Starting your own business is hard. Starting your own online fitness business is even harder because at some point you’re going to have to put yourself out there.
To help you build confidence and overcome your fear of starting your own business, I want to share with you an exercise called Fear Setting.
This exercise has changed my life and the lives of thousands of students that we’ve worked with at the Online Trainer Academy.
It’s very simple, and it’s based on a quote from Seneca. He’s a Spanish philosopher who was born over 2,000 years ago, so this isn’t new advice. It has stood the test of time.
I’m paraphrasing, but Seneca essentially said:
If you wish to stave off all fear, imagine that the worst that can happen most definitely will happen.
When our brains don’t understand something, when they’re trying to figure out a new situation, especially if it’s a stressful one, they can lead us to some crazy conclusions. These scenarios often don’t even make sense, but they can still scare or intimidate us.
For example, when you’re starting your own online training business, you may worry that:
“People are going to laugh at me when I tell them my dream.”
“I’m not tech-savvy enough to pull this off.”
“I’m going to lose my life savings.”
“I’ll never be a good salesman; I’ll just end up embarrassing myself.”
And the list goes on and on.
Even though all those things won’t happen, even though you have the necessary skills and passion to be a successful online trainer, they will make you doubt yourself, and that’s poison.
So what I recommend is to get these worries out of your head and write them down. Make the fears real.
That’s right. All those worst-case scenarios that scare you, put them in a notebook or type them out on your phone. Then like Seneca says, imagine that the worst that can happen will happen.
When you do this Fear Setting exercise, when you look those worst-case scenarios directly in the eye, you’ll quickly realize that they’re not really that bad.
Might some people laugh at my dream?
Sure, but probably many more will admire and respect me for pursuing it.
Might technology confuse me at times?
Sure, but I can learn or ask tech-savvy friends for help. And I really don’t need anything more to get started than I’m already comfortable with.
Might I lose money?
Sure, but I’ll bounce back. And isn’t that risk worth finding out if I could be really successful at this?
Might I be nervous when pitching a potential client?
Sure, but everyone is. And the worst that person can say, after all, is “No thank you.”
So I hope you can see that what I’m really talking about here is having courage.
This exercise builds courage. Nobody is born courageous. It’s something you acquire bit by bit after trying new stuff that doesn’t quite work out or that you even fail at.
But in the process, you realize it’s not that big of a deal. You’ve survived.
I can personally guarantee this is true.
Believe me, I’ve had people say things about me on the internet that really took me down, but although it’s not much fun when it first happens, you realize that it’s not that big of a deal.
Immunity to criticism is a muscle that needs to be trained. Get in your reps, and eventually you’re able to laugh it off.
Or sometimes, if you hear a comment again and again, and you reflect on it, you may realize that this is an area where you really do need to improve.
The right feedback, even if it hurts initially, can be positive.
I’ve also tried a heck of a lot of things in a heck of a lot of different arenas, from live events to conferences to various coaching programs to 11 books to multiple websites to everything in between. And I can tell you right now that not everything worked out.
But what’s beautiful is that when you try new things, when you put yourself out there, you not only learn a lot but you also realize that the odds of things working out exactly as you intended are pretty slim.
Things usually go in a direction you never anticipated. Sometimes that’s great, and sometimes that’s not so great.
But you roll with it and adapt and become more confident and, yes, even more courageous in the process.
Caveat: By the way, when you do this Fear Setting exercise, keep in mind that sometimes a worst-case scenario may really be unbearable for you.
So when done honestly, it can also help you decide when not to take a certain path or a certain action because the consequences are too dire.
It’s a very valuable tool.
Learn more: Get answers to more online trainer questions.