Hi, this is Darla LeDoux of Aligned Entrepreneurs and welcome to today’s lesson where we’re talking about how to stay the course when fear creeps in. This seems to be a theme. In fact, I got this question from several people on my Facebook page asking, “What do you do when you fun into fear, and how do you keep moving when self-doubt creeps in. It’s a huge issue and it’s been a huge part of my own success and growth is learning to overcome the fear. What happens when we don’t is we go into bright shiny object syndrome and we never really accomplish anything.
I’ll tell you a story. I had a VIP day with a client recently and we created this strategy that was like so her, right, just like perfectly represented the life she wants and who’s she meant to be on this planet. We came up with these very specific action plans, and we’re both really excited, right. She is in the process of working on those plans and checked in and said, “Oh, my gosh, I just got into so much fear and panic. What if this doesn’t work?” Tell me if you’ve been there.
Here’s what happens is from the time when we have the idea to the time when we execute the idea there’s a gap, and a lot of times what happens in the gap is the first thing that happens is something will validate your fear. Someone will say something or something will go wrong and it will put you into fear and doubt. I call that The Cycle of Proving, and I teach a lot about that. The second thing that happens that we don’t think so much about is during that time you’re in creation mode, you’re in planning mode, you’re in preparing mode to execute the thing, and during that time you’re like floating in this vacuum, right. In our culture we are so used to being validated by someone outside of ourselves who says, “Yes, that’s right. Yes, you’re doing it right, et cetera, that when we’re in that phase when no one knows what we’re working on and we’re totally taking a leap of faith, and time is passing. Time when you think, “Oh, I should be making money. I should be doing this. Maybe I should be doing something else, right, when you’re investing in that strategy.
One of the keys as an entrepreneur is you’ve got to learn to validate yourself in those gaps. Now, I love coaching and group programs, because other people can see you and know what you’re up to in those stages before you get to the result and find out how well it’s going to work. You want to have healthy people in your life who can validate you during that time. Most importantly, you’ve got to learn to validate yourself, because when you’re in that stage when you’re executing the plan you have to keep moving until you get a result. You have to be willing to move through the valley of despair.
This is from the book, The 12 Week Year. It explains it so beautifully. I see this happen all the time. Up here we have optimism. Down here we have pessimism. Here’s what happens. In the beginning of a project you get the idea, you get the vision, you’re super excited, and you’re here. You’re in this stage of what he calls uninformed optimism. In other words, you don’t know what it’s going to take to get the result, but you’re just so excited, and you just envision everything working perfectly, right.
Then, you work on it a little while and you learn more about what it’s going to take, or you start to do the work and maybe some thoughts of doubt can creep in, and you get to this place of informed pessimism. In other words, “Oh, my gosh, this is a lot of work. I don’t know how that’s going to go,” but you keep going, right, until you eventually get to The Valley of Despair. This is that moment when you’re like, “Oh, is it worth it. This is probably a bad idea,” and the doubt is really strong here. You don’t know if you’re going to make it.
Now, what most people do at this point is they abandon their idea or their plan and they come up with something new so that they can return to this state of uninformed optimism, because it feels so good. There’s so much potential, right. The issue is, no matter what plan, no matter what project, you’re going to work through this again, and you’re going to end up right back here. This is the bright shiny object syndrome that so many people have.
What you need to do is actually when you’re in this valley you just got to go, “You know what, I know it’s the valley. The valley happens. It’s just how it goes and you stick with it until you get to this point up here, which is actually informed optimism. If you can make it through the valley now you’re on the upswing. You’ve gotten some results, some outcomes, you know how it’s going to go and now you’re building momentum to stay the course until you get up here, which is success and fulfillment.
One of the things that’s interesting in The 12 Week Year when they talk about this is most plans are actually valid. Most plans are solid and will get you here, but the issue is we don’t like this and so we don’t want to move through it. You’ve got to stay the course through the valley in order to get to your result. How do you do this? First of all knowing this will happen can help a lot. Second of all, knowing how to navigate this, having support structures, having people you can call who can remind you of this vision, in case you forget. Also, being just really aware of your own emotional state.
The client I mentioned, who got in that place of fear, what was happening is physically she hadn’t gotten enough sleep, she was in her cycle, which, ladies, it’s a real thing, and several things happened to come together to have her be in that place of doubt. You’ve just got to know that that’s a part of the game. It doesn’t mean that you’re on the wrong path. It doesn’t mean that, “Oh, it should be easier.” It actually means you’ve got some amazing success and fulfillment to come. Don’t stop until you get a result. Follow the plan all the way through.
Just being aware of this and moving through to a result is the exact way that I combat my own fear and doubt. I just know it’s there. I say, “Thanks for sharing,” and I just go, “Have I executed the plan well enough to know whether it’s the result I want or if I need to go back here.”
This is Darla LeDoux of Aligned Entrepreneurs and I look forward to being with you again soon. Bye everyone.
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