Warning! Your “practical reasons” are often nothing more than excuses for playing small.
Like most entrepreneurs, you’re probably very creative. You can come up with product ideas, service ideas, marketing ideas all day long.
Unfortunately, there’s a potential down side to your creativity, too. It’s the way you can use your creative powers to generate “practical reasons” for not taking the steps to play on a bigger field, never acknowledging that those reasons are really just excuses to stay safe and small.
I know exactly what I’m talking about; I wish I didn’t, but I do. I know how seductive it is to talk yourself out of taking the big step, doing the scary thing, because “logically” it doesn’t make sense. It’s way more appealing and ego-enhancing to see yourself as clear-thinking and logical rather than fearful. The problem is that too many of us are using the armor of “practical reasons” to spare ourselves the discomfort of trying something at which we might fail.
What are some clues that you’re allowing fear to masquerade as logic?
- “Yes, but…” is one of your most frequently used phrases.
- You often find yourself thinking, “What if [fill in your favorite catastrophe]?”
- You’re very quick to identify reasons why “that won’t work.”
- If someone offers you help (e.g., they’re willing to float you a loan or even outright give you the money you need), you’ll turn down the offer.
- You’re relieved when a spouse or business partner tries to (or does) talk you out of a course of action you’re considering, but…..
- …..the idea keeps coming back to you, typically accompanied by a vague (or maybe not so vague) clenching of your stomach or hunching of your shoulders.
So…..What do you do now? How do you move beyond fear to courage? Here are some tools you can use to toughen yourself up emotionally.
- Remember that “More often than not, our fear doesn’t help us avoid the [uncomfortable] feelings; it simply subjects us to them for an agonizingly long time.” (Read a great article on this specific topic.)
- Dig deep and tell yourself that, no matter what happens as the result of your action, you’ll be able to handle it. (A powerful resource here is Susan Jeffers’ classic book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.)
- Build up to the really big, scary stuff by practicing in low-risk situations. Try driving a different way to work, go to a type of networking event you’ve never attended, sign up for a class in a totally unfamiliar subject.
What’s worked for you? How have you talked yourself into taking action despite your fear?
BTW, thanks to flattop341 for posting the danger image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.This entry was posted in courage, discomfort, personal power and tagged courage, personal power. Bookmark the permalink.