Why do we fear what we don’t know? It’s ironic isn’t it – fearing something we have no facts about? But that’s it, we fear what we do not understand. When we are faced with uncertainty or have gaps in our knowledge or understanding, we fill them ourselves.
Shelley Bosworth is the founder of Shelley Bosworth Coaching and a straight-talking, qualified personal performance life coach specialising in mindset and confidence for women in business and female entrepreneurs. With more than 20 years’ experience in senior leadership roles through hospitality and retail operations for some of the biggest names in the industry, she knows the challenges of real life, and the toll they can take on you. As entrepreneurs, we deal with the unknown all the time, so here are 3 ways to help put your mind at ease by Shelley.
Stop living in the future
It’s one thing to have goals, to have plans, to have a vision and to have a focus on a future place. As entrepreneurs we absolutely all need these things to keep us going, to know where we are headed in our businesses, why we started this ride.
However, it’s another thing altogether to become all consumed with the ‘what ifs’ of tomorrow, next week and next month. Today is where we are and in the present moment, there is only what is right here, right now. Living in a future that hasn’t actually happened yet will likely be stressing you out and causing worry, diverting your energy and attention away from today.
Try to pull yourself back from the stories you are creating about what might happen. Ask yourself honestly, how likely is it that what you are fearing might happen, will actually happen?
Say stop and find your escape
Allow yourself to acknowledge when the fear is creeping in when the worrying thoughts are taking more space than the positive ones just catch yourself if you can and press pause.
Accept that the unknown is uncomfortable, don’t resist it. Acknowledge and be honest about these thoughts. It’s absolutely okay to not be okay right now. Allow yourself to escape from the thoughts. Whether this is by calling, texting or zooming a friend, immersing yourself in a book, grabbing a quick cuppa outside in the sun, meditating or taking the time to exercise. Whatever it is, find your thing and give yourself a break.
By distracting yourself, you can come back with a more rational and calm approach to the thought process. The purpose of this exercise is to take your mind away from the path it’s following into worry and fear. Then you can come back with a renewed perspective and everything will seem a lot clearer.
Take one small step to remove the fear
With a renewed perspective you can begin to think about what you can do to move forward. You can now think constructively about what you can control rather than what you cannot. For many, fear of the unknown freezes us and holds us in a place of regret and further worry.
Flip it on its head and look for the positives in the situation instead. Step out and embrace an opportunity for change, to stretch yourself and to explore opportunities you may not have considered.
Deep down you probably already know exactly what you need to do to move forward but the fear of whether it will work, whether it is right or wrong or what others might think holds you still.
However, not moving forward won’t change anything and the world will keep moving with or without you. Ask yourself what one small thing you could do to slay that fear, to move forward on your journey, to improve your situation right now.
One tiny step is all it takes to feel better, to feel back in control and to realise you can, rather than what if I can’t. Embrace change, ride the rollercoaster, raise your hands in the air and scream at the top of your lungs. Experience life to the fullest. I promise it’s something you won’t regret.
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