Flip the Switch on Fear-Based Thinking The simple truth is that life mirrors back to us the kind of energy we put out.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Running a business is hard work, and when tough times come for entrepreneurs, it can be all too easy to base next-step decisions on fears rather than hopes and aspirations. The key to creating a positive turnaround in this tendency is to learn how to "flip the switch" on fear-based thoughts and embrace the possibility of success instead.
Flipping the switch on fear-based thinking means, first, identifying fearful beliefs that are coming up to challenge you. Once you've identified these, you can practice reframing them into something positive that will propel your life and business forward.
How to flip the switch
Here are some examples of fear-based thoughts and how to reframe them into helpful affirmations to help you overcome your toughest entrepreneurial moments:
Fearful thought: "I'm struggling to make money. I'm barely scraping by, paycheck to paycheck."
Hopeful affirmation: "Money is always available to me, and my bank account is growing every day."
Fearful thought: "Trying that new idea is too risky. I might fail."
Hopeful affirmation: "I enjoy challenging myself because I know I can achieve anything I set my mind on doing."
Fearful thought: "My competitor is having much more success than I am. I can't make this work."
Hopeful affirmation: "Opportunities for growth and success are falling into my lap on a daily basis."
Fearful thought: "I feel stuck. I don't know where to go from here."
Hopeful affirmation: "I have so many options. I give myself the space to choose which one best contributes to my success."
Put the affirmations you come up with into written form and place somewhere you can see them every day; then read them throughout the day so they are absorbed on both a conscious and unconscious level.
By doing this exercise,you'll be helping yourself to remove self-imposed barriers to success and making room for more goodness and opportunity to enter your life.
The simple truth is that life mirrors back to us the kind of energy we put out. The more you focus on limiting beliefs, the more limited your reality will be. This holds true for the thoughts and feelings we carry around inside, day in and day out, not just the words and actions we show to others. Our internal reality becomes our external experience.
This is not to say that every negative thought we have will throw a wrench into our day or our lives. It's less about what arises than it is about what we focus on. It's not realistic to expect ourselves not to have negative thoughts sometimes. When they do come up though, return to the exercise above and replace the negative thought pattern with a positive affirmation.
At this point, you may be wondering, does this really work? The short answer is: yes! In building several companies and coaching many entrepreneurs to success, I know that fear is a reality in business. Even if you have been in business for a long time, there is always a new mountain to climb. As they say, "New level, new devil." The key is learning to manage your fear and develop coping skills. Then, once you face your fears, your confidence will rise, and the fear will dissolve.
Try flip-switching your thoughts, then, for a few weeks and see for yourself how it feels in practice. If negative thinking is the source of stress and limitation, reframing those thoughts into positive ones will naturally begin to shift you out of stress and toward an awareness of the opportunities all around you that are just waiting for you to recognize them.
The only way to truly move through fear is, as a certain sneaker company advertises, to just do it. Take action. Acknowledge your fears and move through them. The scariest part of any shift or change in your experience is the anticipation of it. Just take things one step at a time and don't hesitate to ask your colleagues, teachers and mentors for support. Before you know it, you will move through your self-imposed fear and doubt.
As times goes on, you'll realize that what previously seemed so insurmountable is much easier to navigate than you imagined. You will develop a new sense of strength and self-confidence that your fears are no longer paralyzing you from realizing the success you've always dreamed of.
Let any fear-based thoughts that do pop up serve as the catalyst for your next achievement. Flip the switch and embrace the truth of your limitless potential.