The scariest thing in the room is me.....

So I have this big idea. An idea to scale my business, and take it to the next level. I love the idea, i think it’s great, other people who I’ve spoken to think it ‘s great. It’s clear and actionable, requires some modest investment and i know I can do it.

But this past week I’ve just been really scared!!!! I’ve been plagued by doubts and fears! What if it all goes wrong? What if I can’t do it and I don’t have the business skills to make it work? At my lowest points my fears were swirling round my head, the fear of letting my family down, the fear of looking irresponsible and reckless, the fear of public failure. What if I plunge my family into debt and the worst of all my fears, what if I had to go back to an ordinary job and slave away to pay back my business debts, would it all have been for nothing?

But I know I can get over these fears. And i know I make it more than it is in my head and that although there are obviously genuine risks when investing in a business, they don’t have to stop me, or slow me down or keep my dreams small. I know there is a way of tackling them head on and gaining back the control.

Two things have massively helped me to do that this week during this bout of self doubt and nervousness. Number 1, a coaching session, and number 2 listening to the voice of wisdom and positivity that is American Life Coach Mel Robbins, specifically her new Audible book ‘Take Control of Your Life’.

So to the coaching first.

I’ve been fortunate over the last couple of months to receive 4 free coaching sessions from a friend of my husband’s who is training to be a coach - like my husband. And i have found it sooooo helpful. Each time we’ve had a session, I’ve had a major realisation that has helped me get unstuck in something I was feeling stuck in.

So we chatted on Thursday and I went in to the session feeling low (see above fears!). The whole concept of coaching is that your coach listens and guides you to draw out your own observations, thoughts and ultimately actions. They draw things out of you rather than giving their opinion or suggesting ways to get unstuck. This is what makes it really powerful because it causes you to really look at yourself, get to know yourself and the real reasons you might be getting stuck.

So we talked about fears and I listed out my 4 main fears and then started to investigate each one. So for me, my top fears (related to this new business venture) were…fear of failing family, of being in debt, of public failure and of having to go back to work. And as my coach got me to talk about each of these fears I had my big realisation.

While yes, starting a new business venture that requires investment is always a risk, I realised the only fear for me was one of my own making. You see, I have this kind of block with finances and accounting. My strategy is just to ignore it. My husband has done my accounts up until now, and i just tell myself I don’t have the time to get my head around the figures. This feels quite embarrassing to admit, but I have a-lot of work to do in this area. I need to develop an accounting system that works for me (piles of receipts behind my computer isn’t really working for anyone at the moment) and I need to learn about good money management and soak up all the good advice and inspiration there is out there to do with money and finance.

So how does this relate to my fears? Well I realised most of my fears, were founded in not having control of my finances. I know I make enough money to pay the bills and support my family but other than that, I have no control! So that is scary! Cause what you don’t know is scary isn’t it?! And you imagine it to be a whole lot worse than it actually is, and you can’t do anything to change it, cause you don’t know what’s happening. Totally out of control equals totally scary!!! As I went through each of these fears, and looked for solutions, or actions I could take to minimise them, everything came back to me. It requires me to do the work, to sort out my finances, to make those financial projections for my new business and to take control of my business, to take myself and my business idea seriously.

I honestly thought at the start of the coaching session, maybe this will reveal that I’ve got a deep rooted emotional block to do with money, or I’ll realise that something triggered my denial strategy with money when I was younger, almost giving me a get out clause for not dealing with it? But it was nowhere near as dramatic as I’d imagined. It was just very straight forward, stop sabotaging yourself, take control, do the work and the fears will recede. Of course there will always be an element of risk associated with starting a new venture, but I realised that actually doesn’t scare me that much! I’m up for the risk! It’s just the not knowing where I am financially that is the scary thing! AND I CAN DO SOMETHING ABOU THAT!!!!!

So then number 2, the Mel Robbins book. I feel like this dropped into my lap at completely the right time. Her new book ‘How to Take Control of Your Life’ is all about fear and about tackling fear. The book takes the form of I think 6 interviews with ordinary people where Mel coaches them, and then pulls out insights from the coaching sessions. She offers really down to earth guidance and tools, and honestly, even thought these are random people from across the world, you feel like she’s talking to you. It’s the best value coaching session you’ll probably ever get…£7.99 for 10 hours of wisdom and positivity.

I’m only a quarter of the way through so far but one nugget of wisdom i keep thinking about is ‘brick by brick’. I get overwhelmed quite often about the size of the task I have with this new business venture, I want to get it done quickly, I want to do it well and I want to go big!! But that can too often feel unachievable, and ironically, slow me down because I feel like a rabbit in the headlights and don’t get anything done! Mel talks about taking it slowly, and taking action brick by brick, praising yourself at the end of each day and feeling gratitude for what you’ve got done. She also talks about this idea of how we think reaching the goal of our dreams is when we are going to be happy, so when I get my new venture off the ground that will make me happy and fulfilled, but actually the happiness always lies in the pursuit of something we aspire to, and that dream may change or evolve, and that’s ok, because what makes us happy is not the thing at the end of the journey, it’s the journey and the pursuit in itself. It’s having a goal, not the holy grail of reaching the goal, that brings us joy! How freeing is that?

So these are my thoughts on fears. I hope they help you. I hope you feel inspired to tackle your fears, break them down and reduce their intensity. You may not be able to afford coaching, but just having a conversation with a friend about your fears and really trying to spell them out will help for sure, because when you know what they are specifically, you can start to tackle them. Feel free to message me or DM me on Instagram if this has sparked something in you. I love to chat and encourage!

Chloe Hardisty