The Four Letter “F” Word That Hinders Business Growth
There is a four-letter 'F' word that can have an enormous impact on everyday life. Everyone experiences it at some stage in their lives, and it affects some people more than others.
Women can frequently seem more affected than men. It can also present itself differently all the time; it can harm the way a business owner responds to day-to-day decisions and any potential opportunity.
That word is FEAR!
When you experience something for the first time your body registers the reaction on a scale of reference. Then it stores the memory of the event, including all the parameters, in your filing cabinet, the Brain! The level of reference has a positive response or a negative response. These responses are your emotional triggers to a similar or perceived event and are identical to a continual feedback loop.
Emotions fit into two categories, one is the rewards category – positive, happy memories, and the other is the safety category – negative, fearful memories. The emotions that are responding to safety activate your flight/fight primitive reflex, and you automatically default to a survival reaction.
The dictionary meaning of fear is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm”.
One of the keywords in this definition is ‘threat’. A threat is a warning that something might be about to occur. This thought or emotional response to the danger activates the body’s natural primitive response to danger and sets in motion a flight /fight reaction.
Energetically, fear and anxiety weigh heavier than positive happier emotions. Quite often, we tend to show stronger feelings when something upsets or angers us. Also, your brain does not always instantly know what is real, remembered or imaginary, so the automatic response to something could be from a negative trauma memory trigger.
The brain has many components and sections. The pre-frontal cortex/lobe located at the front area of your mind is the thinking centre for new options, forward and creative thinking, clarity and choice. The back brain is your storage/filing system which sorts, stores and files old information, remembered reactions, survival, memories, sight, smell and tactile. It is your subconscious awareness. Then there is the Reticular Activating System located in your brain stem. This is your filtering process or conscious awareness area. The trick to having an appropriate response to a fear trigger is to ensure that the whole brain is involved in the reaction, not just a part of the brain.
There are two popular acronyms for FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real, or Face Everything And Rise!
Business owners are trailblazers; they have taken an idea and put thought and action into starting and running a business. As trail=blazers you have also had to be creative and innovative in your desire to achieve great results. This creativity and enthusiasm can become easily affected by the fear of failing or of the unknown.
One of the common fears that business owners have is the fear of success! Fear of success generally comes from your subconscious awareness and can hinder you without you being fully aware of what you are fearing. How can you address the trigger if you are not aware of what it is? It is like fighting an invisible dragon with no weapons. There can be many reasons why subconsciously a business owner could fear success. These can include but not limited to: not wanting to seem big-headed, feeling greedy, unworthy, a threat, not wanting to be in the spotlight, afraid of rejection or being trolled, having to change and not fitting in with your current family/partners.
This fear of success can often present itself as procrastination, playing small and being complacent with the mediocre. It can also bring out the limiting self-belief mindsets and victim statements of regret, jealousy, should have’s, could have’s and gunna!
An easy way to identify if you have a subconscious limiting business success fear:
- Ask yourself to rate between 1 -10 (1 being the least stress and 10 being the most significant stress) what degree of ‘stress’ emotion you feel when you say “My business is a failure.”
- Similarly: “My business is a success.”
- Next ask: “I am a business success.”
If your answers show more stress by the success statement, then you need to change this limiting belief pattern. Start to acknowledge successes, regardless of how small they appear, and build up new neural pathways and response reactions.
“Courage allows the successful woman to fail and to learn powerful lessons from the failure so that in the end, she didn’t fail at all.” (Maya Angelou)