“Don’t fear failure. It’s as much a part of your journey to extraordinary results as success.” – Gary Keller
Welcome to the holidays.
And the home stretch of 2021.
(But is anyone else out there still typing 2020?!)
It’s a time of year that often prompts us to look forward. Make plans, goals, and promises.
There’s a lot to look forward to in 2022!
But sometimes having that much pressure to look forward can create stress. Even fear.
So then the question is, what do we do about that fear? What do we do with it?
Consider a few truths about fear:
Everyone feels fear.
You will never completely remove it. If you think you can, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Our fears are a powerful force to be reckoned with. Fear can stop us in our tracks; it can inspire us to take action.
The problem is, our fears are often subconscious. That makes it difficult to determine what the fear is and how it’s holding you back from creating the life you want to live or the relationships you want to experience.
And so, again, what do we do about that?
If you’re asking me? You need to start by doing the work to name the fear.There’s (at least) three types of fear I encounter over and over with my clients.
Fear #1: Fear of Failure:
(The one almost all of us have experienced multiple times)
I will admit, in the first few years of my coaching profession, I experienced fear every single day.
I was not putting myself out there too far, too much, too loud, too…anything. I didn’t trust I had what it took, and I acted accordingly. I had a fear of failure.
In all of my other businesses I was “selling” a product. With coaching, I was selling myself. If I was “selling” me, and I didn’t succeed, what on earth would that say about me?
So, I would procrastinate (and second guess) before I would post an article, hit “Go Live” on Facebook, invite a client to work with me (even though I knew I could help them with the transformation they were seeking,) or apply to be a speaker, etc….and a great deal of the time, I would decide to do it another day.
But that “another day” came sporadically. And it limited my success.
The irony that a fear of failure creates exactly what we’re trying most to avoid, failure? Well, it’s not lost on me.
Here’s one of my favorite quotes that continues to inspire me to move past my fears and helped me step into the future I wanted:
“Fear Regret More Than Failure”
~ Taryn Rose
Fear #2: Fear of Success:
(Fear of rocking the boat)
This one will often raise an eyebrow when I mention it.
Fear of success, how silly is that?
Yet, when I speak with most leaders, they’re already So. Damn. Busy. Their belief is, if they take their business or career to the next level, it will completely consume them.
How will they be able to handle it, do it all, be present with the ones they love or prioritize effectively?
There is a very real fear that success will consume any tidbit of freedom left that we have in our lives.
My client Steve had set a goal of taking his business full time and quitting his corporate job. He was there – the business was ready for him to take the leap.
But he kept delaying the actions that would make it happen. It was confusing, but a self-sabotage I’m not unfamiliar with.
With trust and a safe environment in place, I was able to question Steve about what was going on. He admitted he was finally in a place in his life where things were good and he didn’t want to rock the boat. He was enjoying the moment.
And he feared that he didn’t have “it” to achieve the success he dreamed of. Steve feared pursuing his dream for the future meant sacrificing what he was treasuring in the present.
The truth is, Steve did have what it takes. And with some clarity on what he wanted his life to look like, we adjusted his goals and put a plan in place for him to stay at his job for another 8 months. This way he could relish where he was at in his business without feeling consumed by all that he felt he needed to do to launch full time.
The additional time gave him the space to get clear on what he wanted, and how he was willing to go about getting it.
There is amazing power in a strategic pause.
You get to define what success is for you. When you decide what it really looks and feels like you can then work backwards from that goal to strategically create a business or career that will sustain that life, not consume it.
The key is, you need clarity. Without clarity, we aren’t able to discern what’s an opportunity and what’s a distraction. We say “YES” to too much and bam, we’re overwhelmed, under water, and believing this is what success looks like.
But it doesn’t have to.
Fear #3: Fear of what others think:
(Being hooked on the opinion of others)
Years ago, not fitting in had serious consequences. If you really go back in time, being cast out of our community would often mean death. If we were no longer part of our tribe we were on our own… fending off saber-toothed tigers and other prehistoric predators alone (and probably unsuccessfully.)
Our brains today are still wired to keep us safe, on the constant lookout for what might cause us to move into fight, flight, or freeze.
80,000 years ago this kept us alive. Now, this is often enough to stop us from taking the action that moves us closer to our goals.
