3 Simple Steps to Overcome the Fear of Technology and Get Your Business Moving
Over the years of working with the “non-techie crowd,” I can’t tell you how many people have told me that they fear technology. There is an entire generation of individuals who didn’t grow up in the “computer age” and were never taught how to use technology.
In a world where technology is everywhere, if you’ve labeled yourself, “Not a Computer Person,” you may be feeling self-doubt, fear, lack of confidence, and other negative feelings. You feel left behind.
You are expected to magically get the hang of it and filter through the never ending flood of opinions, recommendations and advice when it comes to using technology. And as you know… Everyone has an opinion.
You don’t know where to start and even if you did, you’re not sure how to make technology work for you in your business. You don’t know who to listen to. You begin to fear what will happen if you screw something up and you don’t know how to fix it.
This causes avoidance.
You probably avoid using technology as much as humanly possible or you engage in other activities so you’re too busy to start your website or blog, set up a Facebook page, or any other digital media to help move your business along.
What you are experiencing is not fear. It is anxiety. They overlap significantly, but here’s the difference:
Fear is a physiological and emotional response to a real danger. In most cases, the technology itself will not physically hurt you. So fear isn’t present.
Anxiety is our response to a perceived threat.
The key word here is perceived. You’ve got yourself all worked up about something that hasn’t even happened yet.
You are expecting something negative to happen, but in reality, you can’t possibly know what’s going to happen because you don’t have all the details or data.
Your level of anxiety is the gap between your Expectations and Reality.
The bigger the gap, the more anxiety you create. Your goal is to reduce the gap between your Expectations and Reality. In other words, create expectations that are more realistic.
So how do you get anything done when anxiety towards technology results in avoidance?
The first step in overcoming anxiety towards technology, is to simply be aware of it. You may feel your mind spinning, you may lose focus and become distracted easily, or you feel a sense of intense overwhelm.
Recognize the anxiety and just stop for a minute.
The next step is to remove or greatly reduce your expectations. This takes practice so it’s important to repeat this thought process over and over. Remember that you don’t have all the data or information in any scenario, so it’s not rational to expect a certain result. Take the stance that you will go with the flow – you will deal with any situation as it occurs – and move on to the next step.
The final thing you want to do is slow down and refocus your energy on the next small step – taking only the smallest of steps, one at a time.
For example, let’s say you want to build your own website and are having trouble completing this task. Your mind is going in a million different directions, you are distracting yourself and engaging in other activities to avoid the website, and you are becoming more and more discouraged because nothing is getting done and you’re feeling like a failure.
Follow the three steps that I’ve outlined.
- Recognize your avoidance as anxiety. That’s it. Just stop what you’re doing, sit back, and identify the anxiety.
- Remove your expectations. You don’t know how to build a website so you are learning one step at a time. Without this knowledge ahead of time, it’s not possible for you to predict the outcome. Things could happen, good or bad – everything could go smooth, someone could come along and offer to help, new software could be released, you could lose power, your computer dies, anything.
The important piece here is to remove expectations and make a promise to yourself to take things as they happen. Go with the flow.
- And lastly, refocus your energy on ONLY the next small step. Do you have your domain? Yes – ok, move on. No – focus on nothing else but purchasing your domain. Need content for your website? Focus on creating content for only one page. When that one page is complete, you can then move on to the next page.
You will not concern yourself with anything other than the one small step you are working on. And only after you have completed that step, can you move on to the next.
Having anxiety towards technology doesn’t make you crazy. It simply signifies that you need to change your thinking to accomplish your goal.
You must also realize that things may go slower than you had planned and that’s ok. You are in control of your thoughts, which means you are in control of your success with technology.