Overcoming My Fear: Embracing the Call to Entrepreneurship

Discover how to overcome the fear of starting your own business with insights from Dr. Susan Jeffers' Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and Steven Pressfield's The War of Art. Learn from Sara Blakely's inspiring journey with Spanx and get actionable tips.

Overcoming My Fear: Embracing the Call to Entrepreneurship

Have you ever felt that gut-wrenching fear just when you're about to take a giant leap? I have, and I know it all too well. Starting a new business is like standing on the edge of a cliff, looking down into the unknown. But here's the thing: that fear you're feeling? It's not a sign to retreat; it's a sign that you're on the brink of something unique.

Summary: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
Explore Susan Jeffers’ ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ in our latest blog. Discover key insights for entrepreneurs on embracing fear as a growth catalyst, with examples from Elon Musk to Oprah Winfrey. Transform fear into power and expand your entrepreneurial success.

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

Dr. Susan Jeffers' book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, has been a game-changer for me. She brilliantly highlights that fear is a natural part of any significant endeavor. It's not something to be avoided but embraced. Fear indicates that we're stepping out of our comfort zones, pushing our boundaries, and opening ourselves up to growth. In the world of entrepreneurship, this is crucial. Imagine fear as a companion on your journey—a somewhat annoying but essential friend who signals that you're headed in the right direction.

I remember when I first thought about starting my own business. The doubts were overwhelming: What if I fail? What if I'm not good enough? These questions plagued my mind, making me rationalize all the reasons not to take the plunge. But then I realized that these doubts were just part of the process. The fear meant that I was onto something big.

"Feel the fear and do it anyway!" - Dr. Susan Jeffers
Summary: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Unleash your entrepreneurial spirit and conquer Resistance with insights from ‘The War of Art’ by Steven Pressfield. Discover how to achieve creativity and success!

The War of Art: A Warrior's Mindset

Then, I stumbled upon Steven Pressfield's The War of Art, which shifted my perspective entirely. Pressfield talks about creativity as a battle, which I found empowering. He urges us to adopt a warrior's mindset filled with discipline, commitment, and relentless determination. Entrepreneurship is not just about having a great idea; it's about fighting for that idea every single day, showing up, and doing the work, no matter how tough it gets.

"The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying." - Steven Pressfield

This warrior's mindset helped me see my business not as a fleeting dream but as a mission worth every ounce of effort. When external influences—friends, family, or societal norms—advised against my venture, I dug in deeper, convinced that my path was worth pursuing.

Internal Conflict: The Battle Within

The internal conflict I experienced was intense. On one side was the comfort of my stable career, and on the other, the burning desire to pursue my passion. It felt like a tug-of-war inside my head. But these conflicts are essential; they reveal our deepest motivations and fears. Overcoming them is part of the journey.

Inciting Incidents: The Push We Need

For many of us, overcoming our hesitations takes a significant push. It could be a market demand, a breakthrough idea, or sheer dissatisfaction with the status quo. If I didn't take this chance, I would forever wonder, "What if?" That realization was my inciting incident, propelling me forward.

Acceptance: Taking the Leap

Finally, after much internal struggle and external nudging, I accepted the call to entrepreneurship. It was a significant turning point. The fear didn't disappear, but it became a fuel driving me forward. The journey has been filled with challenges and learning, but it's also been gratifying.

Case Study: Sara Blakely - From Refusal to Revolution

Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, is a shining example of overcoming the refusal of the call. Blakely began with a simple yet revolutionary idea: creating comfortable, flattering shapewear for women. However, like many aspiring entrepreneurs, she faced her share of doubts and external discouragements.

Blakely initially worked as a fax machine saleswoman, a job far from the fashion industry. She had no formal training in business or design. The fear of stepping into an unknown sector with no experience was immense. Many people around her, including industry experts, doubted her idea, saying it would never work.

But Blakely didn't let fear stop her. She pressed on, inspired by Dr. Susan Jeffers' philosophy of feeling fear and doing it anyway. She embraced her fear, using it as a catalyst to fuel her determination. Blakely conducted her research, cut the feet off her pantyhose, and created a prototype that would eventually change the world of women's fashion.

"Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work." - Steven Pressfield

Pressfield's warrior mindset was also evident in Blakely's journey. She approached her venture with unwavering discipline and commitment. Despite numerous rejections from potential manufacturers and investors, she persisted. Blakely's relentless determination paid off when she convinced a manufacturer to take a chance on her product. Spanx is a global phenomenon revolutionizing the shapewear industry and empowering women worldwide.

"It's important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable." - Sara Blakely

Clear Call to Action: Your Turn

I urge you to leap if you're standing on the edge, feeling that fear and uncertainty. Embrace the fear, adopt a warrior's mindset, and see where the journey takes you. The world of entrepreneurship needs more brave souls ready to push boundaries and create something extraordinary. So, feel the fear and do it anyway. Your future self will thank you.

