The Ultimate Drain On Your Productivity – (No, It’s Not Facebook)

4 February 2012-Claudine Motto

During a TV interview I did with Fox 29, the journalist asked me what I thought was the biggest obstacle to productivity for women business owners.

I thought for a moment, and answered “fear.”

Normally, I would have said distractions, interruptions, lack of planning – all the “usual” things we immediately think about when we’re talking about getting things done.

And of course, it’s not that I didn’t say them because they aren’t obstacles – they are, in more ways than one – interruptions, distractions, and a million other things eat away our time, steal our focus, and keep us in reactive mode.

But fear permeates much deeper.

And can do far more damage.

-Fear makes us feel completely justified in doing nothing unless we feel 100% “ready” “deserving” or “perfect” – so we miss out on great opportunities (confession: I almost said “no” to the TV interview).

-Fear makes us afraid to hear “no” – so we don’t ask for the sale (and potential clients end up working with someone else), we don’t ask for help (so we end up doing everything ourselves and stay stuck), we don’t reach out to people we’d like to get to know better (and our network stops growing – along with more potential opportunities).

-Fear puts us in “comparison mode” – so we avoid people who are more successful than we are, or who know more than we do, and we deprive ourselves from the very people we could learn from and get inspired by, and who could help us grow.

-Fear keeps us from trying new things – that may mean avoiding collaborating with others, launching a new product or service – whatever “new” may be for you.

Fear thwarts our growth like nothing else could.

The key is to accept it’s never going to go away – that it’s part of life, and that it’s definitely a part of being a business owner, solopreneur, or entrepreneur – however you see yourself.

So instead of resisting fear, which doesn’t do anything to eradicate it, try putting all your fears down in a “Fears List” and ask yourself these 3 questions:

-How will it benefit me and my business if I face this fear?

-What small step can I take today (or this week) to work on this fear?

-How will I reward myself when I take this step?

Then pick the one you think would make the most impact on your business, take a deep breath, and put that action step on your to-do list, calendar or wherever you’re going to see it – and commit to doing it.

All we’re doing is building up our resistance – because the more we do, the bigger the opportunities that will come our way. Fun and scary at the same time.

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” Mark Twain

Has fear ever kept you from pursuing a new experience or opportunity?
What have you said “yes” to in spite of your fears? And how did it turn out?


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3 Responses to The Ultimate Drain On Your Productivity – (No, It’s Not Facebook)

  1. Pingback: Thanks, Women’s Empowerment, & Other Thoughts « Pinnacle Empowerment Center

  2. Beth Buelow, ACC, The Introvert Entrepreneur says:

    Great post, Claudine, and congrats on your site – it’s beautiful! I love that you identified fear as the #1 distraction; so TRUE. I admit to falling into comparison mode, which launches me into scarcity mode. It’s not pretty, and it feels icky. I appreciate your tips, and especially the idea that we are “building up our resistance” when we face our fears. Well said!!

  3. Claudine Motto says:

    @Beth – so glad you like my new site! I agree, scarcity mode is not pretty. I’ve been there too. I believe over on Facebook you said something about not being able to “eradicate fear.” I agree with that too. Not sure why I expressed it that way in the post.

    @Karen – it ALL helps. Sometimes a word or a quote will resonate today and not help tomorrow. That’s why, in my opinion, we can never have too many ways to encourage ourselves!

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