How To Manage The Fear Of Starting A Business

How to manage the Fear of starting a business

The world of entrepreneurship can be quite overwhelming. There are many risks and factors to take into account, which means that if we get confused, we can end up failing and losing money.

Likewise, the business world is very competitive. In this way, not only can the business go wrong due to our own management of the company, but it can also fail due to not standing out in the market.

However, despite the risks and difficulties, it is not impossible. If you are interested in starting a business, but fear is holding you back, keep reading this article. In it I explain how you can manage the fear of starting a business.

What is fear?

Fear is defined as that emotion that warns us about a danger to our physical or psychological integrity, and prepares us to face it or avoid it. When we perceive danger, fear indicates it to us through characteristic physical sensations (restlessness, palpitations, tremors…) that generate psychological discomfort.

Fear is considered a primary emotion, which fulfills an adaptive function. Other more complex sister emotions arise from it, such as anxiety. Anxiety is a fear focused on the future, which is why it is anticipatory. It not only makes us fear real future situations, but also all the imaginary situations that go through our heads when we are very worried.

These emotions follow a very characteristic curve if we represent them on a graph: they have the shape of a mountain, in which the first slope is very steep, and the next slope descends little by little. The graph means that anxiety and fear, no matter how intense they are, will always decrease, even if slowly.

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This implies that these emotions need a certain amount of time so that they can descend naturally while we are in the feared situation or imagining it. However, Many times we avoid the situation so as not to have to endure that emotional discomfort but this includes that we will never learn that emotions disappear on their own and miss out on important opportunities for us.

Why do entrepreneurship scare us?

In the past, the dangers that fear and its sister emotions warned us about were survival-related, like being attacked by a bear. However, currently these feared situations also include a more cultural and psychological aspect such as, for example, moving, meeting your in-laws… or starting a business project. And what makes us so afraid of the latter?

1. Uncertainty

Uncertainty is one of the sensations that causes the greatest discomfort to people. This is defined as the lack of safe and clear information in a situation, in which we have doubts about how it will develop or it is unpredictable.

Uncertainty creates anxiety and fear in us, because When we don’t know what is going to happen, the body prepares for the worst. This sensation creates in us the need to try to control the uncontrollable and “cognitive closure”: seek absolute certainties to erase any doubt.

In an entrepreneurship project we cannot guarantee the results that we are going to obtain, no matter how many studies we do. For this reason, many people are not able to bear the uncertainty about the possible success or failure of the business idea they want to start, and they simply prefer not to start it. If they don’t start it, they can’t have any doubts about the results, right?

2. Make mistakes

Another aspect that scares us is making a mistake, failing. Mostly we are worried about making mistakes so as not to feel judged, that no one thinks that we are “failures” for not having been successful. We are social beings and, No matter how much it may bother us, we care about people’s opinions. We are even more afraid of making mistakes when our economic situation and that of others may depend on it.

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How to manage the fear of starting a business?

It’s a shame that you’re not going to start a business out of fear. Maybe the world was going to lose a novel and useful idea because of that barrier that you are not being able to overcome. Therefore, below I leave you a series of guidelines that can help you manage fear. Once you know its causes, you can play with those variables to your advantage.

1. Investigate how you can start a business and the market

One of the ways to deal with uncertainty is to increase certainty. How do you do that? Doing research. If we inform ourselves, we will have more data and knowledge about the real advantages and risks of our project and we will no longer have an unadjusted fear of reality

We can inform ourselves about how to start the entrepreneurship project seriously, what types of products or services are having the greatest success in the market, what characteristics they have…

However, it is important that you keep in mind that over-informing yourself, without putting anything into practice, is a way to continue avoiding the situation. Don’t wait to feel 100% prepared no matter how much you inform yourself, you will still have a minimum of uncertainty.

2. Plan your business

Another way to reduce uncertainty is to make a business plan. Make a list of everything you can think of that has to do with the development of your business, for better and for worse. Classify these factors into three groups: what depends on you, what partially depends on you, and what does not. This way you will be able to know what is under your control.

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When you have made the list, it’s time to get to work: look at what depends on you and what partially depends on you, and go from worrying to taking care of yourself. As for what doesn’t depend on you… I’ll tell you in the following advice.

3. Accept what you cannot control and face your fears

The key now is for you to accept that uncertainty and fear will continue to be there, even if to a lesser extent, even though you have prepared enough to start your venture. You will never be able to control everything 100%, but you will be able to face problems when they come.

Now it’s time to take the step, despite these unpleasant emotions. You already know that the best way to overcome your fears is to face them. We will have to remind ourselves of this idea repeatedly every time we have doubts and we feel like giving up and leaving the project halfway.

To manage these emotions, you can try to live in the present instead of in your worries, through mindfulness techniques and doing enjoyable activities for yourself. You will have to redirect your attention again and again to what you are doing, and remember that your fears are about situations that have not yet occurred and we are only suffering them in our imagination.

Go little by little and give yourself time to get used to being an entrepreneur. Don’t try to succeed overnight, and also be patient with your own emotions. If you give them enough time while you continue working on your venture, the fear will gradually subside, until it disappears.