One of the first self development books that I read when I left the security of a monthly salary to take self employment out for a whirl was ‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers.
At the time I was pretty fearful of the challenges in front of me.
Salaried work was all I had ever known, I’d enjoyed most of it tremendously, yet this new experience called ‘self employment’ was beckoning.
Many mindset and self development experts write at great length about the perils of fear – in everyday life and in business.
The basic premise is ‘What’s the worst that could happen’?
I’ve been reading a great deal about mindset matters over the past couple of years, so when I took my family on our annual day trip to Pleasure Island in Cleethorpes this summer, I decided to put my money where my mouth is.
For the past three years I have looked at the huge Boomerang ride at Pleasure Island and tried to pluck up the courage to give it a go.
I almost managed it three years ago when my son jumped on it in an impetuous rush – and survived to tell the tale.
Since then I’ve toyed with it, but always chickened out.
This year I resolved to put all of that mindset reading to the test.
We were in a very quiet theme park, we’d arrived early to beat the afternoon rain, so it was the ideal time to jump on The Boomerang and finally banish my fear.
I walked past it a few times, eyed it up for size and eventually made the decision to go on the ride.
My thinking was as follows:
- Other people are doing this at 5-10 minute intervals throughout the day – every day
- These machines are thoroughly tested for safety
- Children, adults and senior citizens go on these rides
So how bad could it be?
And even if it was terrifying, what could be the worst consequence?
I’d be a bit scared for 3 minutes … that was the worst thing that could happen.
So I jumped on the ride and waited for it to begin.
First our ‘carriage’ was taken to the top of a very high and extremely steep track.
There was a ‘phut’ – like the sound of released air – and we started to move downwards … very fast.
We went upside down a few times, then we were dragged backwards up a second, very high – and very steep – track.
This time we couldn’t see where we were going.
The ‘phut’ sound came once again, the carriage was released, and we re-traced our tracks, this time with no vision to warn us what was coming up next.
Within a few minutes, the entire ride was over.
I walked off The Boomerang exhilarated, laughing and feeling very proud of myself.
At last, I’d overcome a big mental block, a hurdle that I’d wrestled with over several years.
And how did I feel after overcoming the challenge?
There are a number of words that describe my feelings on walking away from that particular ride:
So this begs the questions ‘What took me so long?’
Well, do you know what?
I can’t really tell you!
There’s a really important lesson in here for all of us.
Why do we worry so much?
What’s the worst that can happen?
Sure, we should never be wreckless, but having done a spot of basic triage, what’s to stop us?
Breaking through a challenge builds us and exhilarates us.
Rather than look at The Boomerang next year – and wonder ‘What if?’ – next year, I won’t hesitate to jump abroard.
By pushing my limits and moving beyond fear, I’ve expanded my sphere of experience – and given myself a huge personal boost in the process.
Which takes me back to where I began.
We should feel the fear and do it anyway.
Whether you’re on The Boomerang at Pleasure Island in Cleethorpes – or facing your own white knuckle ride – what’s the worst that can happen?
Do the thing we fear, and death of fear is certain. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain. ~Mark Twain
Have you conquered fears of your own? What techniques do you use to overcome those tricky mental hurdles in your business? Please add a comment below …