Laura Neubauer – The simple act of staying positive can make a huge difference

Fear is a wild emotion for many reasons. When you bring fear into business, however, it can be a distraction, handicapping your growth and blinding you from opportunity. Unlike fear in a horror movie, where you know only bad things can happen, fear in business is quite different. Those who can overcome it will often achieve great results.

When you find yourself saying, “I’m afraid,” try to determine what is really making you afraid. Is it a fear of making cold calls? Is it making contact for that big deal or asking a business alliance for help? Once you have identified the true, underlying cause of your fear, ask yourself, “What is the worst that can happen?” In most cases, you will be no worse off if you fail. But if you succeed, you will be in a much better place.

Adopt a game day face

Like a professional athlete, we need to get in a game-zone mentality. We need to think, feel and act with confidence that we will succeed. On every play, we must put ourselves out there and envision the best possible result.

Similar to the athlete who is going to make the last play of a close game where the final play will determine the outcome, his combination of skill, vision and confidence has a significant impact on how it plays out. If he doesn’t execute the play, his team will definitely lose. But if he acts confidently, his team can win — and he’s a hero. Either way, action is better than inaction.

Working on overcoming fear can be as simple as listing out all possible positive outcomes. What could the results be? How can you benefit from those results?

This technique works well in both your professional and personal life. Once you have the list, tell yourself you deserve all the positive possibilities on the list. Internalize this belief. It will help build your confidence. All of a sudden, those tasks that elicited fear become steps in the process toward achieving the positive results and successes you deserve.

Create opportunities

When you are able to overcome fear and start completing tasks that once made you afraid, you are able to create your own opportunities. You need to be free of the emotion of fear so that you can see the choices and the opportunities in front of you.

Otherwise, you may miss an opportunity right in front of you. Or worse yet, you may miss something that needs your attention and not be able to react in time because you are being driven by fear.

Finally, you succeed in overcoming fear when you turn that negative energy into motivating energy. Conquering fear becomes a game. You are now in the zone, and anything is possible. Your confidence becomes contagious, like the athlete who can rally the crowd on the last play.

The athlete believes he can succeed, the crowd believes he can succeed and then he succeeds. The crowd goes wild. Opportunities are like that as well. Your success becomes contagious, and more and more opportunities are created for you.

Laura Neubauer is owner and president of Deliver-It, a successful overnight and scheduled delivery services company, and president of the National Association of Women Business Owners – Orange County. You can reach her at [email protected]. To learn more, visit or