Real Fear vs. Fake Fear: Which One Is Stopping You?

by | Jul 19, 2023 | Podcast

Are you ready to conquer your fears and achieve your business dreams? I’m your host Shawn, and I promise that by the end of our time together, you’ll have a fresh perspective on how to overcome the fear that’s blocking your path to success. I’m inviting you to join my free Burnout Proof Your Business Masterclass, where you’ll learn how to create a signature program, just like the one that propelled my business to new heights. Brace yourself for a ride that will lead you to work less, earn more, and regain control and flexibility in your business.

Fear in business – it’s like a boulder in our river, impeding our flow and growth. But what if I told you that not all fears are real? Buckle up as we embark on a deeper journey to distinguish real fears from fake ones. We’ll explore basic needs, worst-case scenarios, and I’ll ask you some tough questions. It’s normal to feel fear; what’s important is how we manage it. Let’s face it together, head-on! Remember, bravery is not the absence of fear, but the audacity to confront it. So, are you ready to bet on yourself in the world of business? Tune in!

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Speaker 1: 0:13

Hey, hey there, friends, Welcome back to the Flow Business Podcast. I’m Shawn, your host, and this is your place to build a business. That’s fun, feels good and, of course, flows. Today we’re going to talk about this big giant looming thing in the background, especially as business owners fear. It’s probably been the most talked about topic here on the show since day one, and that’s for good reason. It’s because it’s by far the most glaring, standout reason for you to find yourself moving upstream in your business. We’re continuing on with this analogy of your flow business being the kind of business that allows you to just move with the current flow, with the current, instead of either forcing it by going upstream against the current or just not moving at all and letting that current, letting that flow go around you, neither of which is the epitome of a flow business. One of the biggest reasons by far that I see business owners stuck in that place and not moving with the flow of their business is because of fear. Totally understandable. It’s a big, obvious reason. It is an important thing that comes up, especially as business owners with all of these new, different kind of scary things that we’ve never done before coming out of having a business. So we got to talk about it Before I do reminder the burnout proof your business masterclass is going on now. If you do not want to create a business that causes burnout in you and in your life and in loving what you do, then this is a masterclass for you. Or if you already find yourself in that place, I mean it’s something that we as helpers newborn helpers can get into really quickly, especially when we are so focused on helping our clients and being there for them and also trying to build this thriving business. It’s like all of a sudden we’re burnt out because we haven’t spent enough time thinking about how we want our business to look for ourselves, and so I created a masterclass. It is totally free, it is on demand. You can watch it when it works best for you, but you just have to go over to the page and select the time that you want to watch it, and that is at I’m going to take you through the process of creating your own signature program, which, for those of you that don’t know, is really what I have, at least in my own business, found to be the vehicle for building my flow business, and it has been with just one program that I created years ago, that I was able to reach and help a lot more people while working way less, way fewer hours, having a lot more flexibility in an open calendar, while having this thriving, growing business and increasing my income while working less, and that was really important to me at the time, still is very important to me today. That really is the definition of my flow business, and if that’s something that resonates with you, too, then I’m going to share my entire process with you, and especially if the idea of burnout isn’t appealing to you which probably is most people or if you already find yourself in that place with the work that you’re doing with others, this is the place to be You can schedule your session Now. Fear, a big thing that is stopping you, potentially, from building your flow business, because it’s the thing that’s keeping that consistent, flowy movement from happening. It’s often what stops us in our tracks and keeps us from taking that next step forward. And you know, let’s go back to that river analogy that I’ve been using this entire time. Fear is like that big boulder in the middle of the river. So, as you’re floating down the river, maybe you’re in a raft, maybe you’re in an n or two, maybe you’re on a canoe, doesn’t matter what it is. You find yourself up against this boulder and your boat, your vehicle, gets stuck on that boulder. So you’ve stopped moving entirely and you look out beyond that boulder, what’s coming up ahead, and you can see that, yes, there are a few rapids to go through, nothing you can’t manage, nothing you can’t handle, but there is a little bit of turbulence and after that you can see ahead this smooth, clear, beautiful river. The sun is shining, the water is sparkling. It just looks so inviting. You know you want to get there and, yes, you have to go through a little bit of choppy water to make it happen, potentially, but it’s going to be worth it and you know you’ll be okay. So now you have a choice. Are you going to stay stuck on that boulder constantly looking ahead up at that clear, beautiful, sparkly river, or are you going to push off of that boulder, make it through the choppy water, those little rapids ahead and get to the clearing where you can