Please take a moment before you read any further and answer these three simple questions:
1. Are you making daily progress towards accomplishing your business vision?
2. Do you find that despite a strong desire to make your vision happen, obstacles always seems to pop up and slow you down?
3. Do you find that doubt is chipping away at your vision, keeping it from ever becoming a reality?
Thank you. Now let's do something about it.
This lack of progression towards a desired accomplishment can rarely be blamed on someone else because it is you who must believe in it to make it happen. The root of the problem, often unseen and unnamed, comes from you, or more specifically, one part of you.
No matter the level of success, every entrepreneur and small business owner with whom I have worked has experienced barriers while making their business dream a reality? even if they've already made millions. The barrier to them or for them is ALWAYS some degree of concern, procrastination, uncertainty, disconnection, lack of passion... fear. Yes, I said it. Fear. The dreaded f-word.
Many of you may have immediately said, "I've worked through all of my fears." You may even say that you don't really feel fear any more. Or that you ignore fear's little twinges, or that you're good at feeling fear and doing "it" anyway. Frankly, you're just really skilled at pretending the thoughts don't exist. Don't worry, it's not you. It is just fear protecting its turf.
Concerned about how tricky these thoughts can be? Let's see if fear is woven into your inner dialogue without you even knowing it. Let's start with your vision.
? You have an idea for a new business you want to create, or an idea to expand the business you already have.
? You see it in your mind's eye and it gives you a rush of energy just thinking about it.
? It starts to take shape when you tell a few people close to you your idea and share emotionally how it's going to affect you. They feel it because you feel it.
? With great gusto you make a plan, on paper or in thought, and you look for people and information to help you accomplish it.
And then... things start to slow you down. Your path fills with some of following variations of entrepreneurial fears:
? You start putting off the tasks that you have defined; you procrastinate each time you schedule a task or have a call to make. A clear example of this variation of an entrepreneurial fear is the epidemic of 'Shelf Help': buying a book or information product to assist you in making your business dream real. The product sits on the shelf without you ever applying the information in which you decided to invest. This dimension of fear will keep you in a feeling of a growing black hole? it will always feed the following three variations.
? Once the initial energy rush of telling people about your dream and the plans to make it real starts to fade, a different feeling starts to flood in. Every time you think about taking a step forward doubt and second-guessing pop up. A clear example of this variation of fear is that you start looking for more information or other tactics to try without ever applying the ones you've already identified. This dimension of fear will keep you in the chase? and will always hold your dream like a carrot in front of you.
? Despite painting a very clear emotional picture of your business dream to yourself and others, the rest of the picture starts to become cloudy. You become unable to see your way through to making it happen, and become stuck in the feeling of the dream. You look for a guarantee to make reaching for the dream worth it. A clear example of this variation of fear is when you start saying "I don't know"... or "I need some more validation," "if I could just find someone who has done the very same thing." You say these things... a lot. This dimension of fear ensures that you will never? know.
? The buzz that you used to get from even thinking about your business dream is replaced with a feeling of hopelessness, and despite the power that once surged through your heart every time you thought about your dream, you now feel like victim. A clear example of this variation is when questioned about your progress you let yourself off the hook by saying, "it was a neat idea, but it's really pointless to even try," "I don't have the resources," etc. Even if you are never questioned, you say this to yourself. This dimension of fear is deadly. It leads to 'dream atrophy'? it often causes people to stay in businesses or jobs they don't love for their entire lives.
Do any of these seem familiar? Don't worry. You are not alone. Everyone feels fear. Fear is a natural human reaction. Fear serves a function. It gets you out of the way of a speeding train or a growling bear. Don't strive to stop fear, you can't. Even if you are largely successful in the short-term, it will always come back in some other way and hit you harder because the stakes are bigger.
There is an easier and more dependable way to deal with fear so that you can prevent these destructive energy leaks from taking the wind out of you and your dream. To point you in the direction of assuring that your dream becomes a reality, here are four insights into what is really going on behind the scenes of when you're in action:
? First you must realize that each and every thought comes from your brain. Yes, your brain alone. It has been put in the position of looking out for you since you were born. In fact, YOU gave it the job. It's the same manufacturing plant that gave you the ideas that became your dream. Each limiting thought is the result of your brain capturing things you experience, then projecting them onto the perceived experiences on which you are to embark.
? You must also appreciate that your brain feeds you countless thoughts every day, even if they never enter your awareness or interrupt you in your daily tasks. They grow like unattended weeds in the fertile garden of your mind forming barriers of disbelief that prevent you from ever experiencing the fruits of your vision, sometimes from ever even 'seeing' them.
? It may seem hard to comprehend but your brain has no emotional attachment to any of the thoughts it feeds you? none. It's simply doing its job of looking out for you by providing you with the thoughts. Both the thoughts of your dream AND the limiting thoughts are simply that? thoughts. You then get to decide what to do with them. It only becomes complicated because these thoughts trigger emotional reactions.
? You need to develop the new skill of recognizing each and every one of the limiting thoughts, then create the habit of removing them before they take you down. Your 'garden' must be free of these 'weeds' so that you can actually plant the seeds of your business vision, which you can then tend as they grow. You can only create the business of your dreams if you have a fail-proof process for transforming fear and its variations into the fuel for growth.
Embrace these simple understandings so you can take command over your thoughts and their effects on your dream and your entire life. It is far more powerful to make decisions from choice, instead of by reacting. Don't react?choose. Your dream will then become a reality faster than it is possible to imagine.
Author and Brand Visioneer, Kim Castle teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners how to tap into the full power of their business?the power behind the brand. Kim is the co-author of Why BrandU, the BrandU Bible and It's a BrandU Day, the fear transformation process and Journal. To learn more about her step-by-step programs, receive her FREE report 15 Mistakes That Kill Business Success, or sign up for her e-zine Why You?!, visit http://www.whybrandu.com