It is said that fear often precedes great or amazing moments. The trouble is many people never get past their fears to experience them.
Fears like being afraid of failure can stop us from bringing our ideas to fruition, as the discouraging ‘what ifs’ of doubt take over the mind. I am currently working on an idea that I have to admit does scare me when I think of its potential and the responsibilities both personally and professionally that making it a reality will bring, and so I do find myself having to fight the excuses to quit whilst I can. Do I believe in my idea, absolutely! So what is the problem? Issues ranging from self-belief in having what it takes to break new ground to trying something that most don’t think is worth investing in because of traditionally low sales, and as a result, I keep asking myself, are you crazy, what makes you so special, if other more powerful and prestigious players in the area are not committed to this niche what makes you think you can do it better? … and so on and so forth.
But, despite my fears I keep pushing ahead, why, because stronger than my fears is the feeling that if I don’t give it my best shot it will be something I will regret not having at least tried.
Several years ago, I found myself staring up at the tallest baobab I had ever seen. I don’t like heights, and I was about to climb it. Rather stupidly of me I didn’t think to ask to see the tree first before I attempted, and by the time I did, I had already paid with no refund. But going ahead with the climb was about more than just losing money, I suddenly felt that if I did not confront my fear head-on I would always regret it, so putting one shaky foot above the other on the rope ladder I slowly made my way up, and with each step up I realised that no matter how much I wanted to go back down and give up, I was getting closer to my goal of reaching the top and pretty soon going back down was no longer an option as I passed the point of no return. It took me a long time to get to the top, but once I reached it the view was amazing, but my ordeal was not yet over. I still had to face another fear of getting back down, this time taking a deep breath and launching myself off into the air whilst attached to a zip wire!
Once airborne, however, something remarkable happened, my fear gave way to a rush of exhilaration, and for a moment I felt free, sailing through the air, and whilst I will not be climbing any baobabs any time soon, I am so so glad I pushed myself to face my fears and going through with the experience. Because whenever I feel afraid of pursuing a goal whether business or personal I call upon that experience, thinking if I could do and survive that I can do pretty much anything.
Facing your fears whether looking to start a new business, going back to school, or going through a multitude of life-changing circumstances, can be a lot like climbing that tall tree. You need to take the first step and then make your way up bit by bit, pushing past the doubts and challenges and drawing on the support and encouragement from others. And, it doesn’t matter if you stop to rest and reflect along the way, because before you know it your end goal is within reach.
Are you finding it difficult to face your fears and take that first step into becoming a creative entrepreneur? Do share in the comments. And also lookout for a post with practical tips to help you overcome your fears of getting started as a creative entrepreneur.
[Image credits: Main image Unsplash; tree image: Tapiwa Matsinde]