Monday, October 29, 2012
Is fear limiting your success?
Is your fear of trying new things preventing you from reaching your potential? Are you avoiding growing your business because you are afraid of the consequences of doing something new or taking a risk? As an eCommerce and business coach, I hear statements like this on a daily basis:
I'm scared to ship internationally. (Get my eBay International Shipping Tutorial here!)
I'm afraid I will make a mistake.
I'm scared to sell things I haven't sold before.
I'm scared to try that.
I'm afraid I will lose money.
I'm scared of what people will think of me.
If statements like this are your common self-talk, it is time to change them and face these fears if you want to take your business to the next level. There are really only 2 ways to deal with fear:
Let it control you.
Let it pass right by you.
Here are a few ways to deal with fears when it comes to your online business.
1. Do your research and understand the thing you are trying to accomplish. This strategy works for business and for life. What if you went to the doctor today and were told you had a terrible life-threatening disease? What would you do next? Sit and home and feel sorry for yourself waiting to die, or start doing research about how to live? You would go online and read about the various treatments, find another doctor to get a second or third opinion, talk to others who have dealt with the illness to learn their experiences, read books written by survivors, or find support groups to attend. Information is power. Learn about what you want to do - whether it is shipping internationally, selling in a different marketplace, sourcing inventory in a different way, or working with a new product line. Educate yourself.
2. Understand the risks and create a safety net for yourself or just accept the consequences of taking that risk. All risks have consequences, but not all consequences are paralyzing. People fear what they do not understand. Many people are afraid to try something new because risk is involved. Name those risks. What is the worst thing that can happen? Let's use the international shipping example again. People new to global shipping are usually afraid the package will get lost. So to work around that, insure it. If it gets lost, your money is refunded and you can refund the customer. No big deal. All you are out are a few fees. In the days before international shipping insurance, the worst thing that would happen is the package would get lost and we would have to refund the buyer out of our pocket. If you are selling thrift store items that cost around $5, shipping might be $10, that is a loss of $15 plus a few fees. So what? 1 out of 100 items might get lost. It doesn't make good business sense to walk away from 99 good sales because 1 might go bad. When you hear "I'm scared to" thoughts in your head, the next thought needs to be, "What's the worst that can happen?" Then make a plan to handle that "worst thing," It isn't so scary anymore. (Note: When shipping globally, you are just dealing with people. Those people are just like you they are only in a different location. Global shipping is wonderfully fulfilling once you realize that you are helping connect people around the world with products they want. You are providing a service for which they are very appreciative.)
3. Change your mindset. Sometimes, the the problem is you - your own thoughts and behavior patterns, not the thing you are afraid of. We tell ourselves that our comfort zone is the only safe place to be - the unknown should be feared. Fear keeps us stuck in one place and prevents growth. Fear is the biggest obstacle we all face - everything else is just an excuse. Fear is a natural human emotion - we need it to survive. But we don't want to allow it to control our growth as people and our success in life. Changing the way you think about fear will help you deal with fear in more productive ways. Many times we are just afraid of an illusion - what we think will happen. When in reality, those things don't happen at all. Overcoming fear is often the gateway to opportunities and brand new fulfilling experiences.
The next time fear shows up, stop and think, "Where is this coming from? What am I really afraid of?" Maybe you had 1 bad experience that is causing you to shut down. Can this fear be transformed into an opportunity for growth? What is the worst that can happen if you deal with this fear, and what are some ways you can deal with that "worst thing" if it were to happen? Are your old beliefs holding you back?
Mark Twain said, "Courage is the mastery of fear, not the absence of fear."
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