Overcoming the fear of failure is one of the most challenging aspects of running your own business and being an entrepreneur. The harsh reality is that every entrepreneur will experience failure throughout their journey in business. The general rule of thumb is that for every 10 startups out there, three or four of them will fail completely. Another three or four might survive long enough to see a return on their original investment, but only one or two will provide substantial returns! The key to success is overcoming the failure and moving on from it.
Here are some practical ways to help you overcome those unavoidable setbacks, failures and disappointments on your journey as an entrepreneur.
- Shit Happens!
The first thing we must do is learn how to deal with failure by unlearning the knee jerk terror associated with it. Try to embrace the fact that in some way shape or form, you will eventually fail. This does not make you a failure, as it was your actions and plans that failed by not meeting expectations. The sooner you’re able to accept this fact of life, the easier it will be for you to get over it.
Mistakes will happen, things will spiral out of your control, and deadlines will be missed. Yes, it will hurt, and yes, you’re allowed to be sad, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. With that understanding comes the important distinction that not all failures are the same. Instead of considering every single mistake or setback as a personal failure, try to redefine and understand what failure really means to you.
- Ask Yourself What is an “acceptable failure” to You?
One of the main reasons why many aspiring entrepreneurs allow the fear of failure to stop them from starting their business is because they view failure as something that is negative. If you examine the lives of successful entrepreneurs throughout history, you will discover that in most cases their careers were riddled with failed attempts before they succeeded.
Failure is not the opposite of success. It is a part of success. A failure is nothing more than a result that you get that you do not want. It is neither good nor bad, it is just feedback. By learning from feedback, and continuing to take action and make decisions that produce more feedback, you eventually learn precisely the lessons you need to learn to earn your success.
- Never Compare Yourself to Others
In order to build a unique business, you must hold on to your uniqueness as an individual. It is unwise to compare yourself to others for the simple reason that you are not them, and you shouldn’t try to be them either. Admire the success of others, but don’t envy them. Respect the results that other entrepreneurs are able to create, but focus your attention on the results that you want to create.
- Do What You Fear Now
When you do the very thing you fear, then the fear goes away. You fear failure? Go ahead and fail. Oddly, we often fear most what we desire most. If we can just realize that the other side of our fears is success, we’ll be more willing to do what we’re afraid of. An effective way to overcome your fear of failure is to take action in spite of fear. When doubts, fears, or any other negative thoughts enter your mind just stay focused on taking action. Fear is a common feeling when you do things you have never done before. When you try something new, you leave your comfort zone and enter the unknown. But instead