There are countless articles and writings on the fear of success that many of us are familiar with and have experienced. One of the suggestions given is to do affirmations. Affirmations help boost our self-esteem if done on a daily basis. I’m not dismissing affirmations because they do work; however, I my experience, I felt needed more. I did all the right things in preparation to becoming a successful businesswoman. For example, I prepared a business plan, consulted with other business entrepreneurs, designed my website and got it up and running. I was ready to do business, and then all of a sudden, I was frozen. Fear began to creep into my subconscious mind, and self-doubt held me hostage. I was immobile and nothing was getting done. Before I knew it, days, weeks, and months went by where my business was barely breathing. It needed a lifeline fast. Looking back, I’m not sure why fear held me so tightly.
I knew I had to do something if I wanted to present a sustainable business where the focus was on preparing women for successful businesses of their own. I had to sit down and really think about it. There were many days of meditation and pondering; then it occurred to me that my first thoughts were on fear because that was my first thought. Our subconscious minds are programmed to instantly go toward, “What if I fail?” I knew right then I had to recondition my mind toward what my first thoughts would be. I believed fear was an enemy and confirmed its position in my subconscious mind in the hopes it would eventually diminish away and disappear. I would fight it until I was exhausted, losing time and energy away from my business. I needed to acknowledge fear’s existence and immediately replace it with the celebration of my successes.
So, it’s not so much that fear isn’t real – it’s very real. But just like any negative force that enters your life, acknowledge its existence and put it in its proper place. Here are five steps you can do right now to diminish your fears and replace your first thoughts with positive energy:
1. Acknowledge and take inventory of what you fear: You may fear speaking in front of a group. If you are schedule to speak in front of a group, don’t retreat or cancel because fear has gripped you. Instead, reach out to a mentor or someone who is willing to assist as you practice. You can also join a Toastmaster group near you for free where you can hone your speaking and leadership skills.
2. Be specific: Details are important in order to see how your fear appears. The fear I felt was in my lack of confidence; this would happen when I approached a perspective client or when participating in a group. I replaced my lack of confidence with the experience and knowledge of what I know. You know what you know, and this is something no one can take from you. Honor your knowledge and believe in it.
3. Create a Self-Promissory Note: Writing a promissory note describing how you will honor yourself daily is similar to setting goals. The difference is the promise to acknowledge your fears and then commit to what you know to be true about you. The promissory note will help you stick to your commitment and the pay-off will be towards your ultimate success!
4. Connect with other Entrepreneurs. Connecting with your peers in business will give you positive examples of what it means to be “Fearless.” I remember meeting women at a conference and being in awe of how they carried themselves. Their heads were held high, but they were not snobbish; they spoke well of their business but did not boast. Their actions were not ego driven. These women appeared happy, healthy and confident. I wanted what they had so I listened intently, asked questions and kept a note pad. Through these wonderful women, I developed my own style and way of doing business.
5. Confirm and Support. Practice changing your mindset to think “Success” first, and confirm daily that your fears will not interfere with your goals. I do this each morning after meditating and at night after my prayers. I plan my day accordingly the night before and when I awake, my thoughts move towards celebrating success and how I can share my gifts with others and support them.
If you use affirmations daily, incorporate the above steps and begin the process of fearless consciousness. Yes, the fear of success is real, but you do not have to give it first place in your subconscious mind. Put fear in its proper place by acknowledging that it does exist.