I can’t tell you how many times in a given year that I feel, just how I look in the picture above. Being an entrepreneur is the ultimate personification of the term uncertainty. You never know what is going to be thrown at you on a daily basis. Despite your projections, you never really know if your sales are going to materialize like you envision. But even more unsettling, you never really know if, or how long, you’re going to survive.
In a post we’ll upload in a few days, you’ll learn of some of the challenges we faced this tax season. But every year around this time, I personally face a challenge; the transition back to contract work. Essentially, when tax season ends I become a freelancer and go and work a “gig” with whoever needs an experienced finance resource. The fears around this time always boil down to 1) if I will be able to find work and 2) how long it will take before my finances begin to get tight.
About a week ago I found myself having a panic episode about the above. All those fears and little thought gremlins were hard at work and my emotions were running wild alongside them and their journey. So here are some tips for dealing with being scared, many of which I used that miserable night:
Take a deep breath. When faced with an uncertain situation, it’s important to stay calm. If you can’t focus on what is going on, you will never be able to come up with the solution. So take a deep breath and calm down. I can’t tell you how many situations I’ve been in where initially it appeared that there we so many moving parts that I would never get my arms around them. But once I took a deep breath, I could then do this:
Focus on what you CAN control. When presented with a challenging situation, you may feel that there is nothing you can do. Fortunately, this is usually not the case. This is just the human reaction to not knowing what to do FIRST. Thus, you need to analyze the situation to see what you can do, control or influence. Once you identify the above, you can stop being scared.
Formulate your plan. I’m a big list person. The reason? Well, when you make a list and cross items off one by one, you know what you do? Make progress! Action and progress are what move you forward and get you closer to your goal. So once you know what you can change or influence, formulate your plan of attack. This will give you a very clear picture of what needs to be done and where you should wind up when everything is complete.
Begin to execute. This is simple enough. Move forward, step by step, and don’t look back.
Keep moving forward to keep your mind from being idle. We’ve all heard of the saying that an idle mind is the Devil’s playground. If you let up from your actions then all those fears and thought gremlins will come right back. So, if your actions aren’t generating the desired results, don’t sit there and mull it over. Reevaluate your actions, look at your plan, make the necessary modifications and then press on.