Updated: Sep 24, 2020
When working with my coach this week, I was talking about a situation which was making me feel a bit uncomfortable and scared as well as excited. At the root of it all was a fear of rejection. Once we’d uncovered that, things got easier because I’m well versed in rejection through work… I just hadn’t applied that fearlessness to this particular situation.
Seeing it objectively removed much of the fear. I’ll still be a little bit jittery, but I’m no longer scared.
Because I can handle rejection.
Why? I’ve had tons of practice in it!
Throughout my career in the arts, I’ve either led small companies or been freelance. As such, every day has involved me putting myself out there: through funding applications; through proposals; tenders; even just reaching out to people I don’t know for a chat. It’s like I’ve spent my whole career applying for a new job every week.
And as a result, I’ve got really good at being rejected. Sure some things, which I’ve poured my heart and soul into, are painful when they don’t work out. Sometimes my foundations are rocked a bit. But I’m only ever down momentarily before I bounce back up like the Duracell bunny and find some other ingenious way of being rejected.
Of course, it’s not all rejection. Occasionally, it’s the sweet, delicious taste of success. That is rather addictive in its seductive wonderfulness.
So when it comes to work, I am pretty fearless. Can I transfer that to other parts of my life? As I discovered in the coaching session this week, yes, I think I can apply it to personal relationships. But climbing up a height or jumping off a cliff? No chance. I’m a big old coward when it comes to those things, and I’m not sure how much personal development I actually want to do to address that!
But all this has got me thinking about the value fearlessness as an entrepreneur.
I've recently started developing some group coaching packages with the amazing business coach, Cat Cripps. Furlough to Founder is for people who have been recently made redundant or maybe just want to make a change and are exploring whether to run their own business with my bit being all about mindset.
Unpicking what should be the essence of an entrepreneurial mindset has fearlessness at it’s core. That’s doesn’t mean you never feel fear, but you are able to have doubts and fears but positively move beyond them. Stride out into the world and shout “Here I am!”.
Fearless is about falling madly in love again after heart break.
It’s about applying for that opportunity when you’ve been knocked back so many times before.
It’s about being able to visualise a positive future and head towards it with intention.
Here are five ways you can be more fearless:
1. Find your role models
Who do you know or know of who is fearless? Watch them, research them, learn how they do it through observation. Only don’t stalk them… that’s going too far.
2. Be prepared to look silly
What’s the worst that could happen? Really? If someone laughs at you, what damage has really been done? If you can find a way to be prepared to look like a tit and be ok with it, you’re well on your way to achieving the metaphorical Fearless medal. You’d probably not actually look like a tit anyway… it’s just the fear of it that might hold you back.
3. Have a mindset of gratitude
Some things might not have gone that well. OK. Accept and move on. What has gone well? At the end of the week, write a list of things you have achieved. At the start or the end of the day, ask yourself what's good in your life. Note it down. Make it a habit. This positive psychology isn’t just airy fairy hippy stuff. It will actually change how your brain works… and will help you immensely on being more fearless.
4. Visualise the future
Where do you want to be? What does it feel like? What have you achieved? What can you hear… see… touch? Place your self in the future and be specific. Go into detail. The more you visualise it, the more likely it will happen. Day dreaming is seriously underrated.
5. Find your mentors
You don’t need to go it alone, even if you are embarking on a big new venture. Seek out people who can help you. How can you learn from them? What support might you need? AND it doesn’t all need to be face to face… find your mentors in books, podcasts, blogs. There’s a wealth of inspiration and it pays to make time for it.
In the spirit of honesty, I write this post with a little fear of not getting things right… that maybe I’ll put the blog out into the world and I’ll look stupid… who am I to give advice? Naturally all those voices are there, but through practice, positivity and downright stubbornness I can keep them to a whisper. The louder voices are telling me that I love sharing stories. That the power of coaching needs to be shouted about, and I’m going to do that… and I’ll not walk into that situation I mentioned at the beginning and feel scared. I might just tell him that I fancy him.