During our annual New Year's family movie-thon we watched the lighthearted, family friendly and funny movie, Sister Act. It was a double feature, so the 2 1/2 star rated (and not- so-well-received) Sister Act 2 was up next. Instead of switching the channel, we hung in there, content to be settled in with comfy blankets, popcorn and hot chocolate. Family togetherness at it’s best.
Who knew a line in that movie would inspire me to write this blog post?
At one point in the movie, the high school choir was ready to flee the scene after seeing last year's winning choir compete and get a standing “O". Whoopi Goldberg’s character turns to the teenagers and says, “…If every time something scary comes up and you decide to run… y’all are going to be running for the rest of your lives.” The words brought me out of my hot chocolate coma, as I realized that’s exactly what stops so many entrepreneurs from moving forward. Something scary comes up and they just keep running further away from their dreams.
Here are 3 scary things YOU might be running from, and what you can do about it, to rock your biz:
1. A competitor who is perceived to be #1: Perception is a funny thing; it becomes reality. If you perceive your competition to be #1, you will always lag behind, because you think someone out there already has the lion’s share of the business. Even if you sell the same widgets as everyone else, there’s only ONE you. What makes you unique? What is your niche? Break free from the crowd and do something extraordinary this year! Write a book, start a blog, speak to groups, share your expertise with your ideal client, make a video. “If you’re able to be yourself, then you have no competition.” – Barbara Cook
2. Fear of Success or Failure: It’s hard to imagine that people fear being successful just as much as they fear failure, but it’s true. We’ve all heard the sayings, “It’s lonely at the top,” or, “There’s only one place to go but down”. With success comes expectations, and some are not quite ready to put themselves out there. So, every time success comes knocking, we close the door and run away, sabotaging our dreams. It’s called the talent trap. We shout out defiantly, “Take that, Success! You can’t catch me!” The solution is to leave your ego at the door. Instead of focusing on what success means to you, focus on what your success will mean to others. Who will you be taking with you to the top? What jobs will you be providing in your community? Whose lives will you touch? How does your success make a difference? Tie up your laces and run toward serving others. Soon, you’ll run away from your fear.
3. Getting stuck in the “Comfort Zone”: The comfort zone is just like the Twilight Zone; it’s all in our head. Being “comfortable” is not so great. It dilutes our self-esteem and confidence and prevents us from living an abundant life. We run from scary things by procrastinating, insuring we’ll never face the contact we should call, the client we need to meet, the networking group we should join or the seminar we should attend. The only solution, as my Mother used to say, is to, “Build a bridge and get over it.” Start with small successes: attend a networking event with a friend, hand out a product sample to a potential customer and ask for their feedback, join a social group like a book club. Do something everyday that makes your heart flutter with excitement. Embrace that we live in an imperfect world. Every experience may not end as you expected; that’s OK. Your confidence, and in turn your success, will grow exponentially. Be bold in order to be fearless!
To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your path, and don't worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest. – Martin Luther King
Lynn Bardowski is a 23 year entrepreneur, best selling author, national speaker, mentor and radio show host. For insights on entrepreneurship, leadership and vision, listen to her radio show, follow her blog, and "LIKE" her Facebook page. You may republish this article in full, as long as you list this paragraph and provide a link.