continue to flow? It’s your choice. I hope you can see the analogy here in that, obviously, that boulder is the fear and you have the choice every day in your business, especially knowing that the business you want is up ahead. You have seen it, you know it’s there, you know it’s possible, especially after the last episode where you had the opportunity to kind of create and visualize your flow business. Just the fact of you getting it into your mind, creating that vision, means that it is available and possible for you, because if it weren’t, then you wouldn’t have even brought that up, like me, visualizing myself as a professional NBA player. I just wouldn’t even pop into my head, it wouldn’t even be a thing because, let’s be honest, that’s not possible. I’m a 42 year old woman who is five foot one and not athletic, so that thing is just not happening. My vision of that dream business ahead of me is possible, it’s doable, it is happening because I have created that in my own mind. Okay, so that means that that vision that you created of your dream business is that clearing that bright, beautiful, crystal clear water ahead. And, yeah, there may be a few bumps along the way, there may be some rocky moments along the way, but nothing you can’t handle, nothing you can’t get through in order to get to that clearing. So are you gonna let that boulder stop you and just stay looking ahead at what could be, or are you gonna push off and go through the rapids to get to that point? I hope you like that analogy. I thought it was pretty good. I think it creates a little bit of a vision here for us. So let me say this before I move any further and I think you know this, but let me remind you a flow business requires you to actively face your fears and move through them. It requires bravery, it requires trust and, most importantly and I think where a lot of you may find yourself lacking from the conversations I have with you it requires betting on yourself, believing in yourself, investing in yourself and knowing you can do it, knowing that you are capable, that you are deserving of what you want, of that vision ahead of you. In all of that, I feel like so much of those requirements. The stopping point is fear. So that’s why we have to keep bringing it up here on the show Today. What I really wanna focus in on and this might be a little might ruffle some feathers is in talking about what I have kind of come to call it in my own world, fake fear. Most typical business fears are fake. They’re not real fear. Now, trust me, I know how very real they feel. I’ve had my fair share of scary business moments. Every business owner has it’s part of the process. It’s what is required, as I mentioned before, of being in business. It happens, and I’m not diminishing anyone’s experience in any way by calling this fear, this feeling that you’re having, fake, but instead what I wanna do is create a system for you to help you move past these fears so that when you actually give yourself the time and space to think about what’s going on in your mind that may be stopping you, that you can see how your mind has kind of made up that fear. And that’s what I mean by fake. So let me explain even further. The emotion of fear has the purpose in our bodies to alert us of danger, right? I think we can all agree on that. Like life or death, survival instinct kind of danger, and so if something is threatening your life, the feeling of fear will stop you from doing that thing, or it will at least alert you to the real aspect of survival versus not survival. For example, I have a fear of heights. So when I’m hiking, I’m out on the mountains. If I get too close to the edge of a cliff, I feel fear. I feel fear like this in my entire body, just like, is totally succumbed to fear, and that is real. That’s because I need to be alerted that if I fall I may not survive Like that’s a real danger, a real threat to my survival. Now let’s look at some common examples of business fears. A big one that I see is being afraid to put yourself out there. That could be to post regularly on social media. It could be to put out a podcast, it could be to start a YouTube channel, whatever it is in putting your work out into the world. That fear usually stems from a fear of rejection or a fear of judgment. Those are two common roots of fear that business owners have, and that actually stems from, typically, a time in your life where you were rejected or judged and it sucked. It didn’t feel good, you were embarrassed, you were hurt. There was an emotion there that you don’t really ever want to experience Again. You want to avoid that situation at all costs Totally understandable and so now that moment of rejection or judgment it’s coming back to haunt you, trying to keep you from building your dream business. So that moment is now stored in your subconscious programming as something you want to avoid something that is a quote unquote threat, because you don’t want to go there again. So you are going to now have this big guard up anytime that you are in a place where you could feel rejection or could feel judged and get into that place. So now we have that fear instilled. Here’s the big question when you experienced that moment of rejection or judgment, were you still okay? Did you still have a roof over your head? Did you still have food on the table? Did your family and friends still love you? Were you still able to move forward in your life? Most likely the answer is yes. You were still okay, even when you got made fun of in front of your entire third grade class. Yes, it was awful, it felt terrible, but you still were fundamentally okay, your needs were still met and you were still able to survive life. And again, I’m not saying this to diminish or downplay that moment of judgment, criticism, whatever it was. We have all had them. They suck, it’s terrible and they really do continue to haunt