Why you can't build a life or business based on fear

What are you afraid of?

Spiders? Heights? People laughing at you? The people you love leaving you? Failure?

I’m afraid of people not liking me.

After dinner with a dear friend and a phone call with a wise mentor today, I had a deep a-ha moment.

Parts of my life are still based in fear.

But Sarah, you seem like such a happy person. You look like you’ve got it all together. And if you’re trying to teach me how to be confident, clear and connected, shouldn’t you be all those things first?

Let Me Clarify

I do feel confident, clear and connected, but I’m not Wonder Woman.

I’m human. A messy human at that. And I get scared too.

It’s not that I’m unhappy or don’t like myself. It’s not that I want someone else’s life, figure, pay cheque or purpose (although some people’s lives look pretty sweet from the outside, am I right?).

It’s not that at all. It’s this:

If I strip away all the labels, the lists, the achievements and the things in my life; there’s still a part of me that lives in a place of fear.

Why Worry?

For example, back in 2003 my fear was that I’d never be in a loving relationship again. I was freshly divorced and deeply unhappy. I was scared (and completely convinced) that no man would ever love me again.

I wanted to feel worthwhile, valued and validated. I wanted to love and be loved in return. But quite frankly, I was desperate (and potential partners could smell it a mile away).

Fast forward to now and I’m in a great relationship with a caring, thoughtful and wonderful man. I’ve proven that my fear had no basis in reality. But it could’ve – if I’d let it.

Because here’s the thing, if you fight with fear and you let it win you’ll get exactly what you expect – a negative outcome.

And when I look back at all the time I spent worrying I’d never meet someone, I realise what a total waste of time it was – time I could’ve spent having fun, feeling good and following my bliss.

Scope Creep

Lately, I’ve noticed fear creeping back in, only this time in my business. It’s been telling me things like:

  • You suck.
  • You’re not good enough.
  • You can’t do this.

So what am I going to do about it?

I’ve got two choices.

I can either ignore it and build my business on a foundation of fear (not an option).

Or I can take a deep breath and tell my fear to take a hike.

Take A Hike, Fear

If I step out of the feelings that fear brings up and put my ‘practical’ hat on, I can see how much I’ll lose if I let fear win.

  • I’ll miss out on making new friends and connecting with lovely people like you.
  • I won’t get to support people, make a difference in their day or help them see how amazing they are.
  • I won’t get to learn, grow or creatively express myself.
  • And I’ll waste a whole lot of my life worrying (precious time that could be better spent loving, laughing, enjoying and living my life instead).

Because the thing is,

there’s too much to lose if I choose fear

So now, today, in this moment, I will thank my fear. I will acknowledge that it was trying to keep me safe.

I will thank my fear, and I will let it go.

I choose love.

I choose you.

P.S. If fear ever creeps into your life or business, you might find it helpful to explore these journaling prompts about busting through fear.