3 Simple Steps to Conquer Fear of Failure

Fear of the unknown holding you back? Here's 3 simple tips to help you conquer fear of failure!

Six months ago, I took the biggest leap in my life thus far. I made a significant transition that figuratively turned my world upside down. It was frightening and invigorating all at once, and ultimately, it paid off. I now run my own business and make my own schedule, which means I get to travel often, spend more time with my family and create content that I believe in, at my own pace.

I’ve created my own path.

But I almost didn’t. I actually hesitated and avoided making the jump for a long time until finally, my business coach gave me a deadline. I kept saying things like “I’m not ready” or “It’s just not the right time.” But the truth was I’d never be ready and it would never be the right time. The truth was I was scared. Scared of what would happen if I failed, scared of the unknown and scared of stepping outside of my comfort zone, no matter how unhappy it made me. Once I learned to conquer the fear of failure, I have seen my professional life flourish in ways I’d never imagined. You have the ability to create your own path, to live a life that fulfills you and impacts others. But if fear of failure is standing in your path, it can be difficult to realize your innermost ambitions. Here are 3 simple strategies that I have utilized to help me overcome fear.

1 - Just Jump

I am terribly afraid of heights. In 2000 I went on an excursion in the jungles near Puerta Vallarta, Mexico and entered a lagoon with a gorgeous pond, ropes to swing on and rocks from which to jump. All of my friends were climbing up the rocks and jumping over 50 feet into the pond, and I sat on the rocks below, afraid and feeling left out. Someone finally coaxed me to the top, but that wasn’t enough. I spent the next 15-20 minutes convincing myself to jump, and although I was scared out of my mind, I eventually did. Someone had to hold my hand on that first jump, but it was exhilarating. Once I made it through the first jump, I found myself climbing to the top of the rocks and jumping over and over again, each time with less fear and hesitation. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge. This doesn’t mean you should be reckless or irresponsible, rather have faith that you are following the path you have created for yourself. There are always going to be reasons not to jump, but there is never a good reason to be stagnant or unfulfilled. Sometimes the easiest way to overcome fear is to stare it down. When I left my job in 2012 to start my own business, I was unsure and anxious. But I believed so strongly in what I was creating, that I had the emotional assurance that it would all work out. And if it didn’t, at least I tried. I’d never know what was possible had I never given it a shot. Had I never climbed up those rocks, I would have missed out on the rapture and freedom that I felt on the way down. Had I failed, that would have been fine as well. I would have learned from the experience and used that lesson to create a new venture. The hardest part was just climbing to the top of the rocks. Once I took the first jump, my fear of failure and the unknown began to melt away.

2 - Write it down.

Jumping still sounds scary, doesn’t it? Nobody wants to just say the hell with it, and take a plunge without a plan. That’s where being organized will serve you quite well. You’re not just jumping-you’re doing it with intention. Spend some time writing down:
  • Your goals
  • What is standing in the way of your goals and how to overcome those hurdles
  • What you need to do in order to accomplish your goals
  • Why you believe these goals are important to you, your family and your community
Once you’ve put it on paper, it’s far less abstract and will seem more attainable. Furthermore, when you can foresee the fruits of your labor, you’re more likely to do what it takes to make it happen.

3 - Get Help

As much as we like to think we can do it all on our own, a good support system is integral to success. Maybe you have a spouse or a parent who is encouraging you to take the leap or a group of friends who have already jumped and are coaxing you from the other side. Either way, allow the people you trust in your circle to help you overcome your fear of failure. If not, an experienced business or life coach is an invaluable investment. While it might seem counter intuitive to pay someone to help you accomplish financial or spiritual freedom, their role in your growth is essential. The job of a coach is to help you find your superpower and give you the tools to use it. If paying for a private coach isn’t an option, there are several coaching groups and programs available for just about every profession and walk of life, that not only supply you with the coaches expertise, but a community of like minded people who are going through a similar journey.
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