“Change is not a threat it’s an opportunity.

Survival is not the goal, transformative success is.”

~ Seth Godin

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Do you know how the delicate lotus flower grows?

It grows from the depths of murky, dark mud.  And when it reaches the surface after fighting its way to the top through the thick mud and dark water, the flower’s sage stem and perfect petals reach out and form one of the most exquisite  flowers on earth, the lotus flower.

The growth of a lotus flower is often used as a visual representation of a person’s dark night of the soul. This metaphor represents the truth that through experiencing and embracing anxiety, fear and difficult moments you will often come out the other side with a deeper sense of peace or happiness.

As a business owner, you will face many times a week and even a day where you need to make a decision that causes some sort of fear or anxiety.

To be a successful business owner, you have to employ strategies and methods to help you translate those feelings into good decisions. Fear is not a negative thing at all. When I experience fear or anxiety, it is more often than not a body sensation, not just emotions. The epicenter of tightness and pain is often in my belly or sometimes my throat.

Now my job as the CEO of my business is to go deeper with that “feeling” and “sensation”.

For instance, the first time I invested a large amount of money (I’m talking a small car amount of money LOL) in my business coach I was paralyzed by fear when making the decision to go forward or not. I had to ask myself:

Could this fear be because when I invest in myself there is no one else to blame if things do not go well?

Or is my intuition trying to tell me that this direction isn’t the right way.

“The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be…because of all I may become…I will close my eyes and leap!”

~ Mary Anne Radmacher

To find clarity I will gather more data and statistics, take some time away from the issue at hand to process and I might talk to a mentor or peer that I trust. Sometimes when you say things out loud the right decision becomes clear.

The fastest way to get over fear is to find something you are more afraid of then the fear itself. Most people think they are afraid of one thing, but if they dig a little, usually it is something much deeper. If you do the work and really get to the heart of what is holding you back, for instance if you are afraid of public speaking, you may discover after some soul searching it might actually be the that you are afraid of being seen because you don’t think you are worthy of the kind of success that speaking engagement could potentially bring.

Once you identify the core fear, then picture yourself in a rocking chair at the end of your life.

if you can live with out doing the thing that prompted the core fear and live without the results it could bring for you, if you will have absolutely no regrets than let that opportunity go and move on to your next big growth moment.

But if that thing you are afraid of could better you, stretch you into the person you want to be or bring your business into the place you hope for then really consider going for it. If when you picture yourself in the rocking chair and picture this choice, if you feel even the slightest bit of regret when you picture yourself not doing this opportunity, then I believe you must go for it, charge forward and say “I can do this!”.

If it is a speaking engagement, and you are terrified to get up and tell your story or teach your expertise, say yes and then get the support you need to rock that opportunity. Take the time you need to write a killer speech, study how others craft their talks, practice yours until it is natural to you, get feedback and a mentors perspective. Daily visualize this opportunity turning out the very best way you can imagine.

I definitely am not saying to just say yes to everything and show up cold and think that just saying yes is enough. Say yes and then carefully craft a plan to help you find the confidence you need to make the most of this moment/opportunity you have created for you and your business.

The amazing coach Brenden Bruchard asks…

“Did I live,

Did I love,

Did I matter?”

When you are sitting in that rocking chair towards the end of your life, the ultimate outcome is to be able to say with complete certainty…

 “YES I did live each day to the fullest, yes I did love and I created love with my life’s work, yes I did matter, I took huge risks and I stretched myself to be of service! I have no regrets.”