us the rest of our lives. And that happens to everyone, right? So I’m not trying to diminish that, but I want to put it in a different perspective because this is going to help you move forward when these past experiences do try to butt into your business building process. So now, if you were to put yourself out there again and say start that podcast, post on social media regularly, announce your new paid offer and let’s just say someone thinks to themselves oh that’s weird that she’s doing that. Notice my little attitude in my voice for someone that would actually think that, or maybe listens to your podcast and finds your voice annoying and doesn’t want to listen again Will you still be okay? Or let’s say you’re afraid to launch your program or talk about your paid offers. Because what a lot of people are afraid of? Because what if no one signs up? What if too many people sign up? And I get overwhelmed. If you launch your program and no one signs up, will you still be okay? Will your basic needs still be met? Will you survive? If you launch your program and it’s a massive success, will you still be okay? And I know some of you are thinking well, of course I would be more than okay if what I was doing was a massive success, but you would be shocked to know how many people including you, potentially subconsciously, without you even really knowing it, are afraid of success, are afraid of the change that comes to your life when, whatever you put out, there is a success. You would be shocked to know that something to explore in yourself. Here’s another example, a harder one. So let’s really think about this If you launch your program and people don’t like it, will you still be okay? Will you still have a roof over your head? Will you still have food on the table? Will you still have family and friends that love you? I know it’s a hard one, because it’s like that is super embarrassing. That would just destroy me. Gosh, I would just like never want to show my face again if I put something out and I got replies that people don’t like it. So I know that that’s hard, but again, fundamentally speaking, will your needs still be met If someone doesn’t like what you put out into the world? Okay, I have another hard one. If you quit your job to go all in on your business, you invest a bunch of money. Let’s say you invest a couple thousand dollars to get the training and tools you need to make it happen and it takes a year to make enough money to support yourself, will you still be okay? Will you still find the money to have a roof over your head and food on the table? Will your family and friends still love you? Now, for some people you might say, yeah, I can use my savings, I can take out a loan, I can get a part-time job, I can borrow money from my family, I can take one-on-one clients. So, yeah, if that happens, if it takes a year to be able to support myself, I will still be okay for that year. And now for some people, this is actually a no, you won’t be okay and that’s fine too. But it’s a place for you to discover your own real fear versus fake fear. It just means that for you, that situation is a real fear and you can plan accordingly for that. So maybe for you it means keeping your job while building your business on the side, because that means you will stay okay and that gives you the ability to have actually less fake fears because you know you have. You know that no matter what, no matter what happens, you will be okay because you still have your job, you still can put food on the table, you still can pay for your rent or your mortgage, and that makes everything else basically a fake fear. So hopefully, all of these examples show you what I mean by a real fear versus a fake fear, a fear that truly is an alert to your survival versus a fear that your mind has made up to keep you quote unquote safe, based on past experiences that weren’t actually life threatening, but were uncomfortable and were not something that you ever wanted to experience again. And so you put up that wall against that feeling, and now your mind thinks that is an actual threat to your survival because of how it has interpreted your reaction. So here’s the test If this thing that I’m afraid of happening happens, will I still be okay? If this thing that I’m afraid of happening happens, will I still be okay? That is your test. Anytime you are experiencing what feels like a block Towards your flow, business, something that’s keeping you from moving forward in that flow. Now, of course, in order to get to that point, you have to be able to, and willing to, see your fears for what they are. You have to be willing to do a little digging in your own mind and with your own actions or reactions, and see what’s stopping you, what really is at the root of why you’re not doing what you want to be doing or what you know is the next best step for you. What Is that block? Where does that stem from? And you will find that there’s some sort of fear behind that, most likely. And when you can get to the route and you have the ability to say will I still be okay if the absolute worst happens? And you know I’m a very naturally positive person, an optimist almost to a fault. But when it comes to fear and when it comes to business and when it comes to actually moving forward, I really love thinking about the worst case scenario. And when you think about that worst case scenario, okay, what would be the absolute worst that comes from this? And if that happens, will I still be okay? And if you can answer yes, like yes, you still will have your basic needs met, you have shelter, you’ll have water, you’ll have food, you’ll have love. If you have those things, then move forward. If you want, then it’s time to kind of reconfigure that next step and find a way to make it something that will still keep your survival intact, keep your needs met and keep you moving forward towards that