Fear in business, in life and especially in investing can play a much larger role in the outcomes of your goals than you might think.
Obviously we know that fear in investing can change outcomes. If you bought in, a stock starts dropping and all of that research, that analysis goes out the window.
All you can think about is how much more money you stand to loose.
It’s not rational and you know rationally not to sell but if you let that fear govern your decisions, then you’ve already lost.
Fear is rampant in business too.
Fear of where to start. Fear of how to start. Fear of not doing it perfectly the first time. Fear of loosing too much money too fast. Fear of failing. Fear of succeeding. Fear of being ridiculed.
At times, fear is sneaky.
You have no problem getting started. In fact, you’re working almost all the time but you’re never getting anywhere. If you were to objectively look at your tasks, you’d probably soon realize that you’re avoiding all the priority A tasks and doing busy work. But why?
Fear. You’re afraid it’s going to be too much. Too hard. You’re afraid you’re going to get overwhelmed by the big complex problems you actually have to figure out to make your business tick.
It can feel impossible to get past sometimes.
So, I want to share 4 quick and simple exercises that have helped me in the past when I’ve hit road blocks and experienced a lot of fear towards something I wanted to achieve in business, in investing or in life. I really hope they can help you too.
#1. Dealing with the pain of being afraid is not as bad as dealing with the pain of regret if you don’t try something that you really want to do. Either way, you have to deal with pain so choose the shorter-lived, easier pain.
#2. Don’t let yourself slip into the “I should” or “I have to” mindset about big, complex projects. That puts you in immediate conflict with yourself.
Part of you is saying to yourself “you should do so and so…” which immediately means there’s another part of you saying “but I don’t want to…”
Instead, try thinking “I choose to do so and so…” Really mean it and notice how your attitude almost immediately shifts towards more confident as your whole body unconsciously prepares for the task at hand.
Overthinking things and building up anxiety in your head almost always comes from inner conflict – at least it does for me! – when I adopt this almost authoritarian “I should be doing so and so..” or “I have to do so and so…” attitude.
3. Avoid judging where you are right now. This also creates inner conflict and makes it impossible to focus on a problem in a calm, logical way.
Instead of thinking “you should be at so and so stage already”, try thinking “when can I start working on my project”.
4. Schedule work on your project AROUND fun things to create motivation and urgency in a non-threatening way.
Let’s say, you love brunch. Schedule a 30 minute – 1hr work period where you ONLY do priority A work. The really hard stuff. No phone calls. No e-mails. None of the fluff. This is when you do the work that could really change your business or your life.
Don’t judge how far you get and don’t create expectations for how much you should get done. Your only job is to START at the time you set for yourself in your calendar and to focus 100% during the short time you have.
Then, you reward your focus by going and doing something fun.
In my experience, doing this over and over again is the best way to get really hard things done in a way that you can actually enjoy and not feel like you’re constantly fighting with yourself.