Today has been a day of assessing my business. In the thirty years that I have been in business I’ve always had to function on the offense, ready for any competition or situation that may affect the store. These past few years have been a struggle against online businesses.
Many of you may or may not know this but brick and mortar businesses such as mine have to compete with online businesses for your attention. While online stores may offer the convenience of shopping in your pajamas, brick and mortar stores offer you an experience while having a real (not virtual) moment to actually try things on in real time... in real life.
But I don’t want to talk about the Internet…I want to talk about how it instills fear in me and what fear looks like! I am a visual person, so when I think of the Internet, I imagine myself as Olive Oil, Popeye's girlfriend who is always the “damsel in distress.” Olive Oil is always finds herself in the worst, most dire situations that seem to have no solution: tied to the railroad tracks with a train rapidly approaching. Of course, we always know that Popeye will save her. This is how I feel about the Internet: It comes full force at anyone who is in the retail business but who is going to save us? (YOU!) So here I am, screaming and kicking—my eyes bugging out in cartoon fashion, waiting for Popeye to rescue me!!! From the Internet!!!
But as I convey that to you, I know deep down inside that I cannot allow fear...fear of the Internet...to control (or paralyze) my actions. I cannot be so concerned with that which scares me because then I would accomplish nothing. I have moments of lucidity when I choose not to let fear overcome...But I always have to make an effort to find that clarity.
We battle fear in the profound, long-term sense as well as in the most banal moments in our life.
1. Fear of not being loved
2. Fear of dying
3. Fear of a bad haircut
4. Fear of not being accepted
5. Fear of flying
6. Fear of leaving the restroom with toilet paper on our shoe
7. Fear of failing
8. Fear of not trying hard enough.
9. Fear of being underdressed/overdressed
10. Fear of being broke
11. Fear of not loving others enough
12. Fear of talking to someone while having food stuck in your teeth
13. Fear of not having done enough
But then I remind myself of this great quote from the character Cypher Raige in After Earth: “Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist… Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice.”
These are just a few—how did you do on this checklist? Do you have any fears you would like to share?