Deal with your fear through daily practice of courage

Dealing with fear is a necessary part of reaching our goals. A daily practice of courage can help us understand and move beyond our fears. 

There is a big difference between fearlessness and courage. To be fearless means without fear; bold or brave; intrepid. Courage means the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty and danger with bravery. Courage is to meet our fear, not give in to it.

What is the daily practice of courage? In business, meeting fear is a necessary part of reaching our goals. Risk is part of any business; being fearless is not. We assess the benefits of one strategy or another; determine the course of our business; look into the future.

How we approach fear can mean the difference between failure and success.

Our self-talk is as critical as our sales strategy. None of this is easy. That's not why we became business owners — keeping positive begins with the daily practice of courage. We move forward.

Many things take courage. Take the word "no." We have heard it all our lives, first, from our parents, who wanted us to stop doing or start doing something. The word no puts folks on edge. When a client says no, we get hit with a dose of anxiety that started in our early childhood. When we have to say no to something, stress rises, even if it is the correct response. Generally, we feel upset and allow this feeling to permeate our conversation.

The word no can also spark our temper, called up by our reactions to "no" in childhood. While "no" is not a pleasant word, it is just a word. You can and should softly and firmly say, "No," without guilt.

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Putting ourselves out there to meet people can be another anxiety-riddled event. How we approach this regular task can make our company better and bring in new clients. Many of us don't like spending time at networking events or meetings. Truthfully, we feel this can be a waste of time and effort. We must find business. By permitting ourselves to meet the right people, we can remove the risk and feel the thrill.

Finally, invest in yourself. You are worth the time and money you spend. We all need to keep up with new and innovative ways to do business. Spending the time and money to do this is necessary. It is also a great way to meet people who are probably the people you need to meet. Whether you are buying a new book, participating in a Zoom meeting, or taking an online class, you are worth the time and money you invest in yourself.

Where does this leave us with the practice of daily courage? First, allow yourself to say "no" without recrimination. Second, remind yourself that the people you meet are there for a reason just like you are. Third, invest in yourself. You deserve it. Courage is moving forward, even when you are scared. Courage is living day to day with the risks of being a business owner. Courage is moving forward one step at a time when fear says stop.

It's not easy to embrace courage when you look at the big picture. Start small. Face the word no today, meet one person today, invest in yourself today. The daily practice of courage is just that — everyday practice. Let tomorrow take care of itself. Today is full enough.

Additional resources:

Robynne Davis

Robynne Davis is Executive Director at Xylina SPC, a woman owned, Washington Social Purpose Corporation with an emphasis on social justice and environmental responsibility. She also is the board Secretary for the Oregon Small Business Fair.

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