If you live your life from the perspective of fear, you don’t dare to push your boundaries. You stay with comfortable. Most people want more but their fear stops them from going for it. They don’t want to look stupid, or fail or make a fool of themselves.
But if we would take the perspective of a friend going for a raise, starting a new business, or taking their business to the next level, we would have so much more tenacity and compassion for other people. ‘They were driven’, we say. But when it comes to ourselves, that fear often keeps us boxed in.
Not doing the things you really want to do keeps you small. Not being who you really are, keeps you trapped. Doing, being and having more stays at arm’s length when you are staying small. Regret can come in many different forms – but regretting that you didn’t push your boundaries is one of the biggest regrets people have when they reach old age.
I had a children’s clothing company that I owned and operated for eight years. I started it from scratch. In the beginning, it was fun, exciting and great to build and learn new things. I was hiring reps, getting international sales as far as Japan, and across the U.S. But over time, the tail was wagging the dog and I needed to expand or cut back or sell or close.
Did I really want to stay in this business? I needed to make a decision to stay or grow. Growing meant investing more money and getting a facility. The business had momentum and it became my persona. I was the woman with the clothing line. But it wasn’t hugely successful and that fear of not being hugely successful kept me in it. As opposed to moving on, it came to the point where I dreaded each day and felt I was just slogging through. Finally, I knew it needed to be closed or I needed to sell it. I did wind up selling it to one of my employees.
Now, I own a catering company. Again, it at some level defines me and there’s an expectation that I should stay in it because I’m really good at it. I am faced with the same problem, but this time I’m wiser. I don’t want to stay in it until I’m unhappy. And so I’ve made the decision to move on, to go for what excites me, even though I’m fearful of what’s on the other side of this choice.
I want to be great at something. Personal coaching excites me and I’m going to jump in without a net. I’ve chosen a date to step out of catering, and I’m moving forward with my coaching practice in my spare moments and it feels good. I like change. Staying present with myself enhances my clarity of purpose.
I chose to fear regret more than failure, and it’s working for me.