Does FEAR Stop You?

NPs and PAs: Does fear stop you?One of the most common obstacles the clinicians (nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and registered nurses)  I work with struggle to overcome is fear.

Many are afraid of making the transition from being a paid provider in a clinic to running their own clinic and paying others, afraid of marketing themselves, afraid of learning new skills, or of any of a number of other things.

When I look at the literally hundreds (if not thousands) of questions I have received over the past few years, most of the fears can be summarized in three ways:

  • Fear of Rejection
  • Fear of Failure
  • Fear of the Unknown (this is The big one).

Though the sources of fear may be different, the effects are often the same: fear slows us down and can even paralyze us. It makes it hard of us to pursue our goals and dream. You know what I mean if you have ever found yourself struggling to reach a goal.

Several years ago during a personal development program I was enrolled in, I first heard a definition of FEAR described as – False Evidence Appearing Real. It made sense to me then and makes sense now. In other words, we fear the changes we need to make, we fear the unknown – we want guarantees. Humans for the most part do not like unknowns, especially in our profession.

So while fear can be paralyzing for many, it has also been called one of our most powerful motivators to move forward. But how can we make that leap from that gripping fear that holds us hostage, to one of forward moving action?

  1. Identify the real issue that is keeping you from moving forward. When we understand our fear, we can begin to take small steps forward.
  2.  Keep track of your progress (journals are great for this) and make sure you reward yourself for the actions you have taken.
  3. Get the support you need from family, friends and colleagues.
  4. Make sure you are involved with professional and business groups and organizations – not only for the support, but for education. Having the know-how to move forward will help reduce your fear and can support you in your goals.
  5. To short cut your own journey through fear, many will find it beneficial to work with a coach who can expertly guide you through that which is stopping you.

Thriving as a business owner is not just about the how-to’s of starting, running and growing a business. It’s also not just about professional development. We must participate in personal development of the mind, body and spirit. That is when we will truly come into our own.

(c) 2011Barbara C Phillips, NP


As I said above, if you really want to take a short cut, then you’ll want to join us for a free webinar happening on September 20th. More details are here, and here Are You Worth It?


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