Ergophobia: the fear of work. While it may have a fancy word to define it, one cannot afford to let that word apply to them. As an entrepreneur, you cannot allow yourself to be hindered by a fear of any kind let alone fear of hard work. Being an entrepreneur IS work, a lot of it in fact! You must find the gumption inside yourself to overcome this fear and turn your hard work into dollar signs!
Fear of hard work can be attributed to many different reasons. In this short article, I am going to discuss what I have found to be the top 5 reasons why wannapreneurs fear hard work, ultimately leading to their own strife and turmoil.
FEAR OF FAILURE
All too often I run across people and work with entrepreneurs who are afraid of failure. However, “failure” can be a difficult subject to understand and combat given that people and cultures define it differently! The question then becomes how does a fear of failure contribute to ones fear of working hard and how do we as ENTREPRENEURS combat this fear. Entrepreneurship is not a trend, it is a lifestyle one commits to, a lifestyle of constant hustle, constant setbacks, constant decision making, constant improvement, and constant heartache. As you begin to deconstruct the lifestyle of an entrepreneur it becomes easier to understand why someone would have a fear of failure, however, the hope of success and vision of a better financially free life outweighs this fear for most.
I will outline some very basic methods to help you combat the fear of failure in this section.
- -Reframe Your Goals- Reframe your goals to allow yourself to always be learning. Failure (in my opinion) does NOT exist if you learn from it. If you learn, understand and act on your new knowledge you did not fail. However, if you allow yourself to be down emotionally and quit then you absolutely fail. Shift your goals to encompass “learning” become friends with “learning” and change your whole perspective on “LEARNING”!
- -Visualize Your Obstacles- All too often we see videos on YouTube with famous actors and super-rich people telling us to find our “why” and find our motivation and we can reach the moon and the stars. BUT WHAT DOES THIS ACTUALLY MEAN? WHAT IS THIS MYSTICAL MOTIVATION THEY SPEAK OF? Positive self-talk is great, but very rarely is it enough to motivate people and help pull them through the bad times. Combining positive self-talk with visualization can be a very powerful tool. Visualization can be used for more than just your goals and outcome. Using this technique to visualize your obstacles will help you to confront the fear and develop a plan to work through it and overcome your obstacles. This combined with positive self-talk and visualization of your goals will work wonders for you as an entrepreneur!
- -SURRENDER TO THE FEAR (My personal favorite) – Allow yourself to embrace the fear, allow it to wash over your body, breath deep and think through it. Confront the problem, stay calm and think through the situation. If you simply allow yourself to feel the fear when it shows up, you will notice that it quickly dissipates and suddenly the situation feels more manageable. This requires the strength of mind, emotion, and spirit, however, if you can accomplish this it gives you an insatiable feeling of adrenaline and power. Power over yourself and the things around you.
FEAR OF REJECTION
The fear of rejection often leads people to fear hard work. As an entrepreneur, we have to put everything on the line for others to critique. All of our hard work will be on display for the internet, social media and society to judge. This concept can be absolutely debilitating. The potential for rejection with such heightened emotional consequences can be a devastating and impossible hurdle for most to overcome. When examined from this angle it is easy to see why the fear of rejection can lead to a fear of hard work. However, as an entrepreneur, you have to find a way to overcome this. In order to achieve financial freedom, make your impact on the world, get involved in social change, build your brand and name etc.etc.etc, you must be willing to put it all on the line.
Below I will outline MY PERSONAL top three ways of dealing with rejection.
- Change Perspective- Everything as an entrepreneur is about mindset and even more so about PERSPECTIVE. The only way to change YOUR world is to change your perspective and thinking. Every time I have wanted to rise to the next level I have had to change my thinking, change my internal environment and my external world began to change. Your current mindset and perspective got you to where you are at in life, so ask yourself, what do I need to change to get to the next level! That being said, apply the same thinking to the fear of rejection. Change the way you view rejection, change your mental framework around it and learn to change your emotional response to it. The more you allow others thoughts to control you the less control you have of your brand and your business.
- Embrace It- Embrace the fear and learn to be okay with it. Learn to be comfortable in your uncomfortable. This is one of those parts of entrepreneurship you just have to muscle through and that’s OKAY. Not everything is going to have a process or an easy fix. Some things are going to require a leap of faith. That being said, JUST DO IT. Find a way to become comfortable with your uncomfortable. Tell yourself it is going to be okay and KEEP MOVING FORWARD!
- Information- Use this rejection as an opportunity to gather raw unfiltered data and add to your customer and market research. Negative answer and opinions can still be quantified and applied to marketing efforts. This will be some the rawest and unfiltered information you will ever come across. Be sure to engage in conversation with the people that leave negative comments and reviews. Respond with a polite conversation and turn these individuals into a source of information, plus your quick response and positive customer service can possibly turn them into a returning customer. Your willingness to take their opinion into account and improve your content will make them feel heard and understood.
FEAR OF SUCCESS
Is the fear of success a real thing? Would anyone really be afraid of financial freedom, making a positive impact and living the life of their dreams? In my experience entrepreneurs don’t have a fear of success as much as they do a fear of the unknown disguised as a fear of success! For an entrepreneur fearing the unknown means fearing change, fearing continued work, future criticism, and possibly having to figure out a whole new lifestyle and how to live differently than they do now! Humans naturally have an aversion and fear of situations that are seemingly unfamiliar and strange. The question becomes how do we as entrepreneurs face this fear and use it to our advantage and prevent it from hindering our creations and our future work ethic. I would implore you to observe five basic principles.
- Observe Your Fear- Take a step back from the situation, rise above the emotions and mental situation to observe the fear from 1000 foot view.
- Question Your Fear- From your 1000 foot view question what this fear is, where it is coming from, why are you feeling this fear and is it worth your time and energy.
- Work to Understand Your Fear: After asking the above questions begin to probe even deeper to gain a deep understanding if this fear and work to develop a plan to combat it and ultimately remedy it!
- Embrace Positive Change- Develop a positive plan to move past your fears and grow your mind and business.
- KEEP MOVING FORWARD! – Don’t stop keep going, don’t quit keep pushing!
FEAR OF CHANGE
Change of any sort can be frightening. As humans, our brains are wired to avoid change. It’s natural to seek a comfortable, secure existence. We resist change because it poses a threat to our status quo. But complacency can keep us from taking action and moving forward. This fear of change can easily lead to a fear of hard work. Hard work means change, it means changing your routine, your mindset, your goals, your life. This fear of change causes anxiety and internal battles with what is comfortable and what we know we SHOULD do. You can’t avoid change forever. No matter what stage you’re at with your business, you’ll have to find ways to embrace and harness innovation and advancement.
FEAR OF STRUGGLE
People fear pain, hard work, unknown situations, change, rejection, and failure. All of these things are part of the struggle of being an entrepreneur. All of these are part of your right of passage to becoming a successful business owner. As an entrepreneur, you will struggle in the beginning, in the middle and still at the end. The only thing that changes is what you struggle with and how you react to it. As you move forward in your entrepreneurial journey please keep in mind that all of these things are normal and will take time to move past. Do not allow “difficulty” to deter you from your goals and the hard work required to reach them.
NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS KEEP MOVING FORWARD!
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