Fear can prevent us, in particular, women at midlife or older, from living our personal or business dreams. Fear of failure can stop us before we even get started. It is one of the most common blocks to success. However, you might not even readily recognize that you have a fear of failure.
Some actions that most people take when they unconsciously have a fear of failure are:
Symptoms: procrastination, inability to follow through with goals (“I’ll do that tomorrow…”)
- Low Self-Confidence
Symptoms: doubting that you’re not good enough or smart enough (“I don’t really have the expertise to build a business on …”)
- Fear of Being Judged
Symptoms: worried about being labeled as ‘over the hill’ (people will only buy from the young ones, not from someone like me)
Symptoms: never satisfied with what you’ve achieved so nothing gets done (I need more information (or something) to finish this …)
The problem with dwelling on your fear of failure is it would eventually become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Have you ever dreamed of creating your own business for the longest time?
You wrote down what your business would be like and then gave it a lukewarm effort which lacks energy and enthusiasms because your subconscious mind is telling you that it is a waste of time and that you will fail.
So you end up with two choices – take no action, stop pursuing your dream or make a half-hearted effort that would more than likely lead to failure.
Either choice will reinforce your fear of failure, making it a self-fulling prophesy.
How do you overcome the fear of failure?
- Identify what you are afraid of
You: I fear that no one will buy your business product
2. Face your fear directly
Why do you have this fear?
You: Because there’s a lot out there who sell the same product
Why do you worry about the other products?
You: Because people would buy from them instead of from me
Why would they buy from them and not from you?
You: Because I am a newbie and not a lot of people know who I am or what I do
Why do you think they should buy from you?
You: Because my product is better than others. I have the experience and talent in creating a product like this
Why should your experience and talent matter?
You: Because no one has the same experience, talent, and skills that I have
Why aren’t you more confident about that?
You: Because I fear that, I would fail
3. Ask yourself what is the worst-case scenario?
You: The worst-case scenario is you failed, no one bought your product.
4. What is the worst that could happen?
You: I lose some money and time.
5. Decide if you are willing to accept the risk.
6. If you are, accept the reality that you will experience many setbacks, failures, and challenges along the way to success. Count failures as learning experiences and make a strong commitment to take action and give it your 100% effort.
7. Don’t let failure stop you. Set your eyes on what you define as ultimate success and expect it. Learn what caused the failure then think of ways to change or redesign the actions that led to failure then move on.
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