In my last post, I covered the different facets of fear and the many ways in which it can rear its ugly head. I also covered FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real. In this post I would like to break down how to respond to that fear and utilize it in a constructive way. To do this I am going draw from Dr. Ned Hallowell and introduce you to the C-State of calm.
Staying calm is cutting off fear’s oxygen supply. And making an attempt to understand the real scenario without coloring it with our imagined apprehensions and consequences is the final nail in the coffin. For all the entrepreneurs out there who experience inaction and inability to think as a result of fear must keep in mind that:
- The lies we tell ourselves are usually the worst ones. When confronted with situations which are not imminently threatening, the first thing to do is to drop judgment and history. Do not attribute what is bothering you with the power of your repressed fears. And do not bring in ‘I am unlucky, this always happens to me’. Pay heed to the tenet by Bishop T.D Jakes ‘The more you empower your history, the more you beggar your future’. This logical, objective mind-set is necessary to face fear.
- Knowing your own true nature is fundamentally important. When we harbor misconceptions about our strengths and weaknesses, it is very easy for fear to prey on our minds. For a very long time, I kept thinking of my creativity as a liability. My quick wittedness as something to be ashamed of. This is why till date I do experience pangs of guilt and little slivers of fear when I indulge in a burst of ideation. I have learnt to spot and flip this negative mind-set but it is a definite point of ingress for fear to utilize.
- Calmness is the antidote to fear. A harried mind doesn’t think. And a thinking mind doesn’t hurry. When calmness prevails, fear quells. This is why meditation is such an effective practice. I do not believe in sitting cross legged on the floor to get in touch with and nurture my inner peace. Whatever stills your heart is your ‘Zen’ ritual. Mine just happens to be long drives with my thoughts.
Fear in its raw form is non-negotiable. It will not pack its bags and leave. And neither should you let it. Because only fools tread where angels fear to! But the freedom you give fear to exploit is completely in your hands. Do you keep it chained and obedient? Or do you allow it to keep you caged and away from your most important goals?
‘To be fully engaged, we must be physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused and spiritually aligned.’ – Tony Schwartz
Work-life balance is the key to a complete existence, one in which fear can never create a stronghold. Additionally, there are patterns of belief that you can pinpoint and work to counteract:
- Not believing in yourself or your idea
- Fearing a lack of expertise, and thus perfection
- Fear of not finding enough funding or the right partners.
I go into Fear, and 7 other F Words much more in depth in my upcoming book F Words for Startups out this summer.