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5 Ways Business Owners Can Slay Fear and Be Bold Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure.

By Claudia Chan Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


In the early baby/startup stage, running a business is all-consuming, and entrepreneurs think and worry about its health and growth 24/7. Then the parental level of consumption and micro-management changes when the business can "run on its own." I know that these undertakings can leave us feeling vulnerable, stressed, and frustrated. Over-thinking can easily become loud, disempowering self-talk. Disempowering thoughts consist of fear, self-doubt, self-criticism, shame, scarcity mentality, comparison to others… the list goes on. Every entrepreneur goes through this. But in order to be successful, we need to slay fear and be bold.

Below are five ways I've learned to empower myself and eliminate disempowering irrational self-talk.

1. "Fear Means Go." Exercise Your Courage Muscles.

For when you fear that you might fail:

Realize that fear is a good sign for many reasons. If we are not afraid, our pursuits are probably too safe to be innovative. Take it as a sign to "GO" because the greatest achievements are on the other side of fear. Experiencing fear also means exercising our courage muscles, so weather through them, knowing they will shape you into the courageous and compassionate leader you are meant to be. And make this Jack Lemmon quote your screen saver: "Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure."

Related: Are You Living Your Most Authentic Self?

2. Close the Deal With Yourself First

For when you think your product is not good enough:

If you do not believe in your worth enough to ask for your value (what you are worth or deserve), you cannot expect others to. It's a negotiation you have to have with yourself first. Once you're convinced you are worthy and have all the points to prove it, ask for what you want passionately.

3. Master Shifting Your Mental State with Meditation

For when you are in a slump and think you have lost your capability to accomplish anything:

A slump is just a negative state of mind. Remember you get what you focus on, so in these moments you just need to shift your mind is telling you. Write a meditation for yourself.. It's a process to cleanse your mind of negative/slump thoughts by inhaling all the positive statements and exhaling all the negative feelings, and shift back into a positive state. Put your Pandora/Spotify on "chill/yoga music." Get into a seated/cross legged pose on floor. Sit on a pillow so you're slightly elevated. Light a candle and place it centered in front of you. Close your eyes and put palms on knees.

Meditate on this:

"Everything is happening for me, not to me… including this slump. I am positive thoughts. I am positive energy. This slump is happening to make me better and more resilient. To show me something I may not understand now. I am success. I am extraordinary. I am fearless. I am positive thoughts. I am positive energy…" Inhale the good. Exhale the negative. Keep going until you start feeling cleansed of negative thoughts. For me, it's at least 5-10 minutes. You should feel a shift into positive energy. Then open your eyes and go be the greatness you already are!

Related: Don't Mistake Lack of Response for Lack of Respect

4. Exercising Patience Is Obeying Your Destiny

For when you want it yesterday and think you have the worst luck and are doomed:

When impatience hits, it's a raw, reactionary desire for the thing we want very badly, often because we believe we have put enough effort and work into getting it. Instead we need to see not getting what we want now as a sign that it's not the right time. Either for reasons that the result of the goal will be a better, different version than we originally expected because of additional experiences we needed to have to manifest it. Or it was always less about the result and more what the journey getting there would teach, provide or pivot us… that is our destiny. Trust that everything is in perfect order, aim and achieve high, but be flexible in the process knowing that the universe has our back.

5. Your Power to Believe Is Your Greatest Strength

For when you think you and your dream are not good enough:

My favorite mantra is, "We can only become what we believe." Whereas confidence empowers you and makes you more productive, self-doubt disempowers you and slows you down. When you doubt yourself, your insecurity shows through to others and takes away your power. If you doubt your own ideas and potential, you can't expect others (a new client, employee, employer…) to buy what you're offering or asking for. So although storms will need to be weathered, believe in yourself and what you want, work hard and be creative in obtaining it. And never, ever give up.

Related: 3 Steps to Empower Yourself Through Transitions

Claudia Chan

Women's Empowerment Expert, Serial Entrepreneur, Founder of SHE Summit Global Conference (Oct 6-7 in NYC - SHESummit.com)

Claudia Chan is the CEO of S.H.E. Globl Media Inc., the multi-platform women’s empowerment media company behind the renowned global women’s conference, S.H.E. Summit. As a women’s leadership expert and social entrepreneur, Chan celebrates and spreads stories, strategies and solutions from over 200 women leaders on ClaudiaChan.com. Her life's work is to accelerate women's equality and unlock female potential because she believes when women and girls do better, the world does better. 

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