Overcoming Your Biggest Fears as a Creative Entrepreneur

July 3, 2023

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Fear and anxiety are natural human emotions that can hold us back OR push us forward in our personal lives and businesses.

Often a survival instinct, our hang-ups aren’t always bad either – “healthy” fears and rational anxieties can inspire us to work harder, avoid unnecessary risks and help us to prepare for every possible outcome.

magpie chasing young boy on scooter

Exerting your control, you can lean into your fears and use them as a competitive advantage.

However, if you allow your irrational fears and anxieties to feed a mindset of scarcity and unworthiness, that’s when they can fester and hold you back.

How to nurture your mindset and overcome 5 common fears that aren’t serving you

Rational or irrational, it’s how you choose to handle your emotions and thoughts that makes all the difference.

Diving into tips on how you can manage and overcome 5 of the most popular fears we share as creative entrepreneurs, you’ll also find some popular quotes that you can write on a sticky note as positive affirmations.


Psst…CBF reading the whole blog? Click on any of the links below to jump to the key sections.

  1. Fear of Inadequacy (aka Impostor Syndrome)
  2. Fear of Failure
  3. Fear of Success
  4. Fear of Rejection
  5. Fear of Change
  6. Controlling Your Thoughts & Emotions
  7. Summarised: 3 Simple Steps to Overcome Your Fears


1) Fear of inadequacy

The fear of not being good enough and self-doubt are feelings that many people struggle with, not just entrepreneurs. Whether it’s caused by your upbringing, unhelpful comparisons, or a fixation on past mistakes, you doubt your abilities – despite your history of proven achievements.

Closely tied with the psychological phenomenon of Impostor Syndrome, you’re constantly worried about being exposed as a “fraud” and are obsessed with downplaying your talents and success. You may even believe that any achievements you’ve had to date are a result of pure luck, rather than allowing yourself to celebrate the win.

fear of not being good enough impostor syndrome

While it may be a lifelong journey of self-awareness and personal growth, you need to let go of this mental block that isn’t serving you. Work on your limiting beliefs and set your own standards – give yourself permission to be imperfect while focusing on becoming the best version of yourself.

“It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.” – Denis Waitley

From practising positive self-affirmations to seeking professional support, kill your inner critic and start becoming your own biggest cheerleader.


2) Fear of failure

Causing us to second-guess our every move, many creative entrepreneurs share a fear of failure. Whether it be public speaking or pitching a new business proposal, we’re afraid that our failures will damage our reputation, attract judgement, or cause us to lose everything that we’ve worked so hard for.

Fear can paralyse us, holding us back from stepping outside of our comfort zones and truly realising our potential. From unhealthy perfectionism to procrastinating on our goals, we end up self-sabotaging by avoiding any tasks or situations where there’s a risk of failing. Rather than allowing ourselves to succeed, we choose to stay put and not give it a go at all.

“Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.” ― Suzy Kassem

But here’s the thing…you can’t fail or succeed if you don’t try at all. Rather than focusing on the risk of failing, accept that failure is a normal part of life and try to pinpoint where that fear stems from. Then shift your mindset to see failure as a chance to succeed the next time around; focus on your journey rather than the destination.

When you are faced with a challenge, permit yourself to fail. If you tend to catastrophise, ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen – focus on what’s within your control and use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

As long as you don’t give up, failure is not a roadblock or a prediction. It’s a stepping stone on the path to success.


🎧 Listen to this Make Your Break podcast episode: ‘15-Minute Power Session on Failure


3) Fear of success

As ironic as it may sound, fear of success is almost as common as fear of failure. Lurking in the back of your mind, there are many reasons why you may be subconsciously afraid of succeeding and unwittingly sabotaging yourself.

Here are some reasons that may be behind your fear of success:

  • You’re worried about alienating or outgrowing your friends
  • You don’t want people judging your obsession to succeed
  • You’d rather conform than attract backlash for standing out
  • You don’t want the burden of new responsibilities or raise others’ expectations of you
  • You’re apprehensive about losing your sense of self or becoming a different person
  • You’re anxious that you won’t be able to maintain or build on the success

Simply, fear of success stems from us associating success with negative consequences. So much so that some of us may subconsciously go out of our way to sabotage our chances of achieving success.

