June 22, 2023
min read

Overcome Business Owner Anxiety with 4 Daily Actions

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Researchers have identified that fear of failure shapes entrepreneurial action, causing a deterioration of performance and well-being.  Experts say the most important ways to combat these fears is to meditate daily, practice gratitude, keep a journal of your thoughts, and find a mentor.

The problem with fear

"Our understanding of neuroscience has doubled in the past 20 years," says neuroscientist Rick Hanson. He points out that our nervous systems were developed to handle short bursts of stress, not long-term, chronic stressors of modern life.

In other words, your brain can handle spilled coffee, but struggles with the long-term stress of running a business.

Day in, day out, we fear financial ruin. We fear failure. We fear whether we're personally able to succeed.

When our days feel like a hamster wheel of stress and fear, our brains aren't working optimally. And that's a problem.

"Fear of failure shapes entrepreneurial action," declares a 2019 study conducted by The University of Amsterdam titled "Self-Compassion When Coping with Venture Obstacles: Loving-Kindness Meditation and Entrepreneurial Fear of Failure", "It can cause negative self-views, self-handicapping, and the erosion of entrepreneurial well-being."

In your own life, how often has fear led you to:

  •         put things off
  •         feel stressed and burnt out, leading to a deterioration of performance
  •        think about yourself more often, becoming absorbed in your     own ego, thinking only about what you're getting out of something instead of being generous with others.

Yeah. We've all been there.

In this blog article, we're going to talk about how fear shows up in our working lives. We're going to learn how to "hack our brains" to overcome these fears, so we can become the most powerful business owners we can possibly be.

How Fear Shows Up In Your Working Life

Fear and stress make us less effective. Here's how these fears show up in our actions as business owners.

You feel unworthy and constantly fear rejection.

We are relational beings who want to feel a sense of belonging with others. We want people to like us!

When your brain's "Affiliating System" is in a state of stress, you're constantly worried about disappointing others. You brace yourself for rejection. You might also:

  •          Beat yourself up because you're a "perfectionist"
  •          Don't give yourself credit where its due
  •          Deprive yourself of empathy, and therefore don't feel as kind or giving toward others.

You feel deprived, frustrated, and like you're always lacking.

You never have enough money!

You'll FINALLY be happy if ONLY you got more clients!

You're not where you want to be in your business. You work so hard, but you wonder when your ship will finally come in.

When your brain's Approaching System is in a state of stress, you experience underlying feelings of scarcity. Maybe you feel a little greedy, like you never have enough. You might also:

  •          Spend all day putting out fires, without the willpower to take a step back to rest.
  •          Feel like you can't invest in yourself or in your business

You View Even Minor Things as a Threat To Your Business, and You Live in Constant Fear of Failure

When you are over-reactive to fear, you end up running your business in a paranoid trance.

When your brain's "Avoiding System" is stressed, you:

  •          Have no faith in yourself, and no determination to deal with problems.
  •          Always feel like you're living on the edge of danger (and not in a cool, Kenny Loggins-circa-1986 way.)

Sound familiar?  

The daily actions below can help you realize the resources within yourself, relax into your full potential, and ultimately become happier and more successful in your business.

Daily Action #1: Meditate Every Day.

A large body of research shows that meditation is vital for resilience, coping, and subjective well-being in the face of adversity. According to the University of Amsterdam study, a daily mediation practice can help you:

  •          Be more kind and understanding toward yourself
  •          Perceive experiences as part of a broader human experience and not over-identity with painful thoughts (your sulking days are over!)
  •          Build resilience to fear of failure in the face of threatening obstacles
  •          Enhance feelings of positivity toward others

How to Establish a Daily Meditation Practice

  •          Download a guided meditation app like Headspace or the Mindfulness App.
  •          Choose a time of day when you have 5 - 10 minutes to sit mindfully. (If you don't have 10 minutes to sit down and meditate each day, then be sure to meditate for at least 20 minutes per day. 😛 Not even kidding -- you need to slow down.)
  •          Attach meditation to another daily habit you do every single day. For example, you always brush your teeth in the morning, so piggy-back your meditation habit on that. Right after brushing your teeth, meditate for 10 minutes. This allows the habit to form.
  •          Are you one of those people that can't sit still? You can get your meditation juju on by simply walking! Check out this article by Headspace to begin taking meditation step by step.

