What to Do When Fear Takes Hold of Your Business

Marion, (not her real name) who has a passive income from a couple of rental properties, was in a dilemma when she rang me for a laser session. She was in the middle of trying to find a new tenant for one of her flats, and the only applicant so far was someone who had kept promising to send references and to ring her at a certain time, but hadn’t done so. Marion was getting frustrated – she had liked the prospective tenant but this behaviour was beginning to erode her confidence in her.  They were due to meet to sign the contract, but it just wasn’t happening.  Eventually, it became clear that she would only be continuing with this person’s application out of fear that no-one else would come forward to rent the flat.

Fear. It is one of the most pervasive emotions, getting into every fibre of your being if you let it. Fear in your business manifests not only as waking in the middle of the night worrying, but making poor decisions, taking extra time over unnecessary tasks, having a scattered mind, not being able to focus successfully on any one thing – therefore missing out on the sense of completion that comes when you focus and finish a task. It shows up as panicky energy being applied to tasks, with the result that you forget some things, and dwell too long on others. All in all, fear is not a helpful emotion when it comes to business. But what’s the answer?

To come back to Marion, with support she managed to pluck up the courage to say no, she wasn’t happy and she was not going to rent the flat to this prospective tenant.  For that conversation to happen, the truth had to be told.

It wasn’t that Marion was just afraid that if she didn’t take this person on as a tenant she would risk being out of pocket for a month or so. The situation also confronted her with her ideas and principles about changing her mind, about saying no when she had previously said yes, about her worries about what others would think of her. When she even considered saying no, her heart beat extra strongly, she worried she would be left with considerable expenses to pay if no one rented the flat very soon, but she did recognise that these feelings were out of proportion to what was happening.

If I had been counselling her, at this point we might have explored in more detail what it was that was driving these feelings (and we may still do that), but from a practical coaching perspective, she simply needed to take this action of saying no.  Which she was able to do.  It took courage, but it happened. Now here’s the interesting bit – only a couple of hours later she received an application from someone else, who turned out to be a perfect tenant in every way; the contract was signed on the spot, references given and approved, and she is moving in within the week.

So what’s the moral of this story?  When fear dictates your actions, it has far- reaching results. Whether it’s in the form of not standing up for yourself, of putting others down to make yourself feel better, or worrying too much about what others think, then the actions taken from that place of fear will never pan out smoothly.  They can’t because they have been born from a place of untruth.

When you listen to your heart, which tells the truth, your life will work out. Your business will work out. It can’t help but do that, even if it doesn’t look like it at the time. This is the trick though – instead of getting sucked in by the appearances of things, when you find fear knocking at your door, let it in (ie admit you’re afraid) but there is no need to let it swarm around the house. You simply need to let it in the front door, so it can go out the back door. With your attention on your heart, this is what is possible and what happens. Goodness knows we need more business activities conducted with heart at the moment, so stop and listen to yours; act on what it says, and trust that your next step will take you forward to exactly where you want to be.

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