Originally posted 3 February 2016, updated 27 December 2016
The Fear Of Failure Is Very Common & It Can Be Very Disabling, Holding Entrepreneurs Back. But It Can Be Beaten & In This Article, I Describe 8 Ways For Overcoming The Fear Of Failure.
If The Fear Of Failure Is Holding You Back, Please Read On
The fear of failure in business is very common and it can prevent people who run businesses from moving forward. It is usually a state of mind that can be very immobilizing, preventing us from stepping outside our comfort zones into the unknown, leaving us saying:
“I Can’t Do This”
This can manifest itself in someone fearing failure by feeling physically stressed and anxious and thinking: “I CAN’T DO THIS”
By Changing Things, People Think They Risk Failure
Those experiencing FEAR OF FAILURE think that by changing things, they risk failure – they think that any changes made may have a negative effect and not work, making their present situation worse, so they decide to maintain the status quo.
For many business owners, they find they cannot step outside their comfort zones to achieve actions within the business to move it forward, thus restricting business success; they feel comfortable within their COMFORT ZONES and don’t feel like venturing outside.
Overcoming The Fear Of Failure Is Very Possible By Changing How You Think & Act
Overcoming the fear of failure is very possible by changing how you think and how you act and many have done it and I am sure you can, too.
The Subconscious Mind Is Programmed To Protect Us
The subconscious part of our brains are programmed to protect us when there is danger; if you have a fear of spiders, for instance, your subconscious mind acts to protect you when you see a spider by spontaneously moving you away from the ‘danger’ of the spider.
Many of us have fear phobias – it could be the fear of heights, water, enclosed spaces – there are so many. But our subconscious minds are there to protect us against these instinctively without us consciously thinking about them, when we are faced with such ‘dangers’
For us in business, a fear phobia can manifest itself as a ‘fear of failure’. Those that experience this fear phobia have a subconscious mind that is protecting them from failure in their business and this prevents them doing anything that means them taking action that they are not confident about and are not comfortable about. In other words, their subconscious minds are preventing these people to ‘step outside their comfort zones’
Very often these people decide that they cannot take certain actions to move their businesses to higher levels in case the actions don’t work and their businesses are damaged or even fail and the result is to take their business backwards rather than forwards. They decide to not take the action and keep their business in the space it already occupies.
The danger here is that any business that tries to stand still often ends up going backwards, because there is no innovation or creativity happening within the business.
Sometimes a previous failure or set-back can prevent someone from trying again as they fear the same outcome.
Different people have different reasons for the FEAR OF FAILURE becoming a handicap to business development. Whatever the reason, the fear of failure is one of the biggest reasons for failure in business – businesses that do not move forward ultimately end up going backwards and declining and it can often be the FEAR OF FAILURE of the business owner that can create this situation.
It Is Possible To Beat The Fear Of Failure
But it is possible to beat the fear of failure and here are EIGHT ways to do this:-
- Try to analyze your own fear inside your mind – try to see where it originated – Ask yourself if you are, for instance, worried about losing money or ‘face’ in your business? If you lost some money, would it be the end of the world and if it is ‘face’, does it matter what people think about you – the chances are they won’t think as badly about your situation, as you think they will. Make a list of the things that create your FEAR and try to focus on the main reasons for your fear; try to understand them and try to accept that they are not important and that you should not be worried about them.
- Break down what you wish to achieve into ‘chunks’ – if, for instance, you wish to grow your business, there may be several ways that you wish to do this. You might want to launch a new product or several products or sell into new markets, say. Rather than trying to do everything at once, select ONE thing to do, set that as your ONE objective and concentrate on that. Very often business owners try to do too many things at once and get overwhelmed.
- Analyze your one objective – you should analyze how you will achieve your ONE objective. You should break your objective down into small goals that when put together will achieve your ONE objective. By doing this, you are focusing on the small goals rather than the overall objective, which should be less daunting.
- Set a strategy – having set your small goals, you should then create a separate strategy for each goal and use that to achieve each goal. As you achieve your separate goals, your confidence should grow along with the belief that your ONE objective is possible.
- You should quantify the benefits of attaining your ONE objective to your business – this could be a rise in profits, such as a 10% increase in your net profit. Think how it will feel to have more profit in the business and what benefits there would be. You should also look at the downside, if you don’t achieve your objective. One way to think about growth is to think that you have nothing to lose – if the ONE objective is not achieved, your business will be no worse off, but if you do achieve it, you could substantially improve your business finances.
- Think about learning – even if you fail in your ONE objective, you should learn much from the process and possibly about yourself. It is impossible to go through life without some failure and setbacks – the most successful of entrepreneurs have had many failures (Richard Branson is a good example) but every one of the most successful entrepreneurs has learned from the process and has used that new knowledge to try again. You should think that failure is part of succeeding and that you must first fail in order to ultimately succeed.
- Try to think positive about your ONE objective – keep saying to yourself “I CAN DO THIS” and say it over and over again. You should say or think this especially at times when you feel the fear or you feel negative about your business.
- Try to imagine how you will feel when you have achieved your ONE objective – almost certainly it will give you a huge confidence boost and enhance your well being and happiness. Try to imagine or visualize how you will feel, having beaten your ‘fear’ and having achieved your goals and objective. You should feel really good. Think that you want that feeling and that you will only achieve it, if you beat the FEAR OF FAILURE.
I Had The Fear Of Failure When I Started
When I started my first business, I had the fear of failure and I overcame this by doing what I have suggested above, here, and if you have the same fear, the above could work for you, too. It will take a little time but be patient with yourself and let it happen gradually, but never give up.
If you would like to talk more about this with me, please contact me at Robert@prestigebusinesscoaching.co.uk.
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