Fear is your friend

In my last newsletter, I shared an insight about how the most successful business leaders, entrepreneurs and sales people have learnt to love the hustle. The article was inspired by a coaching session I had with my mentor, who challenged me to lift my game, practice what I preached and get busy hustling for new business.

After the session I got to work building my list, developing my approach strategy, creating my pitch and getting organised for action. Then came the next step. I had to actually do the calls. Despite all my previous experience in prospecting for new business and the countless hours I have spent training and coaching people to do the same, I was scared.

We all come across fear everyday and it often stops us doing the things that we need to do in order to get the results that we want to get. Ironically, fear, the emotion that has been critical for human survival for 200,000 years, can halt our growth and stifle our progress. In order to evolve as individuals and as a species, we need to change our relationship with fear.

Now, I don’t think we need to “overcome” fear like it’s the enemy. I think we need to make fear our friend. Fear is not bad. It’s not wrong. It just is. Fear is part of the journey. Fear tells us that we are at the edge of our comfort zone and that opportunities for growth await us.  The feeling of fear is very real. The reality of fear is often in our imagination.

There is the physiological aspect of fear and there is the psychological aspect of fear.  The physiological affect of fear is a sensation in our bodies. The psychological affect of fear is the stories we tell ourselves about what the feelings mean. The trick to harnessing fear is to feel the sensation and change the story.

If you interpret the sensation of fear to mean something like, “If I take this action I’m going to damage my reputation, loose face, suffer pain or even die”… you’ll make fear your enemy, stay within your comfort zone and not take the action. If you interpret the sensation to mean something like, “this is an opportunity for growth, I got this, I’ve got nothing to lose”… the feeling will still be there, but you’ll turn fear into your friend, do the action and grow.

Psychologists will tell you that, from a physiological point of view, there is very little difference between the sensation of fear and the sensation of excitement in our bodies. By being aware of the sensation and accepting it, we can then harness the feeling and use it to our advantage.

This is how we can learn to love the hustle. By changing our relationship to fear, turning it into excitement and taking the action. And that’s exactly what I have done. Even though I was still gripped with fear at the onset of my new prospecting campaign, I didn’t let the sensation stop me. Now my mountains have become molehills and I actually look forward to my “hustle time” each week.

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