Updated: Aug 13, 2019
Recently, after a conversation with several aspiring entrepreneurs and #mompreneurs, I realized we have a great deal in common. One emotion we all share is FEAR. So now I have to ask the question, What makes fear so common and so powerful?
Fear is a normal emotion and response to the unknown. Anxiety and worry are also normal responses change. What's not normal or logical is to allow an emotion to derail you from purposeful actions to achieve desired goals. You've heard the phrase "Mind Over Matter!" Let's talk through some logical steps to put fear in it's place in order to do what we already know needs to be done.
First understand.,I am not suggesting a cure for fear. I am just recommending you go ahead and DO IT AFRAID!
As I just said, fear is often a normal and unpreventable reaction. The pathology starts when we allow that particular emotion to halt progress. We are not designed to be crippled by fear. The goal isn't to be fearless. I want you to be courageous. Courage is the ability to act in the face of obstacles, even when one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is fear.
Here are my 3 quick suggestions...
1. Increase your knowledge.
2. Plan with purpose.
3. Share and Repeat.
Increase your knowledge.
Mind over matter refers to a person's ability to use the strength of thought processes [mind] to overcome physical and emotional struggles [matter]. Strength over struggles. There is power in a knowledge of self, circumstance, and probability. You need to know who you are, what you are capable of doing, and your likelihood to succeed. It helps to also be aware of your surroundings and circumstance. My brother has this saying, "Know your personnel." It would behoove you to be knowledgeable about the capabilities, as well as the character flaws of those in your close proximity. By knowing the strengths and weaknesses of others, you can avoid unmet and unrealistic expectations that often end in frustration and failure.
Do you know your purpose? What's your passion? I believe knowledge of self will empower your ability to do anything afraid. I know who I am. I know my passion and my purpose. I know from whence I have come. I know what I have put on the planet to do and give back to the universe. I also know whats inside of me, my heritage and genetic make up. I am the decedent of civil rights leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, and history makers. I am aware that by circumstance I am truly a minority in medicine. Black Women make up less than 3% of practicing, board-certified anesthesiologist in this country. I also know that my probability of success has proven to be above average due to my track record of never giving up. I will never ever fail at trying.
Most people do not know that I once had a fear of public speaking. I would instantly get tongue tied at the thought of talking to strangers in small or large crowds. However, being raised in a small baptist church with two parents who were Sunday School teachers, I was obligated to serve in the youth department. I had to read scriptures and pray. I was assigned speeches that I was expected to recite to the congregation. Even right now as I am recalling the experiences of my youth, my mouth is getting dry. I since a slight tremor in my hands. I was afraid and remembering the fear makes me anxious. So how did I get through it? Knowledge.
I knew my parents were not going to allow me to back out. I knew I had absolutely no choice in the matter but to Do IT AFRAID. I also knew that plenty of young people had gone through the same process. No one had reportedly died from leading devotion or reciting their holiday speech. I also had to study and prepare. I would review my scriptures. I had learned to ask my parents questions to better understand the material I needed to present. I realized actually knowing what I was talking about gave me a certain level of confidence to speak on the topic with others. I can also tell you all about the contrary of how being unprepared lead to poorly delivered messages, riddled with stuttering and fumbled words. Whatever you don't know can be seen as a weakness, so do your research. Knowledge is power to be courageous in the face of fear.
Plan with purpose.
Poor planning will only result in poor performance. Endless lists of minutia, as well as undefined goals, are not helpful to execute a purposeful plan for success. The entire point of the plan is to plot out your map to achieving a desires result.
The best way I can explain this concept is with an example.
I want to start a podcast. I plan to start a podcast. Fast forward 6 months, I would be willing to bet there will not be a manifested podcast.
Now, in align with my passion and purpose for empowering working moms, I desire to create a podcast to address common struggles of the #Mompreneur. Furthermore, I have specific goals with deadlines. I will give myself 2 weeks to research and outline my first 5 topics for the podcast. The following 2 weeks, I plan to finish the script for the first recording. Next, I need to consider a platform, make a recording schedule, post, and distribute. Now that outline does not appear too burdensome, but actually very attainable. I can now start my 6 week road map to my desired podcast.
I have also learned that even the best plans still need the occasional revision. In my constant quest for knowledge, I may stumble upon new information that might warrant a modification to the original plan. Maybe, I need to start booking guests with an expertise beyond my own to deliver the best information to my audience. I also have researched several strategies to increase my audience. Thus my planning process is on going in order to implement these marketing strategies and increase likelihood of success. Because my purpose is well defined and the goals of my plan are aligned with that purpose, success is measurable and attainable. So my well though out plan and increased knowledge has taken a great deal of the unknown out of my new venture. I believe the less unknown and greater likelihood of success makes taking action in the face of fear less cumbersome.
Share and Repeat
I am sharing my personal struggles and success with the world because I find it therapeutic. Also, no one wants to feel like they are the only one struggling. No one wants to feel like they are all alone with crippling fear. I moved to a new city and started a new contract all the while afraid I would not fit in with the staff. However, I knew I was a more than capable physician. I know I have a purpose and passion for helping others. I continue to stay abreast of the changes in medical practice to best serve my patients. So I moved afraid. I started the business even though I was afraid I didn't have enough working capitol. When my first launch flopped, I researched marketing strategies and found the right team to really fine tune my message about why my hair care products are uniquely better than the million others on the market. I built my business afraid.
Right now, I am afraid my writing may not be Pulitzer prize winning. In the past I would be afraid of what others would think about me. Currently, I could care less. What other people think about me is really none of my business. I don't think, I KNOW I am a masterpiece work of art in progress, crafted by my divine creator to be extraordinary.
I am afraid of so many things, but I am no longer afraid of failure. My fear has been dissipated by knowledge. I know I can not fail, because failure is impossible if you never stop trying. I told you there is no cure for fear, but I'm not worried. I have already been diagnosed with End-Stage, Stage 4 COURAGE. [Medical Nerd Humor]
So I am just going to going to keep sharing and repeating my process. I am going to just DO IT AFRAID over and over again.
Disclaimer: Please do not substitute my personal opinions, statements for medical advice. Anxiety and Depression are serious issues that need to be diagnosed and treated by qualified professionals. I do offer virtual counseling through HIPPA certified portals to protect your privacy while offering much needed access. Visit www.drkanisha.com/need-counseling for details, availability, and appointments.