We are trained from a very early age to be really good employees. We sit in assigned seats, we raise our hand to speak, we stand patiently in line and we seek validation from people with authority so that we feel good about our value and what we have to offer. We are taught that conformity and fitting in are safe. Well, you know what? They are safe . . . .except if you are a business owner. As a business owner, conformity and fitting in are deadly.
I was reading Success Magazine recently and the predominant theme of all the articles and interviews was risk taking. If you want to be successful, you have to take risks. It’s as simple as that. Simple . . . but not easy.
I talk to business owners every day who try to break out of the employee mindset and take a risk to build the business of their dreams only to find themselves attacked by Godzilla and dragged back into the safety of their comfort zone. Godzilla is your lizard brain – your primitive brain that is wired for safety and survival. Its job is to protect you from danger and anything that threatens your safety. Risks are the opposite of safe. They are, you know, risky.
In order to be successful and build the business you want, you have to do risky things like set your boundaries, speak your truth (even when it’s not popular) and ask for help. These things require you to risk 2 important things:
Failure – You have to acknowledge that you might not reach your goal, you might lose money, you might be wrong or you might have to start over. Failure is a scary proposition for most people because it usually means looking like a fool, facing disappointment from loved ones or having to hear “I told you so” from one or more well-meaning people in your life.
Rejection – You have to realize that not everyone is going to like what you are doing, agree with your message or support your dream. There will be people who are threatened by your success and will rejoice in your failure. They may be loved ones or complete strangers – either way, rejection hurts and most of us do everything we can to avoid it.
When you are facing decisions in which there is a risk of failure or rejection, Godzilla attacks you with thoughts like, “Who do you think you are?”, “What makes you think you can do this?”, “Don’t you realize that is a lot of money and you could lose EVERYTHING?”, “If you do that, what will people say/think?”, “If you fail, how will you ever recover?”. These thoughts are crippling and debilitating and giant lizard keeps beating you with them until you give in and agree to stay safe.
If you aren’t making the money you want to make or enjoying the success in your business and your life that you want, then I guarantee you that you have been manipulated by the giant lizard.
Tips for dealing with Godzilla:
1. Recognize the Godzilla for what it is. The Lizard will show up any time you take a risk because it is designed to keep you safe. The Lizard is your primitive brain, not your higher functioning brain so things around emotional and financial safety feel life and death even though they are not.
2. Stand up to Godzilla. Challenge what it says with questions like: “What’s the worst that will happen if I . . . ?”, “Is that really true?” and “What contribution is believing __(insert Godzilla thought)____ making to my life, business, happiness and well-being?”.
3. Make friends with Godzilla. Understand that its job is to try to protect you. Tell yourself that you are safe and this is not a life and death issue, even though it may feel like one. You are capable of making choices from your conscious brain.
4. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Make a decision, stand firm and take action steps toward what you want regardless of what Godzilla says and how much it scares you. The more you stand up to it, the less power it has in your life.
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