THE BLOG

How to Use Your Fear Instead of Letting It Hold You Back

05/26/2015 12:10 pm ET | Updated May 23, 2016

Watching the successful women entrepreneurs who were crushing it in their businesses giving advice to those who waited in long lines to ask for it, I realized that only one thing separated those on stage from those off stage.

It wasn't knowledge or time or talent or luck.

It was fear.

Or rather, the one difference between the uber-successful entrepreneurs and everyone else was the willingness to consistently put themselves out there before they were ready, the ability to act despite their fear.

And realizing that terrified me. In my business, I've been allowing myself to take a back seat and let ads, guest posts, and word of mouth help me grow my business. But I haven't stepped out of my comfort zone or created anything that I didn't think was as perfect as I could make it.

And while I do it so that I can provide the highest customer service, I know I also do it because I'm afraid. Afraid of being less than perfect.

But at that moment, I realized - who cares? Your clients don't care if your slides are beautifully formatted to perfection or not as long as the content is truly valuable. They don't care if your video lighting is off as long as they can see you and realize that you're a real person.

And beyond that - what do you care about? A beautiful and flawless business that doesn't make you money? Or a less than perfect business that supports you in creating the life and business you desire so much?

Asking myself that question, I felt one fear completely overwhelm all my other fears.

The fear of not having my dream business and dream life.

I never want to be that struggling businesswoman whose business appears glamorous and seductive on the outside, but who is in truth barely breaking even. Who can't afford to take care of her family or live the life she created her business in the first place to be able to live.

And that fear, of not having my dream business and life, of not being able to provide the life I'd envisioned for my loved ones, that was far more powerful to me than the fear of stepping out of my comfort zone and the fear of being judged as not good enough.

If you have that fear too, I have good news. It is completely in your power to prevent it from becoming your reality.

And the secret to doing that is to put yourself out there. Now. No matter where you are in your business.

If you have an idea, what's stopping you from asking 3 people if they'll pay for it? If you know what you're selling, what's preventing you from sharing it with the world? If you know that what you offer is valuable, what's stopping you from letting others know that they need it?

And whatever is holding you back - is it more important to you than the life of your dreams?

If that answer is no, let the fear of not realizing your dreams push you forward into taking whatever that next step looks like for you.

For me, that meant joining a business‬ visibility challenge and a whole bunch of firsts - creating the first video I've ever made for my business and sharing it with the world, sharing social media images with pictures of me, and writing this post about one of my most vulnerable motivations.

Today, what action are you going to take to put yourself out there and take one step closer to your dream business and life? How are you going to let your fear of NOT succeeding help you overcome your fear of everything else?

Luisa Zhou a Business Architect for women ready to build their dream online businesses. Before launching her current business, she has also been an International Space Station engineer, an educational entrepreneur, a mobile payments start-up co-founder, and a digital advertising manager overseeing millions in ad revenue.