Have you ever been so afraid of failing at something that you decided not to try it at all?
🔵 “I need to do more research before I create my online course.”
🔵 “I tried to move into a different niche once and it didn’t work out. It’s just not meant to be.”
🔵 “It’s not realistic to have that big influencer on my podcast, so why even bother?”
That’s what you tell yourself to rationalise why you’re not going for your big business dreams. But deep down, you know it: they’re just excuses.
What’s really stopping you from taking action is the fear of failure.
Why Do You Experience The Fear Of Failure?
Building a successful business is scary. You might create a product no one wants. Do a webinar that bombs. Get rejected by publishers. Lose money. Make promises you can’t deliver. There are so many ways this could go wrong….
Your brain hates uncertainty. When you think of doing something new, your brain looks for past evidence you’ll succeed. If it can’t find it (how can it when you’ve never done it before?), it’ll consider it as a threat to avoid at all costs.
This is an evolutionary mechanism designed to keep you safe from venturing into forests alone where you could be killed by saber-toothed tigers or getting exiled from your community back when that meant certain death.
Most of the “threats” in our modern society aren’t threats at all. Failing may cause discomfort, disappointment and pain – nothing more.
But your brain doesn’t know it. And so, it tells you it’s safer to stay where you are, daydreaming of what could be instead of taking a chance and risking failing in the real world.
The catch? Putting your dream on hold feels safe in the short term. In the long run, you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of unhappiness and regret…
Related: How To Deal With Uncertainty About The Future
How Do You Experience Fear Of Failure?
Fear of failure shows up in lots of different ways, including:
👉 Low self-esteem
👉 Reluctance to try new things
👉 Self-deprecation (like not accepting compliments)
👉 Self-sabotage (like not following through on your plans)
👉 Talking yourself out of opportunities you don’t feel qualified for
If you’re experiencing any of these, you’re not alone. Fear of failure is universal. We all have it – and we all can overcome it. Here’s how:
Related: 7 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Success
How To Overcome The Fear Of Failure
1. Adopt A Toddler’s Mindset
Have you ever seen a toddler learning to walk? They stand up on their tiny little legs, move a couple of tentative first steps, and… fall down on the floor. Again and again and again…
Imagine if their parents said: “Oh no, you just fell down again! This walking thing isn’t for you. You should keep crawling for the rest of your life.”
It’s insane, right? And yet, that’s exactly what happens as you grow up. You try something once, it doesn’t work out as planned, and give up.
Give yourself permission to act like a toddler. Every time you fall, get yourself up again until you master it.
The only real failure is not to try at all.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Next time you try something for the first time, act like a toddler. If you fall down and fail, try again until you succeed.
Related: How Adopting A Beginner’s Mindset Is Key To Success
2. There Is No Failure – Only Feedback
Failure isn’t a sign to give up. It’s feedback on how to succeed.
When I started working as a freelance writer years ago, I had lots of meetings with potential clients – but they all refused to work with me. Instead of getting discouraged, I got curious. I asked them why they said no and what I could do to improve. I then tweaked my approach accordingly. Three months later, I signed up my first paying client! Woo hoo!
It was only possible because I saw failure as feedback and was able to refine my proposals and interview skills until I got it right.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Next time something doesn’t go to plan, journal on these questions:
- What went wrong?
- Why did it go wrong?
- Based on what didn’t work, how can I do things differently next time so I can succeed?
Related: It’s Not Failure. It’s Feedback.
3. Detach Your Failures From Your Identity
How do you talk to yourself when you fail at something? Most people take failure so personally, they tell themselves: “I’m a failure.” They can’t disconnect the outcome of their action from their self-worth.
But, you are NOT your failures. They say nothing about who you are as a person.
As you know now, failure is there to show you what went wrong, so you can take a different approach and succeed. Don’t take it personally. Take it as feedback.
Instead of saying “I’m a failure,” say “I’ve failed.” This helps you see failure for what it is: an action that didn’t result in the desired outcome.
Related: How To Reprogramme Your Subconscious Mind For Success
4. Analyse All Potential Outcomes
You fear failure because you fear the unknown.
When your brain can’t predict what’s going to happen, it conjures up all kinds of negative scenarios to keep you stuck in your comfort zone.
But these negative scenarios aren’t real. In fact, they’re just as likely to happen as the best case scenario. I’d argue the best case scenario is even more likely to happen because you’ll do everything it takes to reach your goals!
Don’t let the fear of what will never happen stop you from making your business dreams your every day reality.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Grab pen and paper and take a look at all potential outcomes:
- What is the worst case scenario?
- If the worst case scenario happened, how would you get back on your feet?
- How can you avoid the worst case scenario from happening?
- What is the best case scenario?
- What steps can you take to make your best case scenario come true?
- What other outcomes are possible?
Now your brain knows you won’t die even if the worst case scenario happened, you’ll feel safer in taking action towards your goals.
Related: Are You Already Living Your Worst-Case Scenario?
Wrapping It Up
Fear of failure is natural – but it doesn’t have to stop you. Acknowledge your fear, reframe failure into feedback and make a plan B in case things don’t go according to plan. Then take action. Your 6+ figures business is waiting for you.
Have you tried all the business strategies to get more clients and make more money, but nothing’s working? If you’re ready to drop the hustle and work on the ONE thing that’s really going to get you the results you crave – your mindset -, book your FREE Breakthrough Call with me.
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