I used to think that the more I knew, the better I could function in this world. That was until I decided to become an entrepreneur. I wrestled with the security I had as an employee and the freedom and fulfillment I sought as an entrepreneur. All the while, I was confronted and challenged by the infamous unknown. I struggled with the thought, “How can I trust not knowing if I would make any money the next day, the next week, or the next month?” Until I learned that the unknown was safe and that I could find comfort and trust in it, I couldn’t even let go of my job. I soon discovered that I was not alone in dealing with this challenge.
Trusting the unknown can be difficult for many people, especially budding entrepreneurs. It can be equally tricky for seasoned entrepreneurs who are dealing with trying economic times.
How do we learn to trust the unknown? Here are a few suggestions:
- Answer your “what ifs”– Instead of letting scary thoughts go round and round in your head. Stop and explain the fear. For example, a typical “what if” might be, “What if I can’t come up with the payroll for next week? That thought can put someone in a tailspin. Know you have a choice as to how you respond and consider the options. Do you need to tap into your equity credit line? Ask employees to work a few fewer hours? Transfer money from your account? When you answer your what-ifs, you come up with realistic solutions that can help you work through the “what if.”.
- Let go of fear. The trouble with fear is that it can block our progress. We often miss opportunities when we get stuck in fearful thinking and acting. I know several people who have become so afraid about the survival of their business that one became immobilized to take decisive action and ultimately closed the business and the other lost several weeks in productivity because of fear. Replace fear with trust. Take a deep breath and say out loud if you need to that you are letting go of the fear. Trust and know that you will be okay no matter what.
- Stay Present– This has been a tough one for me. I learned to stay present by not projecting into the future and not looking back into the past. There were times when I would call one of my mentors because I got too far into the fear of the future, and she would say, “Are your lights on?” “Is there food in your fridge?” “Of course,” I would answer. She then would say, “Then stay present– you are okay for today, and that is all that matters.” Staying present requires vigilance and balance in your day. Stress can easily trigger the past or the future. Learn to stay centred and present in your day.
- Trust yourself. Johann Von Goethe, a man who lived in the 1400s once, said, “Just Trust Yourself, then you will know how to live.” Practice trusting yourself. The next time you make a decision, don’t question it. Trust that you’ve made the right choice.
One of the benefits of trusting the unknown is that it enhances our intuition. Intuition, or your “knower,” is strengthened through the process of faith. Listen to yourself, incorporate some of the steps above and begin to experience the freedom from trusting the unknown. Not knowing isn’t so bad after all!
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