Fear is a Good Thing

Check out our FREE CHEAT SHEET “3 Simple Steps to Making Confident Decisions

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”  Yogi Berra was known for his memorable, sometimes illogical, quotes. This is one of my favorites – and it has such applicability for us as entrepreneurs. Have you ever faced a fork in the road decision and instead of taking it found yourself stuck in indecision, fearful of making the wrong decision? Oh can I relate.

Fear and Self doubt. They immobilize us; they lock us in mind games that we can’t break free of.

I worked with someone who used to say that if you put enough competent people in the room, give them enough facts and enough time they would come up with the right decision. Then he would go on to say, “We have the people we have, we have the data we have, and we have the LIMITED time we have. We must come up with the best decision we can within those constraints.”

And as entrepreneurs, those things are truer than ever. In fact, often the “competent people in the room” may be YOU, just YOU. You can’t be an entrepreneur without encountering fear. It’s just not possible. So what can you do when you are faced with a business decision and find yourself succumbing to the immobilizer of fear?

  1. Know this to be true: Fear is not really an enemy. Fear acts as an antennae picking up signals for us to be aware of. It can alert us to something we may need to get more information on; something that we have overlooked. What we do with those fear signals is the key. We can either amplify the fear or we can duly note its message, determine if we need to do something about that and if so, do it, and then move forward.
  1. Fear is not self-doubt. Let me share a personal example. Several years ago, I was faced with a decision to stay in my job or leave to do something on my own. I had gone through all the pros and cons but still didn’t have the clarity I desired.I scrapped the Ben Franklin T close and just started writing my thoughts and feelings. What emerged was enlightening. I wrote about the fear of not being able to support myself, the fear of not having a corporate identity, the fear I would never be engaged in meaningful work. I labeled these all as “fear”. But I believe now they were manifestations of self doubt, rather than fear. Big difference.
  1. Fear alerts you; self doubt haunts you. Self doubt is that critical voice in your head that keeps you from taking action. It’s the voice that says “you might fail”. And you might. But for sure you will fail if you imprison yourself in self doubt. You will never become the person you were made to be.


Be Strong: You were made to do this – you are competent!

Be Courageous: Quiet the voice in your head by making a decision to make a decision!

Be Bold: If you are the only one making a decision and have the time, tap into your mentors or circle of influence or ask for advice from someone who has been there, done that.

Remember, taking a left or right turn is always better than just sitting at the fork in the road and having traffic (other decisions and work) back-up behind you.

Check out our FREE CHEAT SHEET “3 Simple Steps to Making Confident Decisions

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