  1. Acknowledge Fear: Recognize it as a natural part of the process.
  2. Rationalize: Understand your doubts, but don't let them stop you.
  3. Seek Support: Surround yourself with positive influences.
  4. Identify Inciting Incidents: What pushes you towards your goal?
  5. Adopt a Warrior's Mindset: Commit to the journey with discipline.
  6. Take the Leap: Accept the call and start your adventure.

Remember, the first step is often the hardest but crucial. Embrace your fear and let it propel you into your next big adventure. The world is waiting for your unique contribution. Let's make it happen!

Conquer Fear Tips:

  1. Acknowledge Your Fear:
    • Recognize that fear is a natural response to stepping out of your comfort zone. It's your mind's way of protecting you from the unknown. By acknowledging it, you take the first step towards mastering it.
"The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it." - Dr. Susan Jeffers
  1. Reframe Your Mindset:
    • View fear as a signal that you're growing and facing new challenges. Instead of seeing it as a barrier, see it as a sign that you're on the right path. This shift in perspective can turn fear into a motivating force.
  2. Take Small Steps:
    • Break down your big goals into manageable tasks to reduce overwhelm. Small, consistent actions can build momentum and confidence, gradually reducing fear's hold on you.
  3. Visualize Success:
    • Imagine the positive outcomes of overcoming your fear and achieving your goals. Visualization can be a powerful tool to create a mental image of success, making it feel more attainable and tangible.
  4. Seek Support:
    • Surround yourself with supportive people who encourage and believe in your vision. Share your fears with trusted friends, mentors, or a community that understands your journey. Their support can provide strength and perspective.

Keeping Creative Discipline:

  1. Set a Routine:
    • Establish a daily schedule that includes dedicated time for creative work. Consistency is critical to fostering discipline. Even on days when inspiration is low, sticking to your routine helps maintain progress.
"Turning pro is a mindset, a discipline, a point of view." - Steven Pressfield
  1. Stay Consistent:
    • Show up every day, even when you don't feel inspired. The act of showing up can ignite creativity. Remember, creativity often flows from the discipline of regular practice.
  2. Eliminate Distractions:
    • Create a focused environment where you can work without interruptions. Identify and minimize distractions—whether they are physical, digital, or mental—so you can concentrate fully on your creative tasks.
  3. Set Clear Goals:
    • Define specific, achievable objectives for your creative projects. Clear goals provide direction and purpose, helping you stay focused and motivated. Break them down into smaller milestones to track progress and celebrate achievements.
  4. Celebrate Progress:
    • Acknowledge and reward yourself for milestones and accomplishments along the way. Recognizing your progress, no matter how small, reinforces positive behavior and motivates you to continue.

Research Studies Supporting Key Ideas

Here are some research studies that support critical ideas from "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield and "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" by Dr. Susan Jeffers:

For The War of Art:

  1. Procrastination and Self-Regulation:
    • Research on procrastination and self-regulation supports Pressfield's concept of "Resistance." A Steel (2007) meta-analysis found that procrastination is associated with low self-efficacy, self-control, and impulsiveness.
  2. Grit:
    • Studies on "grit" align with Pressfield's emphasis on persistence. Duckworth et al. (2007) found that grit predicts achievement beyond IQ and conscientiousness in challenging domains.
  3. Psychology of Creativity:
    • Research on the psychology of creativity supports Pressfield's ideas about overcoming creative blocks. Kaufman and Beghetto (2009) discuss how creative self-efficacy and persistence contribute to creative achievement.

For Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway:

  1. Exposure Therapy:
    • Studies on exposure therapy support Jeffers' advice to confront fears. A meta-analysis by Powers et al. (2010) found that exposure-based therapies are highly effective for anxiety disorders.
  2. Positive Self-Talk:
    • Research on positive self-talk aligns with Jeffers' recommendations. A study by Tod et al. (2011) found that motivational self-talk improves performance in various tasks.
  3. Mindset:
    • Studies on mindset support Jeffers' emphasis on positive thinking. Dweck's (2006) research shows that a growth mindset leads to more extraordinary achievement and resilience.

These studies provide scientific backing for many of the core principles in both books, demonstrating that the authors' insights are grounded in psychological research on motivation, creativity, and personal growth.

  • Steel, P. (2007). The nature of procrastination: A meta-analytic and theoretical review of quintessential self-regulatory failure. Psychological Bulletin, 133(1), 65-94.
  • Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6), 1087-1101.
  • Kaufman, J. C., & Beghetto, R. A. (2009). Beyond Big and Little: The Four C Model of Creativity. Review of General Psychology, 13(1), 1-12.
  • Powers, M. B., Halpern, J. M., Ferenschak, M. P., Gillihan, S. J., & Foa, E. B. (2010). A meta-analytic review of prolonged exposure for posttraumatic stress disorder. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(6), 635-641.
  • Tod, D., Hardy, J., & Oliver, E. (2011). Effects of self-talk: A systematic review. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 33(5), 666-687.
  • Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. Random House.

Applying these insights and tips allows you to conquer your fears and maintain the creative discipline needed to succeed in your entrepreneurial journey. Let's embark on this adventure together and make a lasting impact!