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Comedian Jim Carrey may not seem like an expert at facing fears as an australiabusinessblog.com, especially since many of us associate his business experience with losing a fight to a Biro in the 1997 feature film Liar liar. But in 2014, he gave an opening speech to the graduates of Maharishi International University in Iowa, and he had surprisingly wise words.
“So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practical considerations,” he said. “What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect.” But fear, he says, isn’t so much about practicalities as it is about focusing on worst-case scenarios. He continues:
“My dad could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a secure job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he became fired from that safe job, and our family had to do what we could to survive I learned a lot of great lessons from my dad not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well do it take a risk to do what you love.”
Being an australiabusinessblog.com is inherently risky. But the usual risks have increased in recent years given the uncertainty of the economy in the wake of Covid, the new challenges of managing remote or hybrid teams, and even turmoil and conflict abroad. Here’s how you can keep moving forward, even in these trying times.
Related: According to a therapist, these are the thinking habits most likely to destroy your life
No action is still action
It may seem like staying still somehow protects you, like a deer that freezes when it hears human footsteps. But if Harvard Business Reviewfrom Sabina Nawaz points out“not making a choice is in itself a choice.”
Rather than shying away from decision-making, Nawaz suggests starting small. “Instead of ignoring the requests to make a decision, allocate resources, or start a project, identify a next step to get moving. For example, you could poll half a dozen customers about how they perceive your product to further inform the way forward,” she writes.
Changes, whether within your company or the economy as a whole, will happen with or without your consent. Trust yourself to make decisions with confidence and do the best you can with the resources you have. Remind yourself of all the obstacles you’ve overcome and the challenges you’ve faced to get where you are today. What tools did you use at those times? What skills have you developed as a result? Keep those times in mind and remember that you are more resilient than you think.
Related: 5 Fears All Entrepreneurs Face (and How to Overcome Them)
Silence the sound
In 2020 I fell into a trap that swallowed many of us: Doomscrolling. The constant onslaught of bad news and scary statistics took their toll on my mental health, and I noticed that my sleep and appetite were off.
When we’re afraid of something, it’s often easier to give in to distractions or, worse, validate those fears with information we find online. But spirals don’t solve what we fear; in fact it makes it worse.
Instead of looking for evidence to support your fears, turn the volume down and focus on your real concerns. Nawaz suggests naming the “perceived nemesis you’re avoiding,” then creating a spreadsheet with three columns: worst-case scenarios, the current situation, and the ideal outcome. Write down what would need to happen before each opportunity presents itself. Mapping out the route to these outcomes can help you discover that the worst-case scenario really isn’t that bad, or that it can be avoided by changing direction.
At the same time, it is also helpful to limit the amount of negativity you expose yourself to. After I started limiting my news consumption to just 15 or 20 minutes a day, I found myself feeling less anxious and better able to run my business with a clear mind.
Related: Why Many Entrepreneurs Fear Success — And How To Overcome It
Get in touch with your emotions
Being an australiabusinessblog.com requires a high degree of emotional intelligence – and part of that involves understanding how your feelings influence your behavior. For example, if everything you’re doing suddenly seems awful, take a step back. Is the Actually horrible? Is everything Real is it wrong? Or is this less about reality and more about your mindset?
The good news is that emotional self-awareness can be learned. One method I’ve found helpful is practicing mindfulness. When I feel fear is clouding my judgment, I like to use a method called RAIN, which meditation teacher Tara Brach talks about in her book Radical Compassion:
- Rrecognize the fear when it arises. Is it related to work or home?
- aLet it coexist in you. Sit with the fear, instead of trying to solve, control, or judge it.
- iInvestigate it. Concentrate on your body and try to identify the source of the fear.
- Ncherish the feeling. “Maybe you just put your hand on your heart and offer yourself a kind or reassuring message,” advises Back. “You can say to the fear, ‘Thank you for trying to protect me; it’s okay.'”
The urge to be risk averse makes sense. As Brach points out, fear is your mind’s way of trying to protect you. But for most of us in modern times, anxiety is more existential than it was when our brains evolved. In some cases, fear is a good thing: it keeps us on our toes; it can motivate us to do our best work. The key is learning to use it to your advantage, rather than crippling you.
Related: 7 deadly misconceptions about entrepreneurship and starting a business