When doing research for my upcoming book, Make an Impact, I realised a lot of us buy into the idea of being ‘fearless’ and reaching this utopian ‘fearless’ state of mind.
I don’t know you, but in total honesty, I am far from fearless, and this is totally okay. Fear is a bell ring that reminds us that we are going to take life to the next level (the so-called ‘Terror Barrier’).
Do I ever get scared?
Yes. All the time. however, I know I am feeling at my best when I don’t let it overwhelm me.
Running your own business is scary, and risky. I am human, and so are you, and this is totally okay.
Even if I promote the freedom lifestyle, I don’t promote a life free from anything. “Free from fear” is a contradiction that won’t allow us to grow.
However, when panic attacks happen, I found 5 activities that, in less than 30 minutes, will get me back on track.
I love this quote from Thich N.H.: ‘Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvellously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.‘
Even millionaires and billionaires sometimes feel like frauds. That’s okay. We’ve established that there’s nothing wrong with feeling a little fear, but what can we do about it?
1. Hop on the phone with your buddies
I have a few close people on my Whatsapp, where I regularly check in with close buddies. Have these people on speed dial, and message them throughout the week for inspiration, accountability and empire building.
Having other people who have your back, and help you see things in perceptive is invaluable for those scary days. Not everyone understands the fears associated with running a business, so be careful who you speak to when you’re feeling down.
As much as possible, try not to use your friends and family as mastermind partners – unless you want them to come up with ‘isn’t it time to come back to the real world?’
- 15 Minutes: Simply set up your own Whatsapp mastermind group or hop on Skype with some business ladies you admire
2. Write a gratitude letter to your future self
Grab a piece of paper and start writing. It’s (one-month time from today) and I am really grateful I have…and write three things you want to accomplish or are in your head. All in the past tense. I do this exercise daily, but it’s totally up to you.
- 5 Minutes: Remind yourself that even though you’re scared and don’t know HOW you’ll get there, you are confident you will nevertheless.
3. Clean up the clutter
I am the weirdest Virgo. I clean up at the end of the week, and by Wednesday my desk is full of receipts, our coffee tables are crammed with books and my wardrobe is imploding. As a Virgo, again, when I am not in a good place this creates a horrendous spiral of anxiety. Feng shui simply gets back to a basic concept: being surrounded by mess can make the fear feel worse. You feel like you’re literally trapped under a pile of crap.
Clearing clutter really works.
- 25 minutes: put on some cheesy music and get a nice spring clean going on
4. Make a fear mindmap
Sometimes you’re scared to start or complete a project because you really don’t know what needs to be done. I’ve sat at my desk many a time, freaking out about something when the reality was actually really easy and painless. What I truly love to do is to create a mindmap with my next steps, I then come back to it, give them a priority, set an indicative time or deadline, and ask myself these three questions:
- What do I need to do to finish off the project?
- What’s the worse case scenario of That Thing you’re scared about?
- Who can you ask for help?
- 20 minutes: ease your fear by writing a mindmap.
5. Self-care all the way
You don’t need to go to a retreat to feel re-energised and motivated (even if I wouldn’t say no to that). I love my movie dates. Whenever I feel lost I just hop on my bike and go to the movies. You can even go to the mall and get a blow-dry, or chill on the massage chairs. The gist is: get out there. Change from your PJs and Yoga pants. Grab one of those vouchers and face the real world.
- 30 minutes: Grab your favourite hair mask, put a face sheet mask on and kick back
What about you, what’s your best tip to shake off fear? Vulnerability is something I discuss in-depth in my book.