Stop Fear of Failure Controlling You
Does fear of failure control who you are and what you do? The brain can be an incredible asset, or a paralysing stumbling block in both your professional and personal lives. Fear of failure, or more importantly, letting fear of failure control you, can affect what you and what you acheive or even attempt. Fear of judgement, rejection, failure, taking a risk, even picking up the phone can be paralysing to the small business person. Or to any person!
We don't like pain, fear or failure which means that we avoid talking about it. In society, failure has become some sort of taboo. We go so far out of our way to avoid pain and failure that we sometimes don't even try.
"People will do more to avoid pain than they will to gain pleasure" - Tony Robbins
None of us like to mention the failure elephant that is in the room, we ignore the big, wrinkly failure elephant, hoping that it will just go away. And it will, if you never try. But now you're just trading one type of potential failure for a definite failure - with a side of regret! So ignoring the failure elephant has never worked. Avoiding pain at all costs, doesn't work... You have to not only acknowledge the elephant, but tackle it head on!
"I've been where you are. I've been gripped by a suddon and urgent fear that has suffocated me. This fear of failure could have destroyed my business. But I'm never going to allow fear to control who I am" - Beryl
So addressing our fears and tackling them head on is the way forward. But what if I fail? What if you do? Let's talk about ways that you can bounce back from failure and put it towards future success.
1. Allow yourself a chance to grieve
The Japanese proverb "fall down 7 times, stand up 8" is used often in business. It sums up the resiliance and temerity needed to succeed. It is the idea that with every venture comes the possibility of failure, but that we can't let that stop us. And we at BBK are all about that kind of resiliance - getting back up after a set back. But give yourself a chance to feel it. Allow yourself the tantrum and the sulking that you need in order to process this setback. It's ok to be heart broken, this stuff is tough. Failure hurts. So set yourself a timeframe - 15 minutes, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month - let yourself hurt and lick your wounds. Then get back up again.
3. Forgive Yourself
As the age old saying goes: 'sh#t happens.' Things will go wrong, mistakes will be made and failure will happen. Sometimes it's within your control (ie, you stuffed up), other times it's complely beyond your control (Covid-19 anyone?). Either way, let yourself off the hook and commit to learning from it.
2. Be Honest with Yourself
Take a good, hard look at your attempt, your failure and yourself. People are often so mortified by their failure that they will try and brush it off and move on without taking the time out to really examine it. People who do this often think they're being resiliant. This is not resiliance, it's hiding from their mistakes.
Instead, see what you can learn from your mistakes. A great way to do this is to start a journal for your business and note down everything you've learnt from this most recent failure. Record your takeaways, so that you can do better next time.
Having trouble with this step? This is a great time to talk to a business mentor or coach. Talking about your business with an objective and knowledgable outsider can give you the perspective you didn't know you needed!
"Try again. Fail again. Fail Better." Samuel Beckett
We're going to continue talking about that big ol animal in the room and see if we can bring him down a few sizes and stop fear of failure controlling you.
Any of this sound relevant to you? Give Beryl a call today to get off that roller coaster and start smashing through your income ceiling.