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” – Brene Brown

To overcome your fear of success, you first need to acknowledge that it’s happening and take the time to identify the root cause. Whether it’s caused by past trauma, poor self-efficacy or impostor syndrome, allow yourself to feel the emotions and explore what’s truly lying below the surface. As with anything in life, be patient with yourself as you work through different strategies to overcome your fear.

We have one life to live, so let’s make the most of it – don’t let others, let alone yourself, stand in the way of becoming your very own success story.

4) Fear of rejection

Whether it’s during a client meeting or lining up outside a club on a night out, getting rejected is never a good feeling.  It hurts – and even more so when you feel like you’ve laid your heart and soul bare, only for it to be dismissed or ignored.

Already feeling vulnerable and anxious about all the possible outcomes in the lead-up, it feels like they’ve rejected YOU as a person.

fear of rejection jai long summit

Here’s what you need to remember: as hard as it may be, DON’T take it personally. A rejection isn’t a reflection of you or your abilities.

“Rejection isn’t failure. Failure is giving up. Everyone gets rejected. It’s how you handle it that determines where you’ll end up.” – Richard Castle

Plus, just because you’ve been rejected once, twice, or fifty times, it doesn’t mean that you’ll keep getting rejected from now till infinity.

Famous rejections that led to mind-blowing success

  • JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter” got rejected by 12 publishing houses
  • Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”
  • Michael Jordan was kicked off his high school basketball team
  • Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as a news anchor because she was “unfit for television news”
  • Steven Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California three times

Not everyone’s going to say “yes” and that’s okay because you only want the RIGHT people to say “yes”. Already proving their faith and confidence in you, they’re the ones who matter.

Keep your head held high; for every “no” that you get, keep hustling until you get that “yes” – then repeat all over again.


🎧 Listen to this Make Your Break podcast episode: ‘Overcoming Rejection – Live Coaching Recording from Jai Long


5) Fear of change

Without being able to predict what’s going to unfold, facing changes and stepping into unknown territory will always be unsettling. Many of us are hardwired to resist uncertainty, naturally defaulting to our comfort zones in favour of what we already know.

Adding order and minimising perceived risks, being in control helps us to feel stable and safe. Studies have shown that we would feel less stressed knowing what’s coming (even if it’s a negative outcome) than not knowing at all.

But life is always going to throw us curveballs and things aren’t always going to go to the plan – the only way to overcome your fear of change or the unknown is by making it known.

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” – Jim Rohn

Take inspiration from Nike and “just do it”. You’ll have the opportunity to learn something new and once you’ve done it, you can reflect on it and have the confidence to do it even better next time.

Thank U, Next. 


Our fears often stem from the imagined stories we tell ourselves and the stories that we hear from others

imagined fear as creative entrepreneur

Learn to control your mind and emotions so they can’t control you.

Give yourself permission to acknowledge the fear, feel it, process it, and then turn it into a tool to drive productive action.

“Thoughts become things. If you see it in your mind, you will hold it in your hand.” – Bob Proctor

Your thoughts and beliefs can become your reality, so take control by manifesting your goals and taking action.

You are the author of your own story and you can write your own ending. Where you are now is not a prediction of your future but it’s up to you to create the outcome you want!


🎧 Listen to this Make Your Break podcast episode: ‘Doubling Down on Your WHY During Harder Times


TL;DR: 3 simple steps to start conquering your fears and authoring the life you deserve

1. Identify what’s causing your fears

To understand your fears, you must first identify their root causes.

2. Accept and feel your fears

Don’t try to suppress or avoid your feelings of fear. Permit yourself to acknowledge the fear and practice being comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.

3. Face and practice your fears

The more you practice facing your fears, the more control you’ll have over future situations and the more confidence you’ll have to move past them.

Turn your fear into fuel to prove yourself (and the naysayers) wrong.


🎧 Listen to this Make Your Break podcast episode: ‘Conversation Around Fear with Jai Long


💭 If you found this blog helpful, you might also enjoy these reads:

Meet the Author

Obsessively wordsmithing and hyping the living daylights out of anything and anyone, Mel is our word nerd and coach from Melinda Harcourt Copywriting.

You’ll also find her regularly dropping hot website/ biz tips inside the Business Map and yelling at people for downplaying their wins (“big” or “small”, every win is still a win).




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