beautiful clearing of sparkly water that’s ahead, aka your dream business. And as we wrap up, I just want to remind you again that the feeling of fear is normal and expected. As a business owner, you are doing a ton of things that you’ve never done before and so you don’t know how they’re going to turn out. You don’t really know what’s going to happen. You can take an educated guess and have a plan, but there’s still a lot of unknowns and there’s a lot of leaps of faith to take as a business owner. So being able to manage that fear and move through it is a skill that all successful business owners have. They didn’t start with it. It didn’t come naturally, it wasn’t something they didn’t have to worry about or think about. It is something that Every business owner has acquired over their time of building their business because their desire for that business was louder, more prominent, a bigger part of their life Then that fear. So there was that drive to move forward. That then you know. Primarily, those fake fears come up and want to derail and they were trying to get rid of that fear Come up and want to derail and they were able to. All successful business owners are able to see that fear for what it is, notice that it was something that isn’t actually a threat to their survival and move forward despite that fear. So no one is immune. It’s called being human. Even more so, it’s called being a business owner and having a desire to create something for yourself. And I really think that the ability to manage fear Is truly what separates those who continue building their dream business and those that get stuck on that boulder and never move forward. So that’s why we’re having this conversation, and will continue to have this conversation here on the show, and I will continue to very lovingly, let’s say push you past your fears, push you to really see them for what they are and move through them, because I know you have what it takes to do that. If I can do it, you can do it. So here’s where I push you a little bit. What’s a fake fear you’ve been letting stop you? You probably have one. We all do. It’s okay, it’s normal, but now we have to pull it up, bring it to the surface, so that we can see it for what it really is. So what’s a fear you’ve been letting stop you? It’s your boulder in the middle of the river at this moment, and if that fear comes true, will you still be okay, will you still survive, will your basic needs be met? And if so, if the answer to that is yes, then what can you do to move beyond that fear? What is a very real, tangible action step that you can take today to start moving beyond that? And it doesn’t have to be this massive, giant leap forward. Most fears are best moved through with small action steps taken on a regular, consistent basis. So what is that for you? And also always remember what’s waiting for you when you do take those actions. So remember that vision you created in the last episode of your dream business and what that specifically looks like for you and feels like for you. Remember the analogy of moving, pushing yourself off that boulder, getting through the little rapids ahead and then getting to that sparkly, clear, beautiful, sunny water where you can just relax and go with the flow. That is what’s ahead for you as a business owner, as soon as you face those fears and move beyond them and that’s what’s really cool about this particular idea of will you still be okay if this fear happens. But what’s even more realistic is that, first of all, what you fear will happen most won’t even happen and, second of all, because you’ve moved beyond that fear and knew you would be okay even if the worst happens, you actually get to experience something beyond your wildest dreams, and something that isn’t just you being okay, but you being absolutely, amazingly, spectacularly awesome, right? So not only does that fear not actually happen in most cases, but you will be so beyond, okay and get to actually experience your dreams. So it’s worth it, because, unless your survival is at stake, then that fear is something that you can move through, that can, you can move beyond. And how cool is that? Now, if your survival is at stake, don’t, please don’t, don’t do it. Don’t get too close to the ledge, because you really truly might fall and not survive and I will be scared for you and I will be scared for myself. The fear of heights is real. Okay, so I will leave you with all of this and something for you to really think about this week and come up with a fake fear action plan for yourself. All right, until next time, take care. Hey, wait up before you go. Do you want to know the biggest reason why your business may not flow? Because it’s not in alignment with your personality type. Building the right business for you means knowing your strengths, weaknesses, energetic expression and what’s most important to you, so you can build your business accordingly. Before you spend one more minute working on your business, let’s make sure it’s the right business for you. I’ve created a fun two minute quiz to discover your flow business personality type. With the results of this quiz, you’ll know exactly what to prioritize in your business so you can feel confident knowing your building a business you love. Head over to right now to find out your flow business personality type. Once you find that out, hop over to Instagram and let me know what you discover. Again, that’s As always, the link is in the show notes.

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Hey there, I'm Shawn!

I’m obsessed with nitro cold brew, 90% dark chocolate, and helping coaches and practitioners build a business they love. With nothing but a passion for helping others and the desire to never have a boss again, I quit the corporate world and built my own million dollar coaching business over the past decade. Now, I help others do the same.