We are conditioned to fear failure!
And the fear of failing is the primary reason why so many of us do not actively pursue our dreams. When I first began my journey of starting my own PR agency, I missed a lot of opportunities because I was fearful. I didn’t allow myself to take some significant risks that I needed to take and I remained stagnant for 6 months before I realized I needed to face my fears and take the leap of faith that would catapult my business to success.
Jerome Knyszewski, LinkedIn expert and marketing strategist says ” We ALL fear something”
- FEAR of not succeeding if we try something new
- FEAR of not “making it” doing what we are passionate about
- FEAR that keeps us from following our heart
- FEAR of JUST starting
- FEAR of not keeping up with the digital marketing
- FEAR of economic uncertainty
- FEAR of losing the passion and drive
- FEAR of not TRULY believing in yourself
- FEAR of not being ready
- FEAR of not being good enough.
- FEAR of business consuming your life
- FEAR of hiring employees
- FEAR of making sales
- FEAR of scaling
- FEAR of prospecting, marketing, cold calling
- FEAR of being too successful to fast
- FEAR of taxes
- FEAR of legal and administrative structures
- FEAR of the digital age and customs
All that he listed resonated with me because I feared most if not all of these things as an emerging entrepreneur.
So how do you overcome it? How do you stand up to fear? Below are 5 actions I continue to use to overcome fears of failure.
1. ACCEPT FAILURE & EMBRACE MISTAKES
Failure is inevitable. It will happen! And it is best to embrace it and embrace your mistakes. You have to understand that, it is in fact temporary. Starting FreeLyfe, I’ve made some major mistakes. Accepting my failure and going back to the drawing board, I was able to start again, much stronger and confident. The difference between the successful and not-yet successful is the realization that failure is simply a stepping stone, not a permanent event.
2. SAY TO YES TO FEAR.
When I first entered the PR industry as a freelance publicist, I was given the opportunity to represent well-known client. I was so afraid. Would I do a good job? Would I represent their brand well? I remember my professor in college telling me “Everything you want is on the other side of fear”. I knew I was qualified, I was just psyching myself out, so I took a deep breathe said YES. It ended up being a great opportunity, provided great connections, and really helped build my confidence.
Oddly, we often fear what we desire most. If we can just realize that on the other side of our fear is success, we’ll be more willing to do what we’re afraid of.
3. SET GOALS AND HAVE A PLAN B
Successful people don’t see failure as catastrophic, they see it as a good data point to guide their next attempts. I like to set small goals for myself and make a plan B, C, and even D. Knowing I have a back up for my mistakes, makes the idea of failing less intimidating.
4.LISTEN TO OTHER PEOPLE STORIES
Some of the most successful people will admit to having gone through multiple failures before getting to where they are now. You can study facts all day but nothing compares to learning that comes from personal experience.
“Looking up to successful individuals, and see their dealing with fear of failing, their handling of their failures and mistakes, can be SO up-building and inspiring.”- Jerome Knyszewski.
5. ASK FOR HELP
Sometimes as professionals we are afraid to ask for help for fear of looking less than knowledgeable, but that’s just crazy. You are not expected to know everything. Try to seek out experienced entrepreneurs that can offer viable advice.
“Entrepreneurship can be a struggle, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Knowing who to turn to when you need advice will help make the lows more bearable”-Tyler Arnold