I believe the fear of failure can be boiled down into these core factors:
1. Unrealistic Time Frames
2. Unrealistic Journey
3. Identifying With Setbacks
Let me explain…
UNREALISTIC TIME FRAMES
I see some newcomers declaring goals like… “I’m going to be a millionaire in one year.” This will set you up for failure.
Why? Well, first, it’s definitely possible to start a new business and hit that milestone within a year. BUT, for a COMPLETE BEGINNER to do it… I wouldn’t bet on them.
Why? Because you’ll realize, if you haven’t already, that there is A LOT to learn in business. There’s more to it than just the “how to”. There’s mental lessons to learn, financial management lessons, and so on.
And the thing is if you’re just starting out… you will have NO WAY to determine what lessons you’ll need to learn until you experience an obstacle, and then have to learn how to overcome it.
And because you can’t predict what lessons you’ll need to learn, you can’t put a realistic time frame on what you’ll achieve by a certain date. And if you don’t accomplish what you want by a certain date, you’ll probably start to fear failure and/or not even start new things.
BUT, fortunately, you CAN PREDICT the MEASURED EFFORT you put in every day.
This leads me to my next point…
Success is a PROCESS, NOT AN EVENT.
You can’t expect to go to the gym for the first time ever today, and then expect to go in tomorrow and bench 315 pounds easily. This is especially true, if you don’t have some sort of CONSISTENT, plan that you follow through on.
Likewise, you can’t expect to broke today, and then a millionaire in one year… If you don’t have some sort of ROUTINE that’ll take you there.
Fortunately, if you focus on your choices you can get virtually any outcome you want.
But even if you do have a plan to take you there, it’s HIGHLY LIKELY you will experience some sort of SETBACK.
Setbacks, in themselves, are NOT bad. They are there to notify you of what you need to avoid in the future, learn about, work on, and then overcome.
A setback is NOT failure. But, GIVING UP when you experience a setback is.
Remember, everything is a LEARNING EXPERIENCE.
After all, when was the last time you tried anything for the very first time and did it like a pro?
Did you ride a bike for the first time and turned into a professional BMX rider the next day? Did you play basketball one day and were able to run with NBA players the next day? Did you take your first steps as a baby and then started running marathons the next day?
Obviously not, the same principle applies in business.
Expect to suck everything the first time. Expect that there will be setbacks. And if you’re constantly growing, expect that the setbacks will never end.
This leads me to my next point…
IDENTIFYING WITH SETBACKS
If you didn’t understand the last point, then chances are you might make the mistake of IDENTIFYING with setbacks.
In other words, you made a mistake and then now you identify yourself as a failure.
For example, you missed one jumpshot and now you’ve identified yourself as the “failed jumpshot kid”. Or you’re broke and now you identify yourself as “poor, broke, or helpless.”
Instead you should be identifying yourself with traits that will lead to the outcome, NOT the outcome itself.
For example, if you’re currently broke, poor, or not where you want to be financially… it’ll help to identify with character traits that will lead you to wealth.
You may instead change your identity to include something like: “I may be broke now, but I am LEARNING ways on how to change this”… “I am also TAKING CONSISTENT ACTION to change this”… and so on.
The point is: Circumstances or Events do NOT determine your identity, your Choices and Processes do. And those choices must ALIGN with the outcome you want.
So if you experience one setback in business… ask yourself… would a successful person let this one setback be their last move? Or would a successful person learn about how to never experience this setback again?
Ask yourself if your CHOICES align with who you want to become, NOT your CIRCUMSTANCES.
Another example I want to add…
With paid advertising, I will LOSE money at first. After all, you can’t predict how the market will react to your campaign. Now, most newcomers will give up at this point. That’s a rookie mistake.
Experienced marketers will understand that I did NOT lose money… I BOUGHT data. I LEARNED what did not work. Now, I can spend money on a different variation of the campaign. And this variation may make more money. Then another test. And more profits. Then scale up.
Again… success is a PROCESS, not an event. If you learn that setbacks are a learning opportunity, then you will achieve the outcome. If you identify with setbacks, you won’t.
Did I cover all your fears of failure? Comment below if you feel I need to expand on anything.