Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
The passion for your business is the DNA of your business. Passion is what makes us unique and sets us apart from the rest. Passion can be defined as a “strong and barely controllable emotion.” In other words, when you are passionate about something, you put your heart and soul into it. Passion drives us to do something, even when it’s complicated. It gives us the strength to get back up after we’ve been knocked down. Confucius put it best, “when you what you do, you will never work a day in your life.”
Fear kills passion. One negative aspect of riding on the passion rollercoaster is that it is an emotional response, and fear of any sort can kill your passion in seconds. Fear is an emotion based on our beliefs, past experiences and assumptions. Unlike passion, fear is associated with your ego and not the spirit.
Ego is the part of our personality that is concerned with self-preservation. When we feel attacked or as if we might fail, our ego goes into survival mode and creates fear to protect us. It has all the good intentions to keep us safe from danger, but the problem is that most of these dangers are the creation of the mind.
The most important relationship in business is the one you have with yourself. It’s the fear that gets in the way of your passion. You become unstoppable when you are not only fully aware of your strengths and weaknesses but also embrace them with grace and kindness. When you accept your shortcomings and do not allow them to turn into fears, you can further fuel your passion for your business.
The antidote to fear is love
As an entrepreneur, it is essential to find a way to cope with your fears to keep your entrepreneurial passion alive. The antidote to fear is . Self-love is the best medicine for overcoming your fears. When you love and appreciate yourself, facing your fears head-on is easier. When you genuinely believe in yourself, you will be able to take risks and pursue your dreams with confidence.
By self-love, I mean how you see yourself, talk to yourself, relate to yourself and spend time with yourself. Self-love is your relationship with yourself, just as you would have a relationship with your wife, children, parents and friends. It requires work, communication and understanding of who you are and are not. You need to be honest and genuine with yourself to get to know your true self, and then you will be able to reap the benefits of unconditionally loving yourself.
Discipline and love
Self-love teaches you discipline, and discipline teaches you self-love. As an entrepreneur, I am sure you will agree that successful entrepreneurs are disciplined. Being able to do things on your merit without a boss requires solid discipline. Unfortunately, I have worked with many clients that lack discipline and self-love.
You learn discipline when you learn to show up for yourself out of love and respect. When you are disciplined, you can manage your time and resources better. When you have a system that keeps you accountable to your goals, it is easier to maintain focus and consistency.
Self-love requires work and discipline, just like any other relationship. However, the more effort you put into it, the more rewarding it will be. Self-love is the best foundation for a happy and successful life. Having a healthy relationship with yourself spills over into all other areas of your life, including business. Learning to love yourself pays off in many folds as an entrepreneur.
Disapproval and love
Fear of , fear of the unknown and not being good enough indicate one main fear: fear of disapproval. The fear of being kicked out of the tribe, family and company is engrained in us from the caveman era. We are social beings. We crave connection and belonging.
Whenever any fear paralyzes us, we usually subconsciously go back to the question, “will they approve of me?” If you can overcome this fear of disapproval, you will be less likely to be haunted by many other fears.
So how do you start to love yourself?
This is one question almost all of my clients ask when I show them how their problems stem from a lack of self-love. As I said, we want to be loved and wanted. It’s an existential need to belong. These desires exist in today’s age of technology. We have moved on to social media, but the need to belong to different communities still exists.
Learning to love yourself is a journey. It takes effort, emotions and discipline. However, you will not find anything as rewarding as being able to truly be who you are without fearing approval, judgment, rejection or abandonment. Here are some steps you can take towards embarking on this journey.
1. Remember that it’s a journey. You have to be able to embrace the fact that learning to love yourself is a long-term process. It’s not a short-term goal. Start by making a list of things you genuinely enjoy doing.
2. It requires discipline.As I mentioned earlier, self-love involves discipline, and discipline requires self-love. Both go hand in hand. If you go out of balance and only focus on discipline, you strengthen your inner critic. You need empathy and understanding when you fail. On the other hand, you need to show up for yourself consistently as you would for your child to feel loved. Pick one thing from the list you made in the first step and commit to doing that weekly. Showing up for yourself is essential.
3. Start where you are. The biggest thing I teach my clients is to accept and love themselves wherever they are at this moment in their lives. Love yourself for having fears before you can do something about those fears. If you lack discipline right now, start with accepting and loving yourself as a person who lacks discipline. If you fail in showing up for yourself, accept that as a part of who you are. Your internal dialogue would be, “Right now, I lack the discipline to commit to doing this activity, but I fully accept and love myself for it. I cannot criticize myself for not doing it.”
When your entrepreneurial passion tank is low, it’s time to refill it with self-love. Fill it up by connecting with yourself and taking care of yourself before you offer your goods and services to the world. If you want to be successful in your entrepreneurial journey, start with self-love. I truly believe it is the key to unlocking your passion and unleashing your potential.