I still remember all the time I spent arguing with myself whether a digital magazine is what I should be doing. At a time I would feel really confident about my idea, then I’d be wondering if it was worth it. I ended up sending my proposal to everyone I know, telling everyone I met, ”Hey, I’m thinking of starting a digital magazine about the well being of women and children. What do you make of it?” All they had said was “It was a good idea, but shouldn’t you focus on something more reliable?” and it kept going on until I finally realized all I wanted was their approval before I took the first step. I was so scared of what might happen that I was waiting for someone to come and tell me “This is going to work, go ahead.” Unfortunately for me, no one did.
I spent time reading books and blog posts on how people like Jack Ma or J.K Rowling overcame their rock bottoms and emerged as famous and successful as they are today. All those stories were fascinating to read, and they indeed encourage me, but it never lasts longer than 8 hours or one day. I would wake up the next day and asked myself the same question, should I do this magazine or not. Every day, no matter how many inspiring stories I read, I would back to where I started — full of doubts and fears.
My fear was in my mind, just like yours. It took me a while to realize, and it took even longer to be able to move past my fear.
1. Acknowledge and Accept it
Whatever it may be. For me it was the fear of failure, for you it could be fear or rejection, public speaking, love or anything. I spent so much time ignoring the fact that my fear was fueling my doubts and insecurities. I read so many books, journals and blogs — all of those stories sounded more like a fiction for me because I didn’t have the courage to face my fears. I often thought there should be some kind of magic or luck — actually it’s none of those. They simply had the courage to say, ““I’m scared but I’m gonna try it anyway.” So what about you? Will you be able to say it too? Fear is the mother of all negative thoughts you have in your mind. Once you shut that door, all other negative thoughts will not enter your mind again.
2. Get Working
I have acknowledged my fear and now what? Get to work. Do the one thing you were scared to do. For me, it was launching the magazine. The moment I acknowledged it was my fear driving all those doubts in my head, I choose to ignore it and went ahead with launching my magazine. Honestly, I didn’t have the answers to most of the questions people were asking me. All I knew was this what I’m going to do. I didn’t who where or who would want to be the contributors, I didn’t know who could be the editors, I didn’t even have any base of subscribers. I only asked myself a question, how am I going to get the readers if I don’t have anything to show it to them? So I launched the website. I reached out to people, more than half of them didn’t even write back to but let me tell you one thing, hard work always pays off. When you are persistent and consistent in what you are doing. When you have a clear vision for yourself, people will come.
3. Expect failure as much as you expect success
It’s okay to fail. When you fail it doesn’t mean that you are doing something wrong and should quit altogether. Failure indicates that you are now one step closer to your success. Imagine, you as a kid who has just learned to walk, you will definitely fall, it’s inevitable. But whenever you fall you would always get up because you knew that when you get up you are one step closer to your target. So why we are all scared of failure? You can taste success with failure. Failure is like the sugar for your tea and salt for your food. Without it, success will be bland.
4. Know that you only have yourself
I used to ask and depend on so many people’s opinions and in that process, I was beginning to lose myself. I often find myself alone with my laptop, wondering what I should do because many people had said that launching a magazine won’t work. I found myself deleting an article I had written or revised it multiple times just because every time someone would comment about it and the end the articles no longer had my original ideas. When I silenced all those voices, I only had mine and at first, it was really scary. It was scary because I was no longer familiar with my voice. It’s okay to seek advice from others but at the end of the day you only have yourself, and your voice should matter the most. When the world is against your new business, what is that inner voice telling you? That voice is always right.
5. Investigate It
Fear is the source of all problems. From fear comes anxiety, depression, stress, you name it. When fear creeps in, you need to start investigating what is the source of the fear. The best way to acknowledge your fear is to know why you were scared to do it in the first place. Why are you scared to start that business? Why are you scared to approach that guy or girl in your college? Why are you scared to stand up to those people who have been bullying you? Once you figured out the source of your fears, you can start act based on the solution. For most people, the answer would be failure or rejection. In order to avoid failing, you have to put your based effort in, practice and keep doing it again.
6. Trust In Time
When you wounded yourself as a kid would you rather ignore it or put some medications and wait for the wounds to heal it? Fear is also like that. If you ignore you it will get worse and often leads to other complications like self-doubts, insecurities, anxiety and so on. As you take the steps in addressing and working to move past your fears, patiently wait that in time things will get better. 99% of what you fear and worry will never happen so take your time to enjoy the present, leave the past where it should be and be positive about the future.
7. You are what you feed yourself
There is a saying you are what you eat. Simply meaning that if you want to stay healthy start giving your body healthy food. And what is the best way to kill a bad habit? Stop feeding it what it wants. Same goes with fear, fear can only exist if we start feeding it what it wants. Stop feeding your mind with fear and be bold.
Overcoming fear is not a one time job. At times you will have to encourage yourself and you should. It’s a continuous effort. Nothing can happen overnight, and if it does it won’t last long. So, always be patient and encouraging.
Featured Image via Unpslash.