Rejected? What if they fire me or fail to promote me?
- Wrong or making a mistake? What if I delay the project or cost the company money?
- Alone? What if I’m the only one who speaks up?
- Embarrassed? What if I ask a stupid question?
- Hurt? What if I get mocked or criticized?
- Losing? What if we lose the deal?
- Is the threat real—what is the probability that this will actually happen?
- Is everything you’re telling yourself about this risk true? (Just because you believe it does necessarily make it true.) How much valid evidence is there to support your fear?
- Assuming that what you fear will come to pass, how bad could it actually be? What is the worst-case scenario?
- Assuming the worst-case scenario, would you be able to cope with the consequences? What is the probability that you will be able to say, “So what?” and move on?
- What are some alternative ways to interpret the outcomes from the risk you are considering? What if you allowed your dream/idea to live for a little bit instead of instantly shutting it down? Can anything good happen?
- How will your life, career, and company be positively impacted if you step through fear and take this risk?
- Go back and re-read the truths about fear above. How will your life, career, company be negatively impacted if you do nothing? Will you be able to cope with this?
May I further suggest that you internalize the exercise until it becomes your default setting when confronted by debilitating fear.
Building strong businesses and resilient entrepreneurs.