We all feel insecure, inadequate, and scared sometimes. Being afraid of failure is something that we don’t need to fear at all. Seriously! I know you have heard it before, falling can make you stronger and wise, and I am here to tell you that it’s true! I can speak from experience, I had a business doing something I thought I loved. I made decent money doing it, but I hated it. The whole thing felt like a failure to me. When it ended I was relieved (you can read a little about my journey here). Now when I look back, it was the best learning experience I could have ever had. Knowing exactly what I never want to do again, is how I am able to be my best self now. Here are 10 of my best tips on how to throw the fear of failure, right out the window of a moving car.
1. An Old Fashioned Pro/Con List: Break out the pen and paper and make a good ole’ pro and con list. Look at your list of cons/fears. Are they true? Are they REALLY TRUE? What would happen if they came true? What are the real worst-case scenarios and how much weight do they have in your life?
2. Let Go of What Others Think: Listening too much to what other people think can really prevent us from taking creative or personal risks that may turn out to be amazing. You have to let go of the fear of what other people will think if things go awry. Use this script if you need to: ” I thought _____ was a great idea, it was at the time actually, and I had fun doing it even though it didn’t work out like I thought it would”.
3. Stress Causes Wrinkles: No one wants a face that looks older than our age so take a deep breath, go to yoga, meditate, or treat yourself to a facial . Do whatever you need to do to de-stress because worrying doesn’t do anything besides add age to your face.
4. Take Small Leaps: I am not going to tell you to take huge financial risks or leaps here. Because yes, you need to make responsible adult decisions. However, you do need to take small leaps that can propel your life or business into successful outcomes. The only way to do it is to take risks, start small if that makes you more comfortable, but don’t worry excessively about the landing…just jump.
5. Enjoy the Process: It all seems a little less scary if you don’t read too much into potential outcomes, but rather live in the moment and enjoy the process it takes to get there. Some creative friends I work with have such a complex about what could go wrong that they miss all the fun it took to get there if they succeed.
6. Celebrate Small Successes: Even small victories deserve a reward! You work hard and you deserve to celebrate every time you meet a goal. You don’t have to spend money to treat yourself, try a quiet walk in the morning or a lunch break at the beach. Personally, a latte and a new notebook are just the treat I love after a successful accomplishment.
7. Be Prepared: If you are always well prepared and do your homework/research, then you are less likely to fail hard. A small fail is no biggie, but a big fail that can cost you money or your job is less likely the more prepped you are.
8. If You do Fail, Learn: Write down what you learned, don’t forget it, and learn from it. What I mean is there is a message in every outcome, what was yours? How can you avoid it next time? Take good notes on how you failed and how you can prevent it in the future.
9. Talk it Out: Talk to a friend, trusted colleague, spouse or business coach about your goals or ideas. Get feedback before you jump into a project. Make sure you are asking people whose opinions you value and who can offer real constructive advice. If things don’t work out the way you thought, you know you have someone to share a bottle of wine with and vent.
10. Make a gratitude list: It’s not the end of the world if you stumble, there are so many things to be grateful for. Make that list now and tape it to your bedside table, bathroom mirror or car console to remind yourself of that.
Photo by Rebecca Hansen