The F-Bomb. No, not the classic definition, though that F-Bomb sometimes accompanies this one. This F-Bomb, Failure, is pervasive in business. And the fear of failure can prevent us from pursuing our dreams, desires, and goals and will eventually prevent us from getting what we want.
There are many ways that the fear of failure manifests in different people, and you may not even know that this fear lives within you. Many times, it will display as procrastination. A person becomes paralyzed by fear of failure and cannot get anything done. Suddenly the itty bitty shitty committee starts firing up, and we begin to believe that if we cannot get something done perfectly, we shouldn’t initiate the task at all. So stop seeking perfection, tell the itty bitty shitty committee to pipe down, and get going.
Sometimes this fear shows up as making excuses. We can craft so many reasons why success isn’t happening for us. We sit there and list every reason why we’re not making what we want to happen, happen. We convince ourselves there’s simply no time or there’s not enough money. Instead, reflect on these objections to success and think about how they serve you. Remember, you can make excuses or money, not both.
Often, we begin to rationalize and lie to ourselves about why we are not getting where we want to be on our journey to success. We tell ourselves, “I’m doing the best I can,” or “Everyone is struggling.” We tell ourselves lies like, “No one is selling in this economy” or “I’ve tried everything.” And when we say these things enough, when we lie to ourselves daily, we begin to believe our lies. Lovingly be honest with yourself. Look at what’s working and what isn’t, and improve yourself. You will always find reasons you cannot do things, but the choice is yours whether you will tell yourself the truth about your situation and get the results you deserve.
We also tend to fail when we embark on tasks we cannot do ourselves. We often do this because we don’t know what we don’t know. But what we do know is that we cannot know everything, and if you are not confident in your abilities relative to a task, seek advice. Find guidance or mentorship. If you need help finding your blind spots so that you can find success, solicit that help.
Fear of failure also stems from a fear of being judged. We are afraid to feel shame and embarrassment. Remember, other people’s opinions of you are none of your business, and people who judge you for embracing failure as a learning experience are simply projecting onto you their own relationship with the F-Bomb. Ask yourself about your relationship with failure; anything outside of that relationship is someone else’s issue.
Finally, this fear manifests itself as unconscious sabotage. We are conditioned from a young age to behave in specific ways. These patterns live within us, and we are programmed to act, think, and behave a certain way because of them. Rewrite the programs in your mind that lead you to stay in your comfort zone.
So how can you have a healthy relationship with failure?
It’s easy. Learn quickly about what you’ve done right and what you’ve done wrong. Then, when you face failure, you get to make a change. Even if you’ve tried something different 20 times and are still failing, know you are moving closer to your goals. Failure is feedback and learning; it doesn’t matter how often you fail because you are gaining new tools and resources to avoid the same negative circumstances in the future.
Set and pursue realistic goals. Try not to overestimate what you can do in a day or underestimate what you can do in a year. If you strategically plan and goal set, you will be able to pursue your goals more realistically. Success will become a healthy journey for you!
Constantly develop yourself. Work with coaches, insert yourself in masterminds, take a home-study course, or attend live training. The more you develop yourself, the more tools and resources you have to overcome failure.
And finally, understand that you should refrain from bragging about your mistakes if you are not learning from them. You can wear failure as a badge of honor only if you are growing and evolving from it.
So this year, I hope you can embrace the F-Bomb, and if you would like advice on overcoming your fear of failing, join us for our next Successology™ Virtual Boot Camp on January 13, 2023, from 10 am-1 pm PST. Use code SHIFTMD to pay just $97. That’s a $100 savings!