Published in CKW - The Chea K. Woolfolk Magazine
"One of the most underrated secrets to success is to start before you're ready" (@Marie Forleo)
Have you been dreaming of starting something new? Is there a business idea, a product, or a life change that you’ve been eager to do or create, yet you can’t seem to get motivated to just get it started already? When I heard one of my favorite mentors ask those questions in her weekly podcast, MarieTV, I immediately connected with the exact emotion and identity she was describing.
As a young entrepreneur and die-hard perfectionist, this mental barrier has left me tragically held back from launching and moving forward with my idea so many times in the past. I know I am not the only lady boss who has experienced this very same innate fear.
Over the last several days, I've taken time for personal reflection and self-exploration to analyze and uncover where this sense of hesitancy comes from. Particularly after experiencing a sudden loss of a good friend and former high school classmate last week. Her loss helped me to put in perspective and let go of every reason I feel like I can't. I am reevaluating the many excuses and reasons I've rehearsed to myself as to why I've not experienced the success I dream about everyday and letting them go.
Most people believe that what’s holding them back from starting something new is fear. For me, it’s so many doubts and fears, like the fear of making a mistake, the fear of looking foolish, the fear of making a wrong decision, or the mother of all human fears — the fear of not being good enough. All of these are examples of deep-seated ideologies that debilitate our self-confidence and keeps us taking massive action.
After having a heavy-hearted sit down discussion with my parents over Sunday dinner, there's a transcendent concept that my father introduced to me that I think will be helpful for others to conquer the exact same fears I experience as an entrepreneur. After I poured my thoughts and exposed my doubts with my father, he simply summed up a compelling philosophy that today's most successful entrepreneurs and thought-leaders embody through fearless action. He responded, "So, you can do scared."
It was at that moment that I realized the one concept that separates the top 1% action-takers from the rest. They do not wait for their fears to subside or for the right moment. There's no such things as the right moment. There's no such thing as being "ready" to launch. The most successful individuals simply push through their fears and anxieties and take action anyway.
"Fear isn't the enemy. Waiting to stop feeling afraid is.” (@Marie Forleo)
As a young entrepreneur, recognizing the real enemy is the first step. The hard truth is that no one who has journeyed the rugged path of entrepreneurship has ever stopped feeling afraid, nervous, or anxious about launching or taking risks. However, the key is instead of spending time trying to analyze or neutralize your fear, you just have to do it afraid. In the words of my father, "You can do scared."
For me, this realization meant that I needed to personally deal with my insecurities of perfectionism and comparison. Perfectionism only leads to paralysis and comparison always kills contentment.
Trying to develop the most perfect iteration of your business idea or product will constantly lead to never launching at all. When we compare our insides to other people’s outsides, we size ourselves up to other people's progress and we either come out looking better than they do or worse than they do. In order to get over these fears, our insecurities can't drive us into this unfair kind of comparison that leaves us feeling unaccomplished and not ready to move forward.
So simple, yet so profound. If you’re ready to stop stalling and get your big idea or life change launched now like I was, I want to encourage you with this simple concept. Learning this simple habit that can help you radically increase your speed of implementation and getting started on your big idea. You can do scared! Make your journey exciting by launching anyway!