Does fear hold you back from marketing your business?
Maybe you spend a lot of time thinking about your marketing… but you don’t spend any time putting those thoughts into action.
It can sound many different ways:
- “I’m not ready.”
- “It’s not right yet.”
- “I don’t know enough yet.”
- “What will people think?”
- “I don’t want to put myself out there.”
- “I’ll do it later when I have more energy.”
All of these responses to the idea of marketing our business are in reaction to fear. They might not seem it from the outside… but that’s what is driving them.
Fear of judgement, fear of embarrassment or shame, fear of failure… even fear of success! It all gets in our way and stops us from doing the thing we know we need to do.
And this is a problem because our fear can stop us from moving forward.
Instead of putting our products and services in front of the people who need them (which can be terrifying), we hide in places of comfort, like research, development, creativity. If we spend too much time in our fear, it can turn into a negative spiral and start to feel debilitating. “I’m afraid” becomes “I can’t.”
Fear can be especially stifling for introverts who spend a lot of time in their heads. If we spend our mental energy envisioning the “what ifs” of all the bad things that might happen, it’s easy to start believing them. We start to think that it’s the only possible outcome.
But “what if [bad]” is not the only thing that might happen? In fact, there’s a lot more “what if [good]” that is possible. The more we focus on a positive outcome, the more we work at it, and the more likely it is to happen.
If you ever feel stifled by the fear of moving forward, there are two key things to remember:
Fear does not have to control us.
We are more in control of the outcome than we might think.
When we focus on the positive possibilities, we start to take action that make that possible!
If this all feels out of reach because fear is showing its ugly head and getting in your way, I invite you to try out the steps I’ve outlined below which can help give you the upper hand over your own fear.
1. Stop Judging
Fear is normal and it's healthy… within reason. More people are afraid than you might realize. They don’t show it, but they are! You have plenty of company.
When you judge it, you actually compound your fear. You give it power and fuel, and you feel even more stuck.
Instead – try simply recognizing it. Call it out and name it. “That’s fear. I’m afraid of something.” It becomes more of an observation, rather than a rooted fact.
And then, instead of judging yourself for feeling fear, honor it. This is your brain protecting you. That's a good thing!
These actions of recognizing your fear, naming it, and honoring it can begin the process of de-escalating the feelings connected to your fear.
2. Separate the fear from the thing you are trying to do
We automatically connect our fear to the thing we are trying to do. It can be helpful to separate them.
So we’re actually looking at two things :
- The action you are trying to take (i.e. activities around marketing your business)
- The fear you have around the outcome of those activities
Just mentally seeing them as disconnected can help you look at the fear a little bit differently.
If you want to take this a little bit further, grab a piece of paper and answer these 2 questions in detail:
- To understand your fear, ask: What is the worst that could happen?
- To undermine your fear, ask: What is the best that could happen?
As you list these things out, take the time to envision them and feel them – both the worst and the best.
This process disempowers your fear because you can start to see all of the possible outcomes, not just the ones you are afraid of. Any of these outcomes is possible… and you have control because you can influence which one you want to happen.
3. Get clear on the thing you want to do and each step you need to take to move forward.
Where are you trying to go?
What is first step you need to take to get there?
What is the 2nd step, and then the third? You don’t have to know all of the steps, just the first few… plus a vision of where you’re ultimately headed.
Then… take your first step. Just that one. See how you’re doing… and then take the next. Step by step, you’ll get where you’re going. And if you need to go back up and do some separation, do that.
Most things that we do in marketing require repetition. Regular posts on social media, regular emails, regular blog posts. Every time you do something again, you’ll have an easier time at it because you’ve gone through this process. It becomes part of your mindset.
In the end, dealing with our fear is part mindset, part courage, and part habit. When we get clear on what we're thining, we can get our head around it. That creates the space we need to choose to be brave so that we can do what we want and need to do despite our fear. When we manage our mindset and step into courage over and over, we create a habit of doing so… it may not ever be easy, but through repetition we can make it easier.
If you found this helpful and want to dig a little more into this topic, I invite you to watch the video below where I go into greater detail and also provide some useful examples.