Starting a business is an adventure that requires you to stretch your comfort zone. That means, you’ll need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. You’ll need to confront your fear. It’s not easy, but it’s the truth.
And, it’s totally normal and okay for that to trigger some fear for you. It certainly did for me, when I got started.
You might even occasionally think about questions like…
“What if it doesn’t work out?”
“How will I show my face if I fail?”
“And, what if they find out I’m no good at this?”
Again, I know, because I’ve asked myself these questions too. Sometimes I still hear these questions pop into my head. Honestly, we all do.
These are all very natural questions for our Inner-Critic to raise when the voices in our heads are debating the merits of doing something new. It’s like a scene pulled right out of Pixar’s Inside Out.
Inner-critic (outraged and genuinely confused): “It’s much safer here in the comfort zone. If we just keep things like they are, everything will be fine.”
Courage (boldly): “Fine isn’t good enough. Why are we comfortable settling for ‘fine?’ We should be striving for more.”
Inner-critic: “I don’t understand why we’re even having this conversation. We’ve got a good thing going.”
Courage: “Sometimes you have to walk away from good to get to great.”
Inner-critic: “that’s ridiculous. This is a time for playing it safe”
Courage: “no, this is a time to imagine what’s possible. To be curious and listen to our heart, to push beyond the status quo, to start actively designing our lives and to explore new frontiers.”
Inner-critic: “it’s my job to protect us!”
Courage: “it’s my job to push us forward even when we’re scared!”
It’s a tug of war without end and, actually, both sides are right in their own way.
CONFRONT YOUR FEAR
To some extent, you can’t fully silence your Inner-Critic. But, you can listen to it differently.
The Inner-Critic is incredibly strong because self-preservation is a powerful evolutionary instinct. The problem comes when we allow our Inner-Critic’s voice to overtake our other needs – for personal growth, learning, and other experiences.
If we’re not careful, our Inner-Critic can hold us back, causing us to avoid our truth, hide our skills from the world, and atrophy our talents.
The Inner-Critic wants to wait for everything to be perfect before it can agree to start or try something new. I’d remind you, however, as the poet and playwright Ivan Turgenev once said: “if we wait for the moment when everything is ready, we shall never begin.”
If you don’t tackle this and other internal mental blocks, no amount of money, luck, or skill will help you as an entrepreneur. Therefore, critically, that’s where your entrepreneurial journey has to start – with inner-work.
You need to confront your Inner-Critic and put them in their place. They have a role to play, so by all means, invite them to give their opinion, but they should never have final decision rights on any of your more creative endeavors.
Use the reflection questions below to confront your fear. Remember, it’s not something you’ll get a grip on right away. It takes time, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
Then, stay tuned for more posts this month on stretching your comfort zone.
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And, if you want to step forward into what’s possible… If you want to push yourself into new frontiers and beyond… If you’re ready to take a risk and start something new… Let’s talk. Learn more about my coaching services here.
When you’re ready, send me an email.
Now, it’s your turn.
Here are a few things to think about this week:
- Your Inner-Critic and Courage can get pretty loud when they argue. But, which of those voices has been winning lately?
- What does the conversation typically look like between them?
- Draw a picture of what your life could look like if your Inner-Critic wins. Draw a picture of what your life could look like if Courage wins. What’s the difference between the two?
- How could you use the advice from both voices to create a third alternative?
- What do you want to be true going forward?
Share some of your reflections in the comments or send me a message.
- What does it take to be an entrepreneur? From the 321 Liftoff blog
- Why Every Entrepreneur Needs to Be Self-Aware from the 321 Liftoff blog
- How to get out of your own way from the 321 Liftoff blog
- 10 Ways to Live a More Courageous Life from Inc.com
ONE MORE THING
Starting and growing a business is not a straight line. It can feel messy. It zigs and zags. It starts and stops. It can feel frustrating even for the most seasoned business owners. And, that’s ok. It’s also an exciting challenge. It’s going to stretch you. You’re going to learn a lot – not just about business, but about yourself. And, that’s why it’s worth it.