Personal question: Is it possible that you already know everything you need to know to be successful in your business – but something other than knowledge is holding you back?
If it’s as simple as the mechanics of online marketing – setting up websites and so forth – you can always hire someone to do that part for you.
But if it’s a lack of confidence, or fear of failure that’s holding you back – then it’s up to you to squash that particular bug, or at least quarantine it to the furthest corner of your house.
And if the thought of failing is enough to keep you from starting your online empire, then welcome to the club. We have a lot of members, because frankly fear of failure is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to success. Fear of failing is so oppressive and destructive, it can cause you to willingly set aside your dreams – forever.
So why do we fear failure so much? It goes back to life experiences that inadvertently taught us it’s better not to risk, than to risk and lose. When you fail at something, it’s natural to worry what other people will think about you and if they will lose interest in you. You worry about how smart and capable you are, and whether you can effectively pursue future endeavors. In fact, when you fear failure, you’re actually worried about an entire host of possible outcomes, most of which will never come to pass no matter how many times you fail.
But the mind isn’t rational, and simply talking yourself out of being afraid doesn’t work any better than trying to manifest an iron will.
The secret to overcoming fear of failure? There are several, but we’ll give you one here that you can use right away.
Experiments in the 1970’s showed that there are two distinct groups of children when it comes to learning new skills. There are the “ego oriented” children whose main concern is to not lose face in front of their friends. Some of these children fear failure so much they invent ways to get out of the activity, do the activity in such a way that they cannot possibly fail, or make it impossible to succeed so that failing doesn’t hold a stigma.
The second group of children is what they term “mastery oriented.” These kids don’t care as much about losing face as they do about acquiring a new skill. In fact, they realize that initially failing is simply a part of the process of learning and take it in stride. These kids are happier and succeed much faster than those who fear failing.
Thus, if you can change your focus to acquiring a new skill and deciding that no matter what happens along the way, you’re going to enjoy the process – you are on the way to overcoming your fear of failure.
You might start small with something that doesn’t hold a great deal of significance, such as learning a new game. Let’s say you’re going to take up billiards for the first time in your life. Your focus would be on learning how to hold and shoot the cue, the angles to use, the rules of the game and so forth. When you miss a shot or scratch, it’s no big deal because you know that’s part of the process and you’re just learning.
You might be astonished at the difference it makes. You’ll be happier, you’ll have less stress, and you’ll learn your new skill much faster.
From here you might stretch yourself further by doing things that scare you. For example, if you’re a shy person you might ask 15 strangers a simple question (“Do you have the time?”) in the space of 30 minutes. Note how you feel after the exercise. Odds are you’ll not only have conquered a fear of talking to strangers, you’ll also get a boost of confidence.