Don't Let a Little Fear Stop You From Doing What You LoveDo you remember the first time you rode a bike as a kid? I do. I remember being scared out of my shorts. I remember my dad saying, ‘son, don’t let a little fear stop you from doing what you love.’

Those words have stuck with me since. Don’t let a little fear stop you from doing what you love.

That’s the same lesson I was trying to teach my my little girl the other day when I took her off her training wheels to go on a family bike ride around the neighborhood.

On one hand, she was excited. But at first the excitement was buried under immense fear that she couldn’t do it and was going to get really hurt. She drug her feet (literally!), wouldn’t cooperate and eventually cried as she told me she can’t do it. The whole time she just wanted me to protect her and help her know everything would be okay. Of course, we’d been practicing for a couple weeks – little-by-little – so I knew it would be.

She half-heartedly started and crashed. Then again. Then again. We got maybe 50 feet down the sidewalk. Then she said, ‘see daddy, I told you I can’t do it.’ I sat on the ground, she climbed into my lap and we talked about all the things she’d could do without training wheels. I reminded her how much she wants to ride without the restraints of training wheels. I reminded her of how much she loves to ride, telling her, “don’t let a little fear stop you from doing what you love.”

As we talked I fiddled with her bike, making ‘little’ adjustments so it would be ‘easier to ride.’ She watched. When I finished, she jumped off my lap, hopped on the bike and took off. She was a little wobbly, but didn’t fall.

As a family, my 4 kids and I, we rode about 2 miles all around the neighborhood. And my daughter went from being terrified to becoming a biking expert. A few times I got her instructive father got put in his place with, ‘dad, stop talking to me I know what I’m doing.‘ Yep, that’s my girl. My heart fully captured her overwhelming elation from conquering her fear – and from her new found freedom.

We’ve all experienced things like this. Ourselves and maybe with our kids. Milestones that change our life just a little bit. And it all stems from what my dad said years ago, ‘don’t let a little fear stop you from doing what you love.

So how is fear holding you back from growing your business?

It’s a question facing my clients all the time. Fear can be so strong if we give it power. But is there to really be afraid of?

Hopefully you’re in business doing something you’re passionate about. If you’re like me, your passion involves helping people overcome obstacles in their lives. I find that focusing on my passion – on why I do the work I do – gets me past my own fears. Sometimes they walk beside me the whole way. But the fear is manageable if I keep my focus on why – why I’m in business.

So what are your fears? What’s stopping you?

What if I fail?

Not to be counterproductive, but you should. You should fail. You should fall off your bike the first few times. That’s because it’s new. And doing new things means pushing ourself just a little bit further than your comfort zone.

If you stop and think about it for a minute, nearly everything you’ve learned in your life has come out of failing at something. How else do you learn if you don’t start with what you don’t know?

The most successful people in the world got there because they failed over and over again. They were just smart enough to both not repeat the same failures and to get help, support and guidance from someone who had success where they failed. They didn’t dwell. They they got up, dusted themselves off and continued. There’s Japanese proverb: “fall seven times and stand up eight.”

If you don’t try, you’ll never succeed. If you don’t find fear you’re never really trying to grow. So don’t let a little fear stop you from doing what you love.

What if I’m not really an expert?

Let’s just get this out of the way – expert does not mean credentials. It does not mean degree. It does not mean letters behind a name.

Being an expert at something is a relative thing. I don’t have to be the best knitter in the world to teach people how to knit. And you don’t have to be the best coach or healer in the world to help people who need coaching and healing.

Start with what you have. And that is enough. Really. You only need to know a small bit more than your clients. I don’t mean that you misrepresent yourself or pull off a some con.

The fact is most of us have way more knowledge than we use. What all that knowledge makes you an expert. You may not be ‘the’ expert in your field. But you know enough – likely more than enough – to help people. Stop comparing yourself to others and start sharing your gifts. Only you can coach people your way. And that’s not only enough, it’s more than enough.

So be the expert you are – already. Sure, grow and learn more along the way. And…don’t let a little fear stop you from doing what you love.

Needing to figure it all out first

What is there to figure out? There’s always going to be things you don’t know. That’s just as true now as it will be when you know more.

This applies as much or more with having a website and marketing online as it does anything else. The internet tends to be this big mystery for people. You’ve heard terms like SEO or spent time trying to figure out Facebook or Twitter. But when it comes to getting clients it remains a mystery of how you might use these tools.

Don’t try to figure it out. You’re an expert in your business subject. No one is asking you to be an expert in marketing or website design or social media. Instead, find an expert in that area. Let them help you. Learn from them. Ask them to guide you in doing what’s right for your website and for your business online.

The same way your clients don’t need to figure everything out before they work with you, don’t think you need to figure it all out either.

Don’t let a little fear stop you from doing what you love.

So, where are you allowing a little fear to stop you from doing what you love?

I’d love to hear in the comment box.

(note: image from GH on Flickr some rights reserved)

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