When I was a sales trainer I used to tell trainees:

If you want to be successful, you’ve got to learn to EMBRACE the feeling of fear and failure because you’re going to feel this before you become successful. You’ve got to LOVE to hear the word “no” because you WILL hear it many times before you hear a yes.

Two weeks ago, I made a conscious decision to push forward on several of my business goals with vigilance. But as I started to draw toward the finale on one of them, I became keenly aware that I was STALLING. If I wasn’t aware of these classic symptoms of stalling, I could have easily mistaken them for legitimate excuses.

Flushing Out Hidden Fears

I truly wasn’t sure what was causing all of these stalls – though I was pretty sure it was rooted in fear. Logically, I want this venture to succeed or I wouldn’t have put so much effort into it. But I could see the signs that I was holding myself back from achieving my goal to launch.

  • I got really “busy” with other work: This left me with “no time” to work toward my big goal. But when I critically examined my workload – I wasn’t actually busier, I was just taking longer to finish projects that I could have completed faster.
  • I kept finding reasons to leave my desk: Every time I would sit down to work on the project I would feel hungry, thirsty, need to make more coffee, remember that I had to go to the store for something, etc, etc, etc. This is BS. If you’re really in the zone, none of these things would get in my way.
  • I got sick: I RARELY ever get sick and I firmly believe that I got sick I was challenging many internal fears. This could have given me a reason to lie on the couch and forget about the goals until I was feeling better, but I chose to push forward anyway.

Never underestimate what your subconscious might do to keep you away from a fearful situation. The power of fear is not something to be underappreciated. Fear is a deep-rooted, physiological mechanism that keeps us from hurting ourselves. Challenging it is no simple feat.

Pushing Into the Fear

Instead of sitting around trying to figure out what it was that was holding me back, I decided to set actionable micro-goals that would finalize the launch of this business. What I found as I began to peel back the barriers leading up the launch of the business, something astonishing happened.

As I finished the second to last task that kept me from launch, I stepped away from my computer and walked into my closet to get something and fear-thoughts that I hadn’t asked myself before began rushing through my head like roaches scattering from the light.

  • What if I can’t deliver on the orders?
  • What if I’m missing an important legal aspect and get sued?
  • What if it is a success but I’ve priced it too low and end up in huge debt over this?

Now I had found the real fears. The fears that were making me sick. The fears that were keeping me occupied with “busy-work.” The fears that were limiting my success and keeping me in my comfort zone.

There is a real physiological reason why we call complacency a comfort zone. Pushing out of it hurts – both physiologically and emotionally – but you have to get past it in order to GET THERE.

Right now, there is something extremely uncomfortable that you are avoiding that is getting in the way of your vision of success

You may not even know what it is that is holding you back. In fact, I would venture to say from this experience that you probably DON’T know exactly what it is that is holding you back if you haven’t peeled back the layers enough.

Instead of trying to figure out why you’re stalling, set some mini tasks and force yourself to accomplish them. Complete them even if you’re kicking and screaming inside. Work through exhaustion and discomfort and eventually they will be finished and you will be in the moment of your success.

If you can just get past these fears, they will eventually be behind you and they won’t bother you any longer until you’re ready to push out of your new comfort zone and take your success even further.

If you can learn to embrace fear, it can work in your benefit. Push through fear and facing it head on will position you’ll be miles ahead of most people in the world who will let the discomfort and terror of fear stop them.

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