Business Lessons Learned: Fear slows us down

Over the past year, West Cork Life and Business Coach Anna Healy embarked on a personal journey to interview women in business in West Cork, hearing their stories and learning from what they shared about their businesses. In the process, she learned a lot about herself in her business too. In her series of Women in Business articles, Anna will share some of these learnings with you.

When I first agreed to do a radio interview for West Cork FM, I remember thinking “how exciting!” and felt incredibly honoured to be asked by the Station Manager. I quickly went about making appointments with some business women and recorded the interviews. I then spent weeks grounded by fear,  editing the first few, as I wanted it to be ‘perfect’. I agonised over every ‘amm’ word and breath sound on the recording. I went over and over and over the editing until it sounded like a well-coiffed piece. I bet you have heard about ‘analysis paralysis’ –  that was me at that time, agonising whether I was doing it right, terrified that I would make a mistake.

However, with each interview that I did and edited, my confidence grew. I began to relax in to the process and I started getting better at interviewing and editing. 

Throughout all of the interviews I’ve done with women in business, the same advice has come up. ‘When you give in to your fears, it can slow you down in your business.’

So how can we overcome this?

Be gentle on yourself, remind yourself that you are doing your best and that it is good enough right now.

Be aware of what you are hesitant about, notice what feeling is rising up when you think about proceeding further in your business. 

Remind yourself that it is only one step that you need to take for now and you can review each time until it becomes easier. 

Try not to look too far into the future as things are changing all the time. 

Focus on your own skills and the job at hand.

When I think of inspiring women who pushed past their fear, I am reminded of Karen O’Reilly from Employmum. She told me the best advice she received as a business woman was, “In life we only have 1000 months…when you break it down to months, that seems a very short time!” Karen told me that when she heard this “it really inspired me to get my head down and keep going and make the most of every minute and every day and seize every opportunity that came my way”. 

The world is changing quickly and, as business women, we are evolving and learning. Where we were one or two years ago will be very different to where we are right now. So with that in mind, remind yourself that you are continually learning and you will apply that learning into your offering, but you have to keep moving too. You might look back and cringe at a few mistakes that you made but this is also part of evolving and developing your business; test-evaluate-proceed.

Next week we will look at Key Learnings on Networking from Women in Business.

Anna Healy is a Life and Business Coach based in West Cork. You can hear the ‘Women in Business in West Cork’ series on West Cork FM fortnightly on Saturdays.

WCP Staff

WCP Staff Writer

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