6 Common Fears that Hold Entrepreneurs Back

There are plenty of excuses that we make when it comes to our businesses. But these excuses are usually just fear, disguised as excuses that sabotage your success.

It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, failure is something every entrepreneur, both successful and not, has to deal with. These thoughts that pop up are normal, but they can’t hold us back.

How about you? What’s holding you back? Here are 6 of the most common fears I hear from most entrepreneurs and a few tips on how to overcome them!

1 – Fear of Failure

Have you ever been so afraid of failing that you decided not to try it at all? Fear can be immobilizing, it can cause us to stop doing the things that can move us forward to achieve our goals.

Reevaluate your definition of failure. For some people, failure is merely an opportunity to grow and learn. Not moving forward due to fear of failure can cause us to miss some incredible opportunities.

There’s a great book called Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell, it’s a good place to start if you’re facing this challenge.

2 – Fear of What Others Think

“What if my friends and family think this is a terrible idea?”

“What if people think I’m a fraud?”

It turns out that human beings rely on each other to survive. In fact, in hunter-gatherer cultures, rejection could have meant a threat to survival. So no wonder we care about what other people think.

But the result of someone rejecting your ideas or not being receptive to your business does not mean death. More often than not, what you think those people over there are thinking, is not the reality. Don’t allow this fear to limit you from reaching your full potential.

3 – Fear of Inadequacy

It’s absolutely ok to strive for excellence in your life & business. The concern of being inadequate however, can halt your entrepreneurial journey.  Do you find yourself saying:

“Am I good enough to be xyz?”

“Who will hire me?”

“I don’t think I have enough experience.”

Instead of focusing on whether or not you’re able to live up to your own expectations, focus on all the unique strengths and skills you have to offer. The truth is, you’re always going to be at least a few steps ahead of somebody and those “somebodies” need your products or services.

4 – Fear of Financial Insecurity

Unless you have a ton of savings or capital for your business, it can be very stressful navigating through the ups and downs of starting a business. If you’re jumping from a stable income in a 9-5 to going out on your own, this risk can feel terrifying.

I never encourage my clients to quit their 9-5 and risk it all to start a business but I do think it’s important to trust your journey and have faith that the money will come once you focus on service. Be responsible about your finances, create a budget and goals based on what you want your income to be. The transition will be much smoother once you are financially empowered.

5 – Fear of the Unknown

People who are afraid of becoming an entrepreneur are terrified by the ambiguity that comes with it.

“We all have a fear of the unknown what one does with that fear will make all the difference in the world.”
Lillian Russell

There’s a lot of risk taking in entrepreneurship but if there’s something you really want in life, you must be willing to chase after it without being attached to the outcome. Besides, how will you know unless you try?

6 – Fear of Success

This is one of my favorite topics because most people aren’t aware of their fear of being successful. In fact, it seems quite silly at first that one could actually be afraid to achieve their goals.

In the book “The Big Leap” Hendricks describes that we all have barriers that sabotage our success. He believes some of us have an idea that success brings a burden. Some of the thoughts that might be sabotaging your success can look like this:

“ People who make too much money are greedy.”

“ If I’m too successful, I will outshine my siblings.”

“ I’m going to be overwhelmed if I run a successful business.”

You see, fear will always come along. But we can’t allow it to take the driver’s seat.

To quote the late Nelson Mandela, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Join the conversation.

  • Ref J says:

    I love that Nelson Mandela quote. I know I have faced a few of these fears throughout my journey. It isn’t easy to push past fear but you have some great resources that help.

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