My 2-year old daughter started swim lessons last week doing 4 lessons, Monday through Thursday each week. Yesterday was lesson number six. It’s been fun observing her behavior throughout the course of last week and this week.
The first couple lessons focus on getting comfortable with the water and the instructor. Basically, they just get towed around the pool without ever having to physically work on swimming. Each student stays in the shallow end as they learn how to blow bubbles by putting their face in the water, kick their legs while sitting on the first step, and even reach for a dive toy at their feet (all the kids including my daughter initially turned their face away from the water to grab the toy).
What Fear Looks Like
Then, after two days of getting comfortable and learning a few basic skills, the instructor puts them under water while being towed around the pool. My daughter was the second to go, so she witnessed the shear horror the first child experienced going underwater. He’s a bit afraid of water and it was obvious from the first day. So, immediately my daughter begins crying because the little boy is crying. I can see the fear bubbling up in her as she is approached by the instructor for her turn.
She immediately points to the girl next to her as if to say, it’s her turn. But this was not the instructor’s first “rodeo.” In my daughter’s reluctance, she enters the water with the instructor. Her grip couldn’t have been tighter around the teacher’s neck. Eventually, though, the instructor wins and my daughter’s first underwater experience transpires in the blink of an eye. Seriously, no longer than it would take to dip your toe in the water to check the temperature.
After she came up there was a little shock and the crying commenced, but with less intensity. Then the second dip under water occurred with the same crying and decreased intensity after surfacing. By the time she made it back to the edge of the pool for the next child’s turn, she was no longer crying.
As I mentioned, yesterday was lesson number six. My daughter is now staying under water for almost half the pool length as the instructor tows her about. Each lesson has been more and more fun and she’s more expectant every day we arrive at lessons.
The very thing that she was afraid of doing was preventing her from one of the greatest experiences of her young life to date.
What Do You Fear?
Entrepreneurship is no different. So many aspiring business owners looking to make their way and create the income and freedom they desire, are missing out on the very components entrepreneurship provides, because they fear doing the thing that leads to what they desire most.
Your fears are the doorway to your greatest accomplishments.
Think back to when you were a child. Do you remember the first time you jumped off a diving board? Or the first time riding a bike without training wheels? Or the first day of school at a new school or in a new town?
In every instance, there was fear prior and a sense of exhilaration after. You know it’s true. The best experiences and most fruitful times in our lives are a result of stepping into and overcoming our fears.
Will Smith, famous actor and musician, in this YouTube video talks about the relationship of fear and life experiences. Take two minutes to watch it in context with what I am offering you here.
Three Things You Can Do To Make Fear Your Ally
When it comes to your entrepreneurial journey, what do you fear? What is it that you keep putting off because you have a preconceived notion that you will fail or it won’t work out?
This is where you need to focus, take action and grow!
Step 1 – Journal the following question every day: What am I afraid of?
When you start acknowledging your fears, they take on less weight in your sub-conscience. Identify and acknowledge, in detail, what scares you. Write it down daily. Move the things you’ve identified to the top of the list for you to address every day.
Step 2 – Take some form of action every day.
Attack your fears even if it’s just on a small scale. If you’re afraid of spiders, go to a pet store and ask to hold a tarantula. Seriously! You may just find that it’s a cool experience. When it comes to the fears you have around business decisions start with the smaller scale ones and work your way up to the bigger, more significant ones. Build your fear muscle with progression.
Step 3 – Hire a coach!
We all have blind spots including you. You may not be able to discern a particular fear, or may be unwilling to call out something as fear. A coach is a non-biased partner that will be a neutral sounding board for you and help you to see what it is you do not see. Once you have that awareness a coach can brainstorm ideas with you for how to attack the fear and provide you with support and accountability to help you reach your goals.
All that you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. As Will Smith stated in his video, “The best things in life are on the other side of maximum fear.” Become aware the fears holding you back, acknowledge them, take action to overcome, and work with someone who can help you navigate those fears and hold you accountable to reaching your goals.