Fear of failure? Holding yourself back?
Ever been afraid to move forward too much because of a fear of failure? Fear of what might happen?
Ever found yourself willingly taking awhile to “prepare” things to make it perfect…. but really you’d need to admit that you were just putting off launch because of that same fear of failure?
This is something I’ve come across many times when working with people inside The Lab. And hell… I’m human. I’ve experienced it, too. For damn sure. 🙂
Now, I’m no shrink. But, I am a dude with some common sense. So, I wanted to maybe put a little perspective on this whole fear of failure thing.
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Here’s how I see it…
When you get right down to it, the actual dangers of failure when it comes to a blog or a new online business are pretty minimal. I mean…. really, what’s going to happen? Is your life going to be over? Are you going to be dumped by your significant other, lose all your stuff and be suddenly sleeping in a cardboard box under a street light? Most likely not. 🙂 Most likely, nothing will happen. A little disappointment, but then your life is pretty much what it is right now. Blank slate… try again, right?
So, if the actual danger of it is mostly imagined, what are we really scared of? Here’s how I see it…
That fear of failure is actually a re-dramatization of something in the past. Something in the past occurred and you are basically re-creating it in the present.
In the past, you failed at something. It might not have been that big a deal… or perhaps it was…. but from your perspective, it was a failure. And, a decision was made…
You didn’t want to repeat it. Funny thing is, sometimes we forget we made these decisions and it can affect us in present time. Sometimes, it is helpful to go back and spot those times, review it again, and spot the moment the decision was made. Many times that will change how you look at it.
But, another thing…
Sometimes, those failures are ones where you felt you didn’t do something right. It could be something bad done to another, or something bad done to yourself. It could also be an act of omission, where something you thought you should do you didn’t do. That moment is a moment of personal failure and, most of the time, we react by shrinking our own power.
This doesn’t have to be serious stuff, necessarily. Here’s an example…
Let’s say a dude really wanted to ask a girl out. He imagines doing it. He visualizes it going well, even! But, he stops himself for whatever reason. That girl may have never known anything was going on at all, but the dude felt a little disappointed in himself. In his eyes, he kinda failed. It was a little act of omission on himself and it really only affected him. He explains it with various explanations, but often one of them will be something a little self-denigrating. Like… “I’m just not a people person”. From then on, a decision is made that he is not a people person and, to that degree, he has diminished his own personal power.
Here’s another one perhaps you’ve experienced…
You buy some course online designed to help you grow your business. You buy it with the best of intentions to follow through and make this work. You have high hopes. But, then…. in the end, it doesn’t pan out. What happened? Well, “life got in the way”. You have various reasons. But… one thing remains true…
You had an intention and you didn’t follow through.
This was an act of omission on your part. It doesn’t make you comfortable. You feel like you let yourself down.
In order to minimize the effect of it, you may bash the course. Say the course was no good, the instructor was bad, or he was just in it for the money. Mind you, some or all of that could be true! We all know there are “gurus” like that out there. But, from YOUR perspective, you say those things to minimize impact. In the end, you didn’t follow through and you know it.
And so decisions get made which, once again, minimize your personal power. “I’m just not organized”. “I don’t have time.” “I’m just not technical.”
All these are statements of “fact” that you put out there which minimize you and your power and your own capabilities in an attempt to avoid and minimize a moment of personal failure. In order to be a little more right about how it all went down, we inject these “facts” into things and we sorta live with them.
What all this does is creates a push/pull flow of mental energy. And when you have something pushing and pulling at the same time, it results in STUCK. It is like a game of tug of war, but we’re doing that inside our own heads.
So a new thing presents itself and you really want to pursue it. Your instinct is to PUSH toward it, but then you have that PULL going on at the same time. That PULL is coming from those past decisions you made.
“I’m just not organized”. “I don’t have time.” “I’m just not technical.” “This guy is just a slimy salesman.” “Never again!”
All those decisions – all of which YOU made – are PULLING back. Push and pull at the same time…. and it results in STUCK.
This is what “fear of failure” really is. This is the anatomy.
The really good news is that it is YOU who made all those decisions. Which means you can change them. I mean, it is totally OK to change you mind, right?! 🙂
But, first, you have to remember the decisions. You need to remember the times when you decided you couldn’t do it. When exactly was that? What was going on? What did it look like?
Then, what decision was made?
And then, once you really nail it down, you can then re-evaluate the decision. Is it still true?
I mean, when you get right down to it, we are all only living in numerous little moments of NOW. The past isn’t real except for the pictures we carry around with us. Any effect those memories have on us today are only because we are sitting there re-creating them today.
All that actually is… is now.
You can make new decisions.
A “fear of failure” isn’t really a fear of failure. It is really just an attempt not to re-create a moment of the past. It is a push/pull flow of our own making that keeps us from moving forward today.
It is OK to change your mind, make new decisions, try new things. And what happened in the past has literally no bearing on the present unless you, yourself, are constantly re-creating that past right here and now. And, it is OK to stop doing that, too. 🙂
You have my permission.
Anyway, that might have been a little deep for an issue of The Daily, huh? 😉 Especially for a Friday?!
But, it was on the brain. And I may actually take this one and develop it into a blog post.
So, food for thought, perhaps? 🙂
Enjoy your weekend. I sure plan to. Finally, the weather down here in Florida isn’t hot anymore! I mean, it was in the 50’s at night and we’re all looking for jackets!
(If you live in the north, don’t judge.)
See ya Monday.