We are still wired for flight, fight, or freeze to keep us safe from harm, real or perceived.
I was working with a client on his leadership style and the change he wanted to influence on his office’s culture. But his boss was, shall we say, a bit old school, and my client did not feel comfortable pushing hard for the changes he wanted to bring.
He was unhappy, stressed daily, and unsure of his next step – he was frozen by his fear of what his colleagues and boss would think.
I asked him which was scarier, creating the change he was seeking or being in the same place next year. He took a long pause and finally said, “Being exactly where I am next year is WAY more frightening.”
This clarity alone inspired him to act and to become a more intentional leader who leads from his strengths rather than his fear.
When you unhook from what (you think) others are thinking, suddenly your vision of what’s possible expands. You set larger, scarier, goals…you connect to that bigger vision of your life and know you deserve it.
“Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world.”
~ Jim Carrey
Move past fear and Thrive (not just Survive)
Maybe by this point you’ve identified your fear. It might fall neatly into one of the three buckets, or it might span two (or all) of them.
Now you’re ready to figure out what you want to do about it.
1. Be Curious.
When you find yourself thinking in absolutes, making declarations such as:
“You’re going to fail,”
“You’re going to seriously embarrass yourself,”
“I won’t be able to pay the mortgage and we’ll be homeless in no time,”
It’s time to pause and get curious.
What is actually likely to happen? What’s the worst case scenario? What would have to transpire, in detail, for that worst case to come true?
Play this out to the end game and see what your beliefs are then.
Is fear stopping you from being visible—putting yourself out there—picking up the phone—connecting with an influencer you would LOVE to talk to—etc…?
Naming what you’re fearful of happening (after playing it out) often shows us the reality of that happening/occurring is extremely unlikely.
2. Be intentional.
Pause and connect to the future you want and let that motivate you to take action (instead of fear leading to inaction.)
Schedule time to get clear on the life you want to live and let that inspire you.
Who do you want or need to be to create what you want/achieve your goals?
What do you need to let go of that’s no longer serving you?
Get clear on your core values… it’s how you chart your course through your fear. Your vision is where you’re headed, your values are how you get there.
3. Be the You who Future You wants you to be.
Fast forward and picture yourself at the age of 70-80.
What will be most important to you years from now?
What will you remember?
Don’t let your short-term fear create long-term regret.
Fear creates self-imposed walls for our success.
Our brains are hard-wired to keep us safe.
Our fears are meant to keep us safe.
But far, far too often our fears instead keep us small. Fear is meant to stop you, not inspire you to think and be bigger.
So your success comes not from listening to your fear and believing the story it’s telling. Success is in pausing long enough that you can listen to the most powerful and grounded part of you, your inner truth and wisdom.
Deep down you know exactly what you’re scared of and why. And you know what you want to do about it.
Success does not come from your fear acting as dictator. Your success is in what you make of your fear, and how you step out of it.
Could you use some support working through your fears and towards your dreams? Feel free to schedule a time to chat with me here.
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.
Maybe you have a great idea for your business (or personal life…) but just can’t seem to implement it because you’re focused on the reaction or opinion of others?
As a 27-year entrepreneur, it’s something I’ve struggled with as I’ve scaled each of my businesses.
And, it’s a topic that comes up often with clients and people I speak with. I even wrote a blog about this a few years ago (read it here). The more connected we are because of social media, the greater our capacity for visibility & vulnerability, the more hooked (and overwhelmed) we can become by it all.
Doing the work necessary to build a business means we need to step into a new, larger space we haven’t occupied before. We need to do things we haven’t done, be visible in a way that may not be comfortable for us, try something new…and possibly fail. Let’s be honest, it can be a tad scary.
When we get hooked, we’re making an assumption about what someone may (possibly) be thinking, and then make choices in our business that impact our actions, our success, and self-confidence.
More importantly, those thoughts that stop us become a habit. Yes, we may place too much weight in what others (might) think, but we also get hooked by our own repetitive thoughts and beliefs about it all.
And, the 64K question is, what are the costs of this?
We undermine ourselves and our business BIG time. Mindset matters without a doubt.
It’s not that “success” is never getting hooked by others reactions, it’s about becoming less “hindered” or emotionally attached to them.
