What if you accepted fear?

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I had a great connecting day today. From an early morning breakfast meeting with a dear friend and mentor to inspiring phone calls with both colleagues and coaching clients, I got to talk with a lot of interesting people.

All of them are at very different stages of the business cycle.

Some of them have well-established businesses and brands, and healthy revenue streams.

Others are just starting out, testing and trying new business ideas and sweating about income.

Every single one of them was feeling some anxiety and fear as they took on new challenges.

I realized after all those conversations that if you could peer into their minds and hearts and take a snapshot of their emotions, they would all look pretty much the same.

Every single stage of life and business brings a new experience of fear and trepidation.

Accepting that feels like relief. 🙂

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19 Responses to “What if you accepted fear?”

  1. Owning a business definitely produces fear in every entrepreneur I have ever met. Sometimes the fear keeps you from sleeping and sometimes it spurs you on to do things more efficiently, effectively and professionally. Accepting the fact that the fear will probably always be there IS a freeing feeling. Thanks!

  2. Embrace the fear! If you’re pushing and challenging yourself the way we all should be doing, fear is going to be along for the ride. Better to just get used to its presence, and be grateful for the lessons it teaches you and growth it gives you.

    • Fear occurs because you’re pursuing something that is not easy. A part of us looks at the question and responds “Oh my God, you have not done this before. Are you sure”? Fear indicates you are changing the status quo. Fear indicates you are growing.

  3. It’s based on our ability to make decisions. If we can make them quickly and stick to them, our chances of being successful are far higher. I’ve also seen the opposite. I’ve seen clients make a decision and then reverse it a week later. They barely move ahead. I wonder what the creatures in their heads look like.

  4. Lisa Guida says:

    Fear has so many shapes and sizes. Fear about work, relationships, failure and success. Yet many times the fear we experience isn’t “real” it’s just that little voice telling us that we aren’t good enough, haven’t worked hard enough, etc.

    For some of us that might be a Nun from the past.

    Fear of an unknow future is something that many families that have loved ones with mental illness struggle with. Ultimately I found and helped other to find that embracing that uncertainty can actually bring more peace than fearing it.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Oh, Pam. Thank you so much for this. This post is exactly what I needed right now!

  6. Perfect timing, Pam.

    I just wrote a post about how our expectations set us up for failure or success because we think something “should” be a certain way.

    Like we think that once we reach a certain level of success the fear should just go away.

    Instead, by embracing the fact that fear is a signal of awareness that won’t ever go away we set ourselves up for a more empowering reality.

  7. Darren says:

    From the title, I thought this post was going to be an encouragement to push through fear.

    After reading, I think I understand the point you’re trying to make. Before we can push through our fears, we have to accept that we have them to begin with.

    As they say, “Feel the fear, and do it anyway!”

    • Pamela says:

      That’s right Darren — I think some of the “dominate fear” approaches assume that once you figure out how to overcome it, you will no longer feel it. In my own experience, I feel fear strongly, but am not afraid of it, if that makes any sense 🙂

  8. fas says:

    Fear can be a major hindrance for most.

  9. Alicia Terry says:

    Hi Pam,
    Your book and blog posts played a major role in encouraging me to do what I had been fearful to do for years. Last week I turned in my letter of resignation and in my newsletter I shared the following:

    Last week, Monday to be exact, I joyfully turned in my letter of resignation to my employer. May 31 will be my last day. Am I going to work for someone else? Yes, you bet. That person is me. Years of planning, preparation, and faith have taken the place of pondering, procrastination, and fear. I know what I’m gifted and called to do and I’m going all out to make it happen. I am free to help people make their mark in the world and I hope to have the opportunity the help you make yours.

    Thanks Pam for being part of my journey.

    • Pamela says:

      I am so massively proud of you Alicia! You are joined by a whole lot of other brave souls on this blog who took the plunge too. Wishing an adventure and success-filled journey!

    • Darren says:

      Congrats on making the leap! Hearing these stories keeps me motivated.

      I took a brief look at your site. Good luck Alicia!

  10. Pam, great post.

    This is certainly a critical identification for all entrepreneurs to make.

    This is one of those posts you want to bookmark and come back to. Good for the mind of the solo.

    Great stuff.

    • Pamela says:

      It really is true Ryan! I always think: when I get to ____ level, it will be so much easier!

      Guess what? It’s not. 🙂 But it is still fun, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  11. missy says:

    Great pic and it IS like what we feel like inside sometimes (often) isn’t it?

    • Pamela says:

      Loved the pic too Missy! Made those fear monsters a bit less scary with the party hats 🙂