Let’s talk about fear of failure. Is it getting in the way of your business growth? This comes up a lot with my clients. Running a business is many things, and it’s exciting, thrilling and exhilarating – but it can also be scary!
Think of all the times you’ve felt the fears. What did it stop you from doing?
I bet you’ve felt fearful before posting or going live. How about selling on a discovery call?
I bet you’ve felt fearful of not bringing in enough income to cover your goals.
I bet you’ve felt fearful of being seen as a fraud or of what people think of you.
We face so many fears as business owners, and I sometimes wonder why we carry on at all!
But you and I both know you’re meant for more. You took the leap from employment to living life on your terms for a reason.
So why do we fear failure so much, and how does it impact our business and lives?
Fear of failure looks different to each of us
Failure means something different to us all. It all comes down to your beliefs and values. A failure to you may be seen as a learning or a win to someone else.
You may be scared of failing because you may have been told or experienced something in your childhood, and this has translated into a negative feeling in adulthood.
For example, I vividly remember a time at secondary school when a teacher asked me a question in front of the whole class. I got it wrong and the teacher ridiculed me, causing the class to laugh. I felt humiliated (hardly surprising), which crushed my confidence to speak up. This has ultimately led to many fears as an adult. I’ve feared speaking up in front of peers. I have feared going live on video. I had a fear of getting things wrong, all from this teacher calling me out.
Sabotaging behaviour patterns linked to fear of failure
Fearing failing like this then shows as sabotaging behaviour. You may have done some or all of the following:
- You don’t show up (you stop posting content online and become invisible).
- You leave things to the last minute, so you’re stressing and not giving it your best energy.
- You never finish anything.
- You tear stuff down because you don’t think it’s good enough.
- You pick fights with loved ones, friends, family etc.
- You get involved in drama, even if you don’t want to.
- You may over-drink or over-eat.
- You may indulge in too much online shopping.
- You may be stuck in perfectionism so that nothing ever gets launched.
- You may also be in constant preparation mode.
- You often disconnect from your mission and focus on what others are doing or saying you should be doing.
- You’re in a state of hustle and feel exhausted.
- You have a fear of stopping work in case it all goes away.
And this is all so utterly exhausting. No wonder you’re stuck and not having much fun in your business!
How to overcome your fear of failure
So how do you overcome the fear of failure and stop this sabotaging behaviour?
#1: List out all of the outcomes
Grab your journal and list all the positive and negative outcomes of doing what you’re scared to do.
So, for example, if I were scared to do a live video, I would write:
- My followers will get value from what I’m discussing
- They may share my video with their audience
- This may lead to someone reaching out to me and wanting to work with me
- I’ll fluff my words
- The tech will fail
- No one will see it
Now, these are all valid points, but to me, the positives far outweigh the negatives.
#2: List your limiting beliefs
Write out all of your limiting beliefs in your journal. Then I want you to cross them out and rewrite them as positive affirmations. Keep repeating these to yourself.
#3: Set goals and check in with them regularly
Remember to set goals and regularly check in with them. Remind yourself that these goals are bigger than your fear of failure. You can and will achieve them. If you’re getting overwhelmed, try to set smaller goals at first. Achieve those, and you’ll feel confident in achieving the bigger goals. [Check out the blog ‘How to plan and create goals (and stick to them)’ for more help with goal setting.]
#4: Visualise your outcomes
Visualise achieving your goals on a daily basis. How does it feel to get there? How does it feel to overcome the fear of failure and achieve the big goals you’ve set for yourself? You can get more help on using visualisation in your business here.
If you want some support in clearing the fear of failure from your life so that you can move forward, I have a solution. I can clear these fears in my energy clearing sessions – find out more here.