By Hall of Fame Member & Presidential Platinum Ambassador Joyce Ferguson
I could not explain why I was shaking with fear as I gripped my old landline phone to my ear and struggled to find words. It was a typical day in 1993 and I had just decided to build my Reliv business. I was in my kitchen and not in any danger, and yet I was afraid. Still, I was afraid of one simple word — no.
Fear, often with no foundation, can ambush us and rob us of valuable business and life moments. The small risk of speaking up may seem just as scary as any other business risk. We may even want to step away from the task at hand and think of giving up because we feel our courage might falter.
But what is courage anyway?
“Courage means acting in the face of your fears, not without them.”
“FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.”
I read these two quotes and many others in business and motivational books—and I believe them. However, I could only really grasp these truths by living with my fears and pushing through the uncertainty and uncomfortableness that accompanies it. The deeper truth is that such quotations cannot explain the fact that there is no way around fear. You must act to defeat fear.
Yes! Simple, ordinary actions require courage.
Calling on your inner strength and integrity in the face of life’s daily challenges demands courage. Following the rules, honoring business relationships, doing what you said you would do, living out your convictions every day…these tasks require you to find that bravery deep inside you — and we all have it!
While we often equate courage with action, we need to remember that listening with compassion — even in the business world — is a courageous act. It’s not easy to speak up and offer advice or assistance to someone, but when we do, we have gone outside our comfort zone, and that takes courage!
Courageous people are patient, and they listen carefully before they speak. Courageous people risk rejection when they reach out to another person and offer solutions. Courageous people risk their reputation and relationships when they recommend financial and lifestyle solutions that could improve someone’s quality of life; not everyone appreciates the risk or effort it takes to speak up in such a way.
There will be flat refusals and gentle “maybes” that actually mean “no.” There will be occasional “yesses” that force your hand and make you take the next step with your business and with that person, but you must act. And in the face of your fears of not being perfect enough, or not knowing enough…you just might succeed.
Stay tuned for more posts from Joyce on overcoming fear as a woman entrepreneur. Subscribe to the Reliv Blog!