Let’s talk about courage. If you are a mom and/or a business owner, chances are good that there is a decision weighing on your mind right now. You know what you should do, but you keep pushing it to the side. You ignore it, push it to the bottom of the to-list, or convince yourself now’s not the right time. If you’re honest with yourself, you’re scared. I get it. Fear and I do battle on a fairly regular basis.
A couple of years ago, our family spent an amazing week in Park City, Utah, which included a trip to Olympic Park. My son Drew, who was around 8 at the time, decided he wanted to take on the Drop Tower. This black diamond activity involves zip-lining from the top of the course to a central tower, then to a final tower, the only way off of which is to jump. Did I mention that this particular jump is a 65-foot free-fall during which you are connected only by a cable at your waist?
Well, Drew was committed and I wasn’t about to let him go alone, so up we went. I put him in front of me in case he wanted to back out, reiterating again and again that once he was on the course there was no way down but to jump. He was all in. He strapped in and took off. I counted the seconds until they would let me follow him sure that he was going to need me before that final jump. When it was my turn, I hardly saw the view as I silently willed the cable to go faster, barely stopping at the first platform before heading to the jump platform.
When I arrived, Drew was already gone having jumped with no issues whatsoever. Only then did it sink in that I too would have to make the jump. The attendant asked if I was ready and received a somewhat hesitant affirmative reply.
“Ok then,” he said, “Come on out and step off the platform.”
I stepped beyond the rail and looked down…all 65 feet down. Suddenly, I was not ready at all. I asked what I was supposed to hold onto. (nothing) I asked how I was supposed to land. (It didn’t matter.) I realized the urgency behind his quick, “Come on out and step off” because the more I contemplated that jump the less I wanted to do it.
So, what did I do? I pulled up every last ounce of resolve I had within me, took a deep breath, and stepped off the platform.
The cord was just long enough to place me safely on the ground with the help of two attendants at the bottom, whose faces showed slight concern at my pale face and inability to stand for a moment. Then came the elation…not because I wanted to EVER participate in this particular activity again, but because I had done it. I had been terrified like never before in my life and jumped anyway.
Since starting my business, I have thought back on that moment many times. I thought about it the first time I submitted a five-figure proposal. I thought about it the first time I hired a subcontractor. I thought about it every time I branched out into something new with fear shrieking in my head “This will never work!” You know what? Each and every time, I’ve landed on my feet, and in the process, I’ve learned a few things about fear. They are as true in my business today as they were that morning in Park City.
1. Fear keeps you in your comfort zone. Sure, it’s cozy there, but nothing new comes without risk.
2. Fear stops you from experiencing the exhilaration of a big leap. The rush of landing that big client, the thrill of your first online sale, the moment you see your program sales coming in – you have to make the leap in order to experience that feeling. There are no exhilarating moments to be found in playing small.
3. The more time you give fear, the bigger he gets. Give him time to measure the distance between you and the ground, and fear becomes a big hairy beast that threatens to overwhelm and paralyze you. According to Dr. Susan Biai Haas, the more you avoid a situation that scares you, the more your brain will associate that action as a threat. The good news is, Like any other emotion, you have control over fear. Instead of giving it power, practice the five-second rule. Acknowledge that you are afraid, pull up that resolve, and take action – any action – that pushes you forward in spite of your fear. You’ll be amazed at how much smaller your fear appears in comparison to your victory.
4. Fear is not the boss of me. Just as fear becomes smaller the moment you acknowledge it and choose to move forward anyway, acting in spite of it reminds you that YOU are the boss, not your fear. Dr.Biai Haas also states that when we experience something that scares us and realize it’s actually not so bad, our brain registers that it is no longer a threat to us. Remember the first time you held your newborn? It was terrifying, right? After a week or two, you were holding that baby while making coffee, and you were at ease because you realized that there’s nothing terrifying about holding your little human.
The moral of this story is, that the more you take these leaps of faith, the more your brain will register them as nothing to be threatened by. So GO FOR IT! There’s a feeling of ease and exhilaration waiting for you on the other side.
Let’s Conquer Fear Together
We’d like to invite you to join our very first virtual retreat, where we plan on conquering some mompreneur fears. This retreat will virtually bring together women such as yourself to make connections, relax, and learn skills that will help conquer your fears and build your business. Learn more and sign up here.