Is it really scary? Or is it all in your head?

Jan 16, 2017Padraig's Insights

Don’t let fear hold you back


I was working with my team this morning and we were talking about packaging our programmes for the year. I have approached a number of people about doing a particular package and to my surprise, they resisted it.

It struck me that they resisted it because they’re afraid.

They look at the programme and the commitment that has to be made to embark on the programme and they’re afraid. They’re afraid of the cost, that they won’t be able to pay the money and that it’s too big a commitment.

Every entrepreneur learns on day one that the only way to be successful is to master the fear and push through it.

You have to have sufficient self-belief and confidence that it will work out. You must believe that if you take the step, make the commitment and the sacrifice that they universe asks of you, then it will all work out.

This is a huge problem for people. You have to take the risk and move into action, since there is no other way. Everyone knows the book ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers and I think she really hit the nail on the head.

I spoke the other day about interpreting anxiety as excitement, and it’s the exact same scenario. You have to feel the fear and do it anyway. So, try it with something small first.


Facing fears on a motorbike


The perfect example of this is my girlfriend when she learned to drive a motorbike.

When it comes to the DISC personality test, I’m a high D (Dominance). I like fast-paced environments and tough assignments. I drive through problems and challenges, or as my girlfriend often says, I lean into a challenge.

She’s a high S (Steadiness) – steady, stable, no risks basically – and for her to get on the motorbike and overcome that raw fear she must have felt is a huge accomplishment.

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The point is that having done it, she can now face into other challenges and see fear for what it is – an immobilising thing that closes down the mind.

Most of all, she can park the fear and take action.

When you face your fear you become infinitely stronger across a whole range of areas. I really believe this.

One of the places I learned the courage to keep going in business was with my running.

When I’m really up against it and things are tough, I don’t stop because I run and when I run I don’t stop.

I watched an Ethiopian winning a marathon one year and when asked why he didn’t stop despite being in distress, he said that if he stops once it’s always an option for the future.

I learned that from him, so now no matter what life throws at me I never give up. When I feel the fear in business and life I plough through it.

This doesn’t just apply to personality types like mine, it applies to all personality types. Facing your fears makes you stronger and your ability and self-esteem increase across all areas.


The surprising benefits of writing


Recently I’ve been doing a lot of thinking around the importance of writing things down. In our weekly team meeting last week we were discussing our January campaign, and I realised that I was becoming more and more confused the more we talked!

Collecting your thoughts on a sheet of paper can let you know whether you know what you’re talking about or not.

At the very least it gives you an opportunity to structure your thinking.

So, the next time you’re struggling with something, take out a sheet of paper and try to write down what it is you’re trying to do.

You’ll realise how unclear your thinking often is and how helpful it is to try and put it down on a sheet of paper. It certainly helped us to make sense of what we were trying to achieve!

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Park your need to sell


I had two gentlemen come in and make a presentation recently to a group of my clients and I had one insight from it: what a waste of time.

They didn’t know how to communicate, sell or position themselves.

They had five potential clients sitting around a table and far from grabbing their interest, all of them yawned when they left.

It is utter madness to show up for something like that and try to sell. What they needed to do was show up and ask questions, to try and understand what the problems and challenges are and position themselves accordingly.

Instead they did a standard Powerpoint presentation and a series of slides that they talked around all the wonderful stuff they did.

Anybody who doesn’t understand what I’m talking about should read ‘Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play’ by Mahan Khalsa and Randy Illig.


Slow down


It has struck me recently just how important it is to slow down. I spent one full day last week doing the accounts.

It was insightful because it turned out I was missing the opportunity in a problem.

What I should have done was tackle my work in the right frame of mind. I should have stopped, took a deep breath and focused on what needed to be done.

Instead, I barrelled through it without slowing down to think about what I was doing, and as a result I did more work and felt more stress than I should have.

So, take time to slow down. You won’t regret it.

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Final thoughts…


Fear is a natural part of life, but don’t let it stop you! Feel the fear and do it anyway. Courage breeds courage. Keep facing up to your fears and you will find yourself braver than you ever imagined yourself to be.

I find that writing things down can have a huge impact on understanding. If you’re struggling with something, write it down and see if things don’t become clearer!

Park your need to sell. Focus instead on understanding the issues of potential clients and where you could alleviate their pain points. Selling in the wrong circumstances can leave people running for the hills.

And finally, I think most of us need to slow down a bit more. There should be more to life than running from one thing to the next. Slow things down and I bet it will help your productivity and clarity of thinking in the long run!

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