Meditation can change your brain for the calmer. Need more convincing before you sit cross-legged? Check out these articles:

12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation - Healthline

7 Ways Meditation Can Actually Change the Brain - Forbes

Meditation: a simple, fast way to reduce stress - Mayo Clinic

Daily Action #2: Practice Daily Gratitude.

When we focus on gratitude, our view on the world is that "we have enough." We feel contented and fulfilled. We are able to pursue our business goals with a sense of aspiration, instead of fear of not having enough.

According to Psychology Today, gratitude:

  •          reduces toxic emotions such as envy, resentment, frustration, and regret.
  •          helps us experience more sensitivity and empathy toward others
  •          helps us sleep better
  •          reduces stress and fosters resilience

Hear it straight from the mouths of other professionals who practice gratitude on a daily basis, and learn how a daily gratitude practice has impacted their lives by reading these first-hand accounts.

How to practice daily gratitude

  •        Buy a journal that makes you feel excited to write in it. Keep it beside your bed.  This journal should be made of paper, and not glow under the covers at night. Writing by hand (as opposed to typing) is shown to be rhythmic, therapeutic, and calming, offering our brains a similar  benefit to meditation, according to psychologists.
Fun Fact: Journaling isn't just for gratitude! Writing in a journal helps us see our stressors in a more objective way, and to release negative emotions, lowering stress and boosting cognitive function.
  •          Before turning out the light each night, write down what you're thankful for, and what that person, object, or event adds to your life. (Take your time and consider what your life would be like WITHOUT these things!)
  •         Don't dwell on the number of items on your list. Focus on depth instead of breadth. According to the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, "Elaborating in detail about a particular thing for which you’re grateful carries more benefits than a superficial list of many things."
  •          UC Berkeley also reminds us:
Be aware of your feelings and how you “relish” and “savor” this gift in your imagination. Take the time to be especially aware of the depth of your gratitude.

Daily Action #3: Get a coach or mentor.

Tired of your business feeling like a sinking ship (or an expensive hobby?) It's time to hire a business coach who can light the path forward, support you, and offer clarity. According to Entrepreneur, hiring a business coach can:

  •          Help you make better decisions
  •          Help you knock down goals like a spirited game of whack-a-mole
  •          Achieve balance in your life
  •          Help you reframe what you're afraid of, so you can act with confidence.

How to get a business coach

Sometimes, the best way to find a business coach is to ask other entrepreneurs who helped and inspired them on their journeys to success. Shop around, get a vibe for which business coach works best with your goals and personality, and take the plunge. You (and your wallet) will be glad you did.

Bonus Action: Expose yourself to your fears.

Sure enough, after wrestling your demons, they don't seem as scary anymore. According to Simon Trevarthen, Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of Elevate Your Greatness, the only way out of fear is through.

By exposing yourself MORE to your fears -- not less -- you can take the power away from those fears. To learn more about overcoming your fears, listen to our interview with Simon on the Making It Real Podcast.

From Fear to Power On Your Entrepreneurial Journey

If you take these four daily actions, you will be able to show up to your clients with a sense of generosity and presence. You will become more resilient when faced with inevitable hurdles of entrepreneurship. You will be able to solve problems with energy and creativity.

After all, we're in the business of helping people live healthier lives. We can’t do that fully if we don’t first provide for ourselves the healthiest life possible.

Sometimes the best way to deal with business fears is to talk it out with other health coaches, nutritionists, and dietitians who have actually been there. For daily support in your business, head on over to our Facebook Group for Meal Garden Professionals. This is YOUR space to connect with like-minded wellpreneurs, share expertise, gather insights, and ultimately grow your health business with a solid community of support.

We’re all in this together.

Related Posts:

3 Considerations Before You Quit You Job to Become a Health Coach
How to Build a Successful Health Business (even if you know nothing about business!)
How to Own Up to Your Worth and Sell With Confidence

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