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Tuesday, 22 April 2014 10:15

5 Ways to Help Conquer Fear

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fearI read a great article in Entrepreneur magazine last night. It was about fighting the enemy of fear. For many of us entrepreneurial types we can get complacent and complacency leads to fear and fear, I have come to find out, can actually cause inaction. We get to the point where there is so much to do that we become overwhelmed and don't do anything. So, I appreciated the tips in the article, but I wanted to add some of my own.

Right now I am basically a one-man show. I sell the websites, I design the websites and I help maintain my clients existing websites. Sometimes the realization that it is just me against the world 9or seems to be) becomes too much for me to bear and I begin concentrating on the negatives and that old fear sets in. So here are few things that I do most days (admittedly, I need to be more consistent) and it truly does make a difference:


1. Exercise. I have found that it's very hard to feel negative and fearful after a good workout. I have a small gym in the basement of my home that has a treadmill, free weights, and a heavy bag. No matter how I feel when I go down there to work out I always feel better when I'm done. That feeling of accomplishment, of pushing through even though I didn't want to, helps me focus on the attitude I need to keep throughout the day. And it doesn't have to take a long time. I usually work out for about 45 min. every morning (well, most mornings).

2. Quiet time. Sometimes I get so distracted from all the ways that I am being pulled that my head is just racing. I can't seem to get anything done because I don't know what to do first. 100 different things are clamoring for my attention and sometimes I feel like just curling up in the fetal position and sucking my thumb. (I should point out that this tactic has never improved my situations.) My quiet time is first thing in the morning. I love that smell of coffee and sitting on my deck reading a few pages of an inspirational book. It helps me focus and prioritize the things that I need to get done today.

3. Watch what you feed your brain. I was brought up a TV junkie. Consequently, I have this horrible habit of watching far too much television. I know that too much television adversely affects me in two ways: First, just the hours of the day that it sucks away! I can sit down to watch the news in the evening and before I know it three hours have gone by with me watching idiotic sitcom reruns or old episodes of Law and Order. This is time that I could spend doing something constructive and when I'm doing something constructive I feel constructive. This is a much better feeling than that of being a lazy slob.

The second consequence of being a TV junkie is the fact that I am filling my mind with inanity and negativity. There used to be a phrase that was very popular and I don't here much anymore. "Garbage in, garbage out" was a term that the public picked up from computer programmers. It meant if your code was bad or flawed than all the computer could produce is bad information or flawed calculations. I believe that's true with our brains. When I fill it with the nonsensical garbage that is on TV I'm weakening my brain power and I begin to take on the negativity that I see in my beloved crime dramas. It just isn't good. My sister has even gone as far as to cancel her cable subscription, a move that I'm not sure I'm ready to make. We'll just have to see how things go.

4. Just do it. Procrastination sucks! We know what needs to be done we just need to do it. Like the dirty dishes in the sink and the grass in the back that you never did mow the longer we put off the bigger chore it is and the more behind we are with the other chores that have come up in-between. It can snowball and block our progress forward. One article I read not long ago suggested focusing on three things that you absolutely have to get done today and do them. Once I started this it got things snowballing in the other direction. I was getting more done and not even really noticing that I was getting more done until I looked back and realized how much more I had gotten done.

5. Get out! I have an office in my home, so I don't need to go out much. Many of my sales calls are handled on the phone and the Internet. Consequently, I don't interact with humans as much as I should. This is the one that really gets me. Sometimes I sequester myself from the rest of the world and then I really start to feel like it's just me against everything. Getting out and making goodwill calls to existing clients and cold calls on prospects gets me motivated again. And this is a hard one because this is usually one activity that all salespeople struggle with, but it's also the one that offers the most rewards. Making those calls forces me to remember all the benefits that I offer and the reason why I do what I do. It's a paradox that it's the one thing we fear the most yet makes everything else about our business possible.

So, there are a few of my offerings to help combat that immobilizing fear that can overtake us. FDR said "we have nothing to fear, but fear itself." I believe that. It's the fear that immobilizes us. Sometimes it may seem that we entrepreneurs are out there going it alone, but if we keep our eye on the prize and realize that we can stave off the fear then the sky's the limit!

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Jeff Barkacs

Jeff has been helping small business owners with their marketing since 1988. The last 12 years he has worked almost exclusively in Internet marketing building websites that get traffic, helping business owners understand and use social media to increase their bottom lines, and producing engaging video for use on websites and socail media. He also enjoys referring to himself in the third person.

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