Being afraid is OK. I have been afraid so many times in my life and even now I am afraid quite a good deal of the time. And that is ok. What you really need to be afraid of is when you are not afraid, that is when things can go wrong quickly and create situations you should really be afraid of.
What we are afraid of
I have been an entrepreneur for more than 18 years and I have have had a good run most of the time. But there were also times when things did not go as planned. Two years ago, I lost my biggest business and lost 80% of my income in 30 days. Was I afraid when I got the news? Hell, yeah! I was scared out of my senses. I was afraid for the financial security of my family, our future and the promises I made to them. I was afraid of being seen as a failure. I was afraid of being seen as a fraud as I consult and mentor clients on how to turn their lives and their businesses around while mine was collapsing. I was afraid of walking with confidence because I was afraid people will discover my failure. These are real things that I was afraid of and I was glad I was afraid. It is ok to be afraid. Being afraid can be a good thing if you take the time to see the good in it. Here are a few positives of being afraid.
#1. You get Focus
When you are afraid, you focus on the task at hand and all the things disappear that steal your time and your attention. It gives you a clarity you otherwise would not have. You make sure things are in place, you double check everything and it ups your level of management and leadership in this situation. You have a laser-like focus on finding a solution to overcome whatever is scaring you. I came to realise that this level of focus and clarity is difficult when things are going well.
#2. You get Energy
You are energised to sort something out simply to calm the fear. You have a direction to which you are heading and your energy is focused. Think back to a normal day filled with work, tasks and little fear and you will see you have a dispersed slow and low energy. But, when you have 1 or 2 things to sort out today to calm a fear, you are energised to accomplish those tasks and make them work.
#3. You are kept Honest
When you are afraid you lower your ego, you stop puffing yourself up and you get honest about yourself, your abilities, your resources and what need to be accomplished in order to calm the fear.
Being afraid is not only OK – it is a positive emotion that helps us reach and achieve our goals and dreams. What you should be afraid of, is not being afraid.
Be afraid of not being afraid
Being an international innovation and life design speaker, I have a rule. Don’t speak if you are not nervous or not afraid of failing in front of my audience. I have that rule, because I know when I am not afraid I am cocky, I am full of myself, it is all about me and not the client. In that mode of thinking and doing, I will stuff up spectacularly and my prize at the end would be a double serving of humble pie.
So, don’t run away from being afraid. Do not be ashamed of being afraid. Embrace it and what it is giving you in focus, energy and authenticity.