Lets talk about Fear.
Well hello, so it's been a little while and that is due to being a little busy with a lot of travel over the past couple of weeks. I have had the absolute joy of working with some amazing people and creating work that I really love but I haven't had much opportunity for blogging.
Today though I want to talk about this rather large subject that I know we all suffer with. Fear. We are constantly bombarded with social media posts about being fearless and just going for it. Take risks without hesitation and you fly etc. I don't about you but those quotes and posts just make me feel like there is something wrong with me because no matter how many times I tell myself to be fearless I still feel fear.
Truth is that's a load of shit. Fear is part of being human and to be 'fearless' is just stupid. We have this reaction for a very sensible reason.... to keep us safe and sometimes it's justified.
What is important is how we react to the fear. You need to learn how to react to it appropriately and not let it control your actions but help them.
The problem is when we go into a state of fear our bodies have a pretty intense reaction. It's the same reaction we have when we are excited about something. Cortisol and adrenaline are released into the body along with a shot of glucose to get you ready for fight or flight. Organs in the body that are unimportant for a fight or flight reaction are slowed down. Our ability to think long term is shut down and we go into a state of reaction. It's within this space that we can more often than not make bad choices as we have allowed the state of fear to totally run riot.
A long term state of fear is known as anxiety and can have horrible long term effects both physically and mentally.
As entrepreneurs we face scary and new situations regularly. Going to networking, public speaking, executing a new marketing strategy, being visible online. For new business start-ups those things are entirely new and often terrifying. None of those situations are obviously a threat to life so why the intense reaction?
Well, there is another factor that comes into our basic survival needs. Status. Our whole social system is built on status. No longer do we have to run from the sabre tooth tiger but in order to survive our current society we need to have status. So making ourselves vulnerable to new and uncomfortable situations like a networking event opens us up to being judged and that can lead to a drop in status and the potential to be shamed.
Hence why we can have such intense reactions to new and potentially shaming situations.
So how can we deal with it?
Firstly it starts from within, working on yourself and own self-belief. If you can build yourself a solid foundation of being grounded and confident in both who you are and what you do then half the battle is won.
When that time comes to make yourself uncomfortable and vulnerable to judgement if your self-belief is solid then you have an anchor for when the fear hits.
That sudden palm sweating rush that goes through your body then has less chance of taking control. When I start to feel fear creep in I use a technique called grounding. This only takes me a few minutes and can totally change the experience I am having.
Firstly I acknowledge the fear. Ignoring it makes it worse, far worse. This is after all my body telling me that something is wrong and there is a threat. If I ignore it my body is going to increase it's message to me until it decides it needs to take over entirely to get me out of said situation. Recognising it does not mean you are going to let it take control. I often also quietly thank it for looking out for me. Seems silly, it's not as it's a pattern breaker.
Several deep breaths are next and then I place my focus in my feet. I feel whats underneath them and then I imagine they are tree roots going deep into the ground all the while breathing deeply and I keep doing this until I feel the anxiety start to disperse.
Then I am in a state to think rationally again. I will tell myself the potential benefits of the action I am about to take. If it's networking I will remind myself of all the new people and opportunities that could come from meeting new people, I will remind myself that they probably feel the same fear I do about being judged. Say it's going live on Facebook or Instagram I will remind myself of all the potential people who need my help and might find me because I did that live.
Grounding yourself halts the chemical reaction so you can be open to rational and long-term thinking that allows you to make an informed decision that will lead to positive results.
As business owners there are many new and scary situations to overcome if we want to see growth and the success we want so I really hope this post has helped you have a better understanding of the physical reaction and how to deal with it so you can go out into the world and help the people who need what you offer.
As ever please feel free to leave a comment or share an experience!
Have a great day
My name is Ami and I am primarily a photographer based in London who specialises in personal brand and commercial imagery for women in business.
I offer a range of service from full branding to mini headshot sessions that I hold 4 times a year. I really believe that the best way to connect with your clients is on an emotional and personal level that be done through beautiful imagery.
I also offer empowering boudoir photography for women who want to be brave and show a side of themselves they have never let out before and these are called The Wolf Sessions.
I am also a wedding photographer at Rubie Love Photography so emotion and authenticity is something I am not only an expert in but I also thrive on.
If you want to know more about what I do just click on the buttons