Unless you were born into an entrepreneurial family, there’s a good chance that this whole “own your own business” thing is a bit outside of your comfort zone. Even if you LOVE the idea of being your own boss, there are still things you need to do that probably set you on edge. You feel a little afraid.
Now that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be sweating and your heart is going to be racing. Fear doesn’t always manifest in those ways when we step outside of our comfort zones. Sometimes it just sort of sneaks up on us. It comes in the form of a disguise.
Take a look at these subtle signs of fear that are often mistaken for something else…
Sometimes when we’re getting set to step outside of our comfort zone, we simply procrastinate to avoid doing the work.
For example, you sit down with your to-do list one morning, and suddenly you realize that you really need to clean the house instead since it’s such a mess. You even rationalize and tell yourself that you’ll be more productive when you don’t have that task looming over your head.
That’s just one example, but procrastination manifests in a lot of different ways. Simply put, you prioritize everything else in your life above your business.
So what happens?
It’s pretty simple, really. If we don’t do the work, then we’re not stepping outside our comfort zone. And if we’re not stepping outside our comfort zone, then we don’t get uncomfortable. So we procrastinate in order to feel better.
Except procrastination rarely makes us feel better. Usually, we feel worse. We start feeling guilty for not doing the work. But even guilt might not light a fire under you if your fear is strong enough.
Here’s a related idea…
As mentioned, procrastination is all about doing something ELSE instead of working on your business. What’s different with doing a lot of “busy work” is that you ARE working on your business… every day. That means you don’t get that nagging procrastination guilt weighing you down. And yet you never get anything truly important accomplished, because you’re so busy doing non-essential tasks.
Think of the 80/20 rule here. About 20% of the tasks on your to-do list are going to create 80% of the results. And then the inverse: about 80% of your tasks will create just 20% of the results.
Someone who is feeling fear tends to focus on the 80% of tasks that produce the least amount of results. That means they spend a lot of time working, but have very little to show for it. If you find yourself doing this too, then you might just have a fear of stepping outside your comfort zone.
This third sign of fear happens when you work on big, important tasks… but you never quite get them done. That’s because you tell yourself you won’t make your task available for public consumption until that project is “perfect.”
That sounds good in theory. It makes you sound like a conscientious business owner. But “perfection” is an impossible standard. Nothing will be ever truly perfect. You won’t have a perfect product. You won’t create a perfect sales letter. You won’t design a perfect website.
Point is, if you wait for perfection, then you’ll be waiting forever. And maybe you already know that on some level, which is why your fear is using “perfectionism” as an excuse to not get anything done.
You Recognized a Sign: So Now What?
If you’re still reading this, I’m guessing you recognized one or more of the signs above. You’ve recognized that somewhere there is a tiny part of you that doesn’t want to step outside your comfort zone.
That’s not unusual. Starting and running a business is a scary proposition. You’ve probably been groomed all your life to work for someone else. Maybe you never thought of yourself as a leader or a strategist. And maybe it feels a bit like walking a tight wire without a net.
If any of that sounds familiar, just know that you’re not alone. So do yourself a favor and change your mindset so you can change your life. Learn how to start and run your business the right way so that the fear melts away.