James and Megan are starting a new theme, and it’s fitting because the end of October means it’s time for Halloween. Our theme is: FEAR!
We’re going to explore the things that business owners and entrepreneurs are afraid of. They may not all apply to you today, but we’ve all faced them in one form or another.
Today’s Kryptonite: The Fear of Failure.
Why do we fear failure?:
- Failure is a vague and scary word. We think of failure as we made a mistake, we screwed up.
- We fear failure because we don’t want to let others down.
- For some people it could imply they don’t know what they’re doing. We equate failure – not achieving a goal we set–with our self-worth. “You are not your successes, You are not your failures. They are something you do, but they are not you.”
- Perfectionism is often rooted in fear of failure as well.
- Some fear that their failure will ruin their reputation and damage their chances of success in the future.
What is failure, really?:
- First, failure is not fatal for most of what we’re looking at.
- Failure is simply a data point, a marker on our path that tells us that a decision or step was not the best one for us and we need to make an adjustment with our next step.
- Einstein had the best perspective on failure; he would say he discovered how not to do something.
How can we overcome this fear?:
- Embrace your mistakes, see them as opportunities to learn and grow.
- Ask for help.
- Relax, stop trying so hard.
- Really look at the worst case scenario: “What is the worst thing that could happen and what would you do.”
- Say Yes, even when you’re afraid. If you’ve done the work and evaluated the risk, sometimes you just need to feel the fear and do it anyway.
- Read The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield
- Read The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson
- Say it out loud. Tell someone and talk it through, then go do something.
- Practice failing on purpose.