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Overcome Your Fear of Failure

Fear can be both a helpful response and a hindering response in life depending upon what kind of fear is occurring and how you respond to it. When you are growing up, fear played an important role in teaching you not to touch a hot stove or run into traffic. Later in life, those same fears can become a hindrance to successful living if they are not put into their proper perspective.

One common fear that most adults share is the fear of failure. When we take a closer look at all the different definitions of failure that people think of – we will realize that the true fear is not the actual failure, but what happens after the failure. For example, if you fail at your new job and they fire you, the fear is more about what will happen to you after you lose the job. The concerns that could crowd your mind might be “will I be unable to find new work and end up homeless?” or “will I be forced to get a job I hate in order to survive?”.

There is one surefire way to overcome a fear of failure:  surviving failure.  I can hear the outcry now, “That is crazy – I don’t want to fail, yet to overcome fear of failure, I have to fail?!!”.  Yes.  When you have several failures under your belt, you can look back and see how you were able to move forward despite the failure.  These “failures” become evidence that your brain needs to begin to understand and embrace that failing is simply ruling out one possibility.  There are many possible ways and means of accomplishing something, and you just keep trying until you find the right path.

The only time that we truly fail is when we quit.  Quitting is the customary human response when the going gets tough, so nourish your mindset with a new attitude of searching out new ways to accomplish your goal.  For the past 15 years, I have been a professional, licensed psychotherapist providing therapy in various settings (non-profit and private practice).  I came to a point where I realized that I was not going to be able to continue being an effective wife, mother and full-time counselor since counseling can be a very emotionally demanding job.  I began my own personal business coaching at that point, to explore new ways of working to be able to cut back on my hours as a counselor.

After choosing to provide business coaching for individuals needing support in launching their business or growing their business, I was excited, passionate and motivated to do the tasks I needed to do to target a new kind of client.  I faithfully began blogging, writing newsletters geared toward business-minded people, and using social media.  The results of  my marketing were tepid at best and I began to get discouraged.  I began to let the lack of results discourage me and I began to question if I had chosen the wrong path to pursue.

When I did work with a new business client, I found myself so thoroughly energized and passionate that I stuck it out.  I began to experiment with new forms of marketing and I had to continually rearrange my thoughts and beliefs to accommodate new approaches to my new business coaching practice.  Now, my two years of tepid results has given way to more wonderful business clients to help and I am happy that I did not give up.  It taught me that if an individual knows they are good at something and passionate about something, they must not give up.  It taught me that you can change your approach, change your mindset and even adjust your business model to keep moving forward and hit success.

Next time you are tempted to think, “I must have stepped outside of God’s will and chosen  the wrong path,” or “There is no way I will be able to do this,” or “I must not be cut out for this,” stop those thoughts and remind yourself that slow and steady wins the race.  Remaining steady and giving yourself permission to experiment with different paths to your goal will allow you to experience “failure” in a way that will teach you just how fail-proof (or should I say “quit-proof”) you really are.

If you have been sitting on the sidelines because of some sort of fear of failure, business or life coaching can be just the thing to help you find those new ideas, new pathways to reach your goals.  Sherry offers a complimentary 20 minute consultation with prospective business-starters or current business-owners who are looking to grow or change their business.  Contact Sherry through the Contact Form at to schedule your consult.



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