What really matters to you in the end? Creating the life and business you dream of, or never screwing up or possibly embarrassing yourself?
Our mindset directly influences our actions.
Let’s face it, putting yourself out there, trying something new, stretching beyond your comfort zone is something many people simply aren’t willing to do. So just the simple fact you’re willing to, allows you to pass go and collect $200. Brava. Kudos. Mazel tov. Seriously. Take a moment and pat yourself on the back. If you’re not willing to believe in yourself, how can you expect others to?
As Wayne Gretzky says, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”
If we get tripped up before we even get out of the gate, we create (and experience) the failure we’re trying so hard to avoid.
That’s worth repeating…
If we get tripped up before we even get out of the gate, we create (and experience) the failure we’re trying so hard to avoid. This is why mindset matters.
Listen, we all have thoughts and feelings of self-doubt, fear, and a ‘healthy’ dose of self-criticism. It’s not the thoughts, but the beliefs in those thoughts, that ‘hook’ us by the ankles and stop us in our tracks.
Ready to unhook, own your brilliance and share your gifts with the world?
Here are mindset matters tools for unhooking (and it doesn’t include a pair of pliers, promise):
Where is it you get most hooked?
What are you doing (speaking, submitting a high-end proposal, raising your rates)?
Who are you with? Does a particular person trigger you?
And, here’s the biggie: what’s the belief about yourself that are getting hooked?
When you know what’s going to trip you up, you can devise a plan and be ready for it.
Connect to your values
…and the impact you want to make in this world. This will help you move out of second-guessing yourself and into forward moving action. When you know what’s most meaningful to you in the long-term, short-term decisions (and getting out of your own way) are easier.
We remember things through emotion…remember, mindset matters
When have you put yourself out there and been successful? Be sure to journal about these times so you can have them in your back pocket to lean into when needed.
We can always pull up memories of when we’ve made a mistake or embarrassed ourselves because we can viscerally feel it. Connect to your wins so you can feel those with all your emotions as well and empower yourself to move past your fears because you know you’ve succeeded in the past.
Have unhooking tools of your own? Do you believe mindset matters? I’d love to hear, please share in the comments below!
When entrepreneurs get caught in the comparison game, there is a choice. Sit there, stuck, and wallow in it or take action.
Why is Their Grass Greener?
As an entrepreneur, do you ever secretly wonder if you have what it takes …and all the other entrepreneurs know something you don’t?
It’s like they’ve got this whole owning your own business thang dialed in with a thriving business, weekends off, joyful family time AND they actually visit their hair stylist more than twice a year. And here you sit, struggling to finish last week’s to-do list!
I know I’ve felt like this over the years, more often than I care to admit. It’s a bit of a “yucky” feeling, to say the least.
It’s dangerous when we compare ourselves to others.
As Theodore Roosevelt said,
“Shoulding” Leads to Doubt and Isolation
After working with dozens of high-aspiring entrepreneurs, I know this: when we feel we should be further along in our business, that we should be making more money, should have a team of ten supporting us by now, or just generally shoulding all over ourselves, it keeps us locked in judgement … and shame. And stuck.
When we judge what or how we’re doing in business, we’re even more guarded about sharing, or exposing, the discomfort of what’s really going on for us.
We stay quiet, pretending everything is moving along like a well-oiled machine, perfect, going great, couldn’t be better!
This keeps us in a cycle of wanting, actually needing, change, yet not willing to raise our hand and ask for the help we so desperately need, be it personally or professionally.
So, we stay the same, settle for more of the same, and sit in silence wondering how the hell we’re going to make a go of it.
This keeps us from connecting—the very thing that often helps us attract the people we’re meant to serve.
Start with Compassionate Curiosity and Make a Plan
If you see yourself in this, even just a little bit, take notice. Become curious about exploring this. Know that every entrepreneur struggles at each level of their business.
The key to success is consistency in the day to day fundamentals of running a business.
It’s having a plan for your business success, creating goals to achieve that success, and consistently showing up …even when you REALLY don’t want to.
When we’re struggling, it can feel like we need to do something BIG to get ourselves out of the spinning cycle.
Something big can be good, but let’s admit it, when we’re struggling, a big idea or project has an amazing amount of potential to become overwhelming, and yet again, we’re stuck in the spin cycle.
3 Success Action Steps
Instead of becoming overwhelmed by a big idea or project, try these three simple tips to move you forward:
1. Be honest with yourself about where you are and what’s truly going on in your business. Approaching what needs to be “fixed” from a place of judgement will only give you more of the same. When you have a better awareness of where you are, you’ll make better choices. Better choices lead to better results. Better results bring the financial abundance and freedom you desire.
2. Get an accountability partner … someone you trust and someone who will not just let you bitch. I always say, when you come to me with a problem, also come to me with 3 ideas on what to do about that problem, then we’ll brainstorm, together. If you don’t have someone in your circle you feel comfortable talking to, expand your circle. Reach out to your local Small Business Association, local networking or business collaboratives, a Meetup group of women entrepreneurs, or a coach. All are great resources for support.
3. Ask yourself and commit to one simple action step that, when taken consistently, would move you closer to your goals. State it, write it down, commit to it, and enlist your accountability partner to support your consistency.
Simple action steps could include:
Taking an hour every Sunday evening to plan your week in advance. What gets scheduled gets done!
Committing to finding a Virtual Assistant or other support person to take some of the tasks off your list and weight off your shoulders.
Find and establish a routine check in with an accountability partner.
Or something as simple as starting each day by thinking about your long-term vision for your business. Long-term thinking guides short-term decision-making.
Keep Moving Forward
Taking action, however simple or small, is movement in the right direction. Movement toward your business goals. Movement toward success. Celebrate it and keep moving.
If I can support you to create an action plan for your success click here to book a conversation with me. I’d love the opportunity to support you and guide you further along your success journey.
Do you ever feel like you’re running all week long but when Friday arrives you haven’t accomplished even half of your to-do list…and you’re not quite sure what it is you did all week?
Are there times you’re so darn busy getting things done, you don’t even see what needs to get done? You feel like you don’t even have time to lift your head to make sure you’re on the right path or totally in left field?
A clear vision of the business AND lifestyle we want is the first step in owning our day and getting out of the day to day chaos that keeps us spinning our wheels.
Having clarity around our vision and our goals is what helps us create strategy, set up systems to our day and to structure our week so that we know what we need to do each day with confidence and intention to create the business AND lifestyle we want.
In today’s video blog I’m sharing 3 tips on how to regain control of your day and your week, so that you can move out of the overwhelm and into action.
I’m going to add one more tip… get an accountability partner, say it out loud, commit to it. Don’t let fear of failure get in your way, fear being in the exact same next year as you are today.
I’d love to hear from you. What’s worked for you to regain control of your day? Post in the comments below and let me know your thoughts.
Are you ready to take control of your day, week and your success? Could you use someone who will hold your hand AND kick your butt? Click Here to apply for a complementary Clarity Call to get you moving forward with confidence and intention.
I’ve been talking with a lot of women lately about their vision for their business and what their long term goals are… and the answer I’ve been getting more often than not is, ‘I don’t know’.
As a business strategist, one of the first questions I ask is “what are your goals for your business AND for your lifestyle?” (because let’s admit, they are not mutually exclusive).
If we don’t know what it is we want, how do we create a roadmap to get there? Success will continue to elude us if we don’t know what it is we need to do each day to move our business forward with confidence and intention.
One trick I use with clients when they get stuck in the ‘I just don’t know’ is to reverse engineer. They’re usually pretty clear on what they DON’T want, so we write that list, then flip it around. For example, change:
I’m so tired of being financially strapped to: I want financial stability (then we look at what financial stability means like to them).
I’m tired of working 8-10 hours a day and not moving my business forward to: I want set up structures and systems in my day that support me in getting things done in my business so that I feel successful at the end of the week.
I really hate how little time I spend with my kids and spouse to: I want to create more quality time with my family.
I’m tired of my clothes not fitting to: I’d like to schedule more self-care in my week so I’m able to feel better, be more effective in my workday AND have energy at the end of the day.
I’m tired of always putting others needs ahead of mine and not doing what I need in my business to: I want to set clear and respectful boundaries that support me and the growth of my business.
So tell me, what’s your vision for your business? What goals do you want to achieve? Don’t know, can’t remember…have no idea how to start? Reverse engineer to design your roadmap and set your GPS