Fear of Failure
As a business strategist for entrepreneurs and business owners, one thing I frequently see is:
Our fear of failure is creating what we’re trying so desperately to avoid, failure itself.
I know this through experience.
I see this with my clients.
I hear it in conversations with friends, colleagues, workshops given, and conversations shared.
You want to reach more potential clients and know creating videos is what will gain you more visibility (and credibility) with your ideal client…yet you consistently busy yourself with other things because of the fear of looking ‘not so perfect’ on camera and continue to struggle with financial stability.
You cannot be a brand and be invisible
You have an employee that continues to do a poor job or has issues with boundaries. Yet you keep her on because at least you know where you need to pick up the slack with her… who knows what issues the next person might bring. (Say nothing about the fear of how long it will take to train a new person)
Not only does this create resentment and an unhealthy work environment, but it also reinforces the UGR’s (Unwritten Ground Rules) about what’s acceptable practice in your business.
You want to take your business in a new, more inspired and aligned direction, but fear keeps you second guessing whether you know what you’re doing, or if you have what it takes. So, you continue doing the same each week, feeling unfulfilled, exhausted and depleted at the end of the day.
Don’t fear failure, fear a lackluster life.
We’re always watching ourselves…SO much more closely than anyone else is, trust me.
My Shihan used to say “Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing or thinking, they’re too concerned with themselves to notice (for long anyway).
Here’s the thing:
Fear gets in the way of our joy, success, fulfillment, AND our profitability.
Fear will mess with your clarity and high-level thinking.
When your MIND is focused on keeping you safe, it takes away from your ability to be present, to focus, to stretch, to get things done, and to be strategic in your thinking (long and short-term).
How much joy and fulfillment (and success) can you experience in your work and life, if fear is the constant soundtrack running in your head?
People who have succeeded the most, have failed the most. Period. (I want to be clear here, success according to what each person defines as success for themselves, not what society, family, or peers have defined success to be)
Here are three things I believe about fear and failure in business (and in life, to be real):
Fail fast. Fail forward. Fail often.
As promised, here are my strategies for silencing fear and amplifying success:
- Recognize what triggers fear for you. Is it a person, a situation, a belief…is it a story from your past that’s no longer relevant or serving you? Get clear on the trigger so you can set structures in place that will allow you to see fear for what it is, a thought in your head (not the saber tooth-tiger waiting to attack). You can then make decisions from a more grounded and empowered place rather than fear.
- Be vigilant about monitoring your thoughts. Will your thought (fear) propel you towards your goal, or will it keep you safe and playing small? Which of these are more important to you? What is it that you want from this one big beautiful life, and will you allow fear to get in the way of that?
- Discern between legitimate concerns and what’s simply fear. Take a moment to play your fear out to the end game. Are your thoughts binary/ black & white, with no curiosity? That’s fear-based thinking and should be challenged. Bring in some curiosity about what would need to happen. Instead of “I don’t have what it takes”, ask “what would I need to make this happen.”
What do you do when you experience fear? What tips and tools support you in seeing it for what it is (a thought), and navigating your way through it? I’d love to know, drop a comment below.