A Fear Factor

Does the idea of starting your own business paralyze you? We've got some simple techniques to get you back in control.

Our fears arise from many sources, usually unexpectedly. And most business owners agree that fear is a result of our doubts: Will customers really want my product? Will I have enough time? Can I market my business effectively?

No matter what advice experts give, what medicine psychiatrists prescribe or how successful we become, fear is always lurking in the background. Fear makes our palms sweat, keeps us silent or giggly, gives us butterflies in our stomachs and persuades us that we can't achieve our dreams.

Fear can hold us back. How many times have you turned away from an opportunity, not followed up with someone or not given out a business card because you were afraid of rejection or what might happen?

Think of the products and the unique ways of doing business that could be developed if we never again had to face fear. What would the world be like if we turned fear on its head?

Harness the Energy of Fear
Energy gives us the courage and willpower to bring our dreams to life. It propels our businesses forward. What happens if we simply use "fear energy" for its opposite purpose? Instead of letting fear paralyze us, why not scream "Fear is the energy we need to achieve the impossible!" Embrace that energy-it is powerful.

There are countless verified tales of people experiencing enormous energy resulting from fear. A woman was thrown from her car after a collision while her husband remained trapped inside, unable to open the door. The back end of the car caught fire, and fear drove every cell of her body to hoist the car up, pull open the door and free her husband. We are all too quick to underestimate our energy, aren't we?

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This article was originally published in the June 2003 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: A Fear Factor.

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