Overcoming the Emotional Challenges of Starting a New Business




Article by Ling Wong
Photo Credit: Lauren Aletta

After declaring the “death” of the current iteration of my business, I have been doing a lot of work to overhaul my branding, messaging – what I do and how I do it, where I ultimately want to be and what I want this business to do for me.

As a certified Fear Releasing Method practitioner, I work with the 7 primary fears and FIVE (!) of them could come up over and over again as you make dramatic changes to your business and do something innovative (aka, rad!):

Fear of Inadequacy/Not Good Enough
This fear is the voice behind “who do you think you are?” and “who are you to do this?” You may feel like you don’t have enough knowledge or information to do something innovative or different. You may feel that you have to take yet another training and follow that other blueprints to make things work for you.

When you do things differently, you do stand a greater chance that things may not work out, and this fear will make you translate these little bumps into screaming evidence that you are indeed not good enough – ouch! To eliminate the possibility of experiencing this pain, you stay in your little box complacently and avoid stirring things up.

Fear of Change
Doing something different can mean changes to many things - and it can freak our subconscious mind out because our caveman brain equates status quo with safe (hey, you are breathing, aren’t you?) You may do things to sabotage your effort so at the end you don’t have to do things differently, creating the illusion of safety even if the status quo is NOT what you want!

Fear of Lack
To change course probably means you have to slow down, look at the map, and plan your next move. You may have to make some decisions to say “no” to revenue-opportunities that will suck you back into the status quo and ultimately preventing you from moving forward. You may have to “disappear” for a while so you can get clear on your message. You may have to “do” less so you can create space for your big vision to come through.

All these can translate into a temporary drop in revenue. And it IS scary (tip: acknowledge that.) And it can stir you into doing something to “patch the hole” even though it’s not aligned with your big vision. You get thrown back into caveman survival mode and doubt your big vision.

Fear of Being Vulnerable
If you are putting something new and innovative out there, you stand a very good chance that it would not be accepted by everyone on the planet. There will be critics and skeptics who will trigger this fear. This fear will keep you stay small or procrastinate so you don’t have to expose your new ideas to a big audience, thus reducing the chance of being criticized.

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Fear of Missing Out
To make changes, you have to make choices. You will have to say “no” to opportunities, and you will have to stop for a moment to see where you are going. You may feel crappy and scared when “things aren’t happening (yet!)” and this fear, like the fear of lack, can drive you back into doing busy work (on the hamster wheel) that gives you the illusion of “something is happening” but ultimately, takes you further away from your big vision.

So, What To Do?
Don’t fight it, don’t beat yourself up. Acknowledge that Fears ad Doubts are part of the process and it is an opportunity for you to deal with your sh!t and become better.

Cultivate awareness of YOUR triggers and primary fears so you can nib it in the bud. If you can call it out when it creeps up, you have already won half the battle.

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