When You’re Afraid, Do it Anyway

By Herman Pool
In Marketing
October 3, 2012

Kat / Vertical Axion


Fear is a normal emotion to feel. We all feel it, whether that means fearing the loss of a dear friend or of your company. Our minds are attuned to constantly be aware of our surroundings, and it’s constantly on the lookout for trouble. Sometimes, our minds find fear even when there’s not a threat, like when our best friend calls us up to the stage for karaoke.

The cool thing about fear is that it doesn’t have to incapacitate you. It can be used to your advantage, even when it feels like the fear is completely in control.

We all hear this kind of thing in our heads when we start a business:

Okay, I’ve quit my job to start a company. I’m brave. I’m smart enough for this. But what if I’m not? What if I’m not good enough? Maybe I’m not smart enough for this. Experienced enough for this. Not having to answer to someone else seems too good to be true – who says I should take this step when my friends and colleagues haven’t? Maybe this is a terrible idea.

This, of course, is morass. It’s probably the same kind of morass that stops many, many people from following their dreams. Some never move through the confusion and become something greater – but some do.

So how do you move past the fear and use it to your advantage?

Someone Else Have What You Want? Listen to Them

If you don’t have any friends who own small businesses, seek someone out to talk to. Vertical Axion, for example, is a small business with a team of experts with experiences to share. Seek a company owner that is successful in the niche where you want to be successful, too. Listen to how they achieved success, and to the advice they have to give. Ask questions. Find the answers you need to give yourself confidence.

Move Forward a Single Step Every Day

A single step is less scary than the bigger picture. Make the choice to do an act, just one, that will benefit your company. Even if that one thing is figuring out how much you need to ask for when you get a loan for your business, or speaking in front of a small group to pitch your new service idea, do it. It doesn’t even have to be business related; asking someone out that you’ve had your eye on for months is encouraging your “do it, even when you’re scared” muscle, too.

Embrace It

Acknowledge that you’re afraid of something. Notice that you’re being fearful of something. Figure out why. Once you’ve walked yourself through all of those steps, do the thing you’re afraid of anyway, even if it’s uncomfortable. This is the only way to find success – you have to dare to risk it if you ever want to reach your goals.

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