To start something new that you know virtually nothing about can be terrifying. Staking your money and your life on starting a new venture of any size requires dealing with fear of the unknown. How do you overcome your fear of starting something from scratch?
Being able to see things in perspective can be valuable. With the right perspective you can control and manage your fears. When you do manage your fear you will be able to go into your new venture with quiet strength and confidence.
The story of the “The Giant” may help you.
A long time ago there was a poor village at the foot of a mountain. On top of the mountain was some hidden treasure that could solve all the villagers’ problems. However, the treasure was guarded by a huge giant who bellowed ferociously at anyone who climbed the mountain. No villager dared to go near. So the villagers remained poor, existing on what little they could grow in the mountain’s shadow.
One year disaster struck because the harvest failed. The villagers went to the king for help. Only if the king could bring back the treasure they would all starve to death. The king set off up the mountain but he was scared and all he had to eat was the last loaf of bread in his backpack.
Climbing the mountain, the king was suddenly confronted by the giant who pounced from behind a boulder. The giant roared and tried to terrify the king. Instead of running away, the king braced himself and took one tiny step towards the giant. Was it is imagination, or had the giant shrunk an inch?
The king took another step forward and the giant seemed to shrink a little more. The giant got smaller and smaller until the king reached the giant and was able to hold him in the palm of his hand.
“You don’t look much like a giant now,” said the king. “We’ll have to call you something else. What is your name anyway?”
In a weak and feeble voice the giant replied, “my name is… Terror!”
The source for this story is from Richard Box – credit is due where credit is due.
The point of the story is that when you face your fears they don’t overwhelm you. In fact, they get smaller and smaller the closer you approach them. As you see your fears grow smaller, you become more confident and even bold.
It’s easy to say a story will help you gain perspective and overcome your fears. But does this work in the real world? Where’s the proof?
The other day I saw a middle-aged couple running a small stand outside a butchery. The couple was selling barbecued sausages and a dish made from curried mince and what is called fat cake (bread dough that is fried in hot oil). These two people bought their meat from the butchery just behind the stand in the main road. These two people have no special privileges whatsoever. They were uncomplaining about not being able to find jobs. They weren’t bitter or blaming others. They faced their fears and started a little business on the sidewalk pavement and against all odds are running a thriving little cash business.
These are the brave people that are not afraid of the Giant because to do so would mean that they would starve. They have started a business on a shoestring, pulled themselves up by the bootlaces and work hard to earn a living. These are the people who have faced fear head-on and without favour, privilege or nepotism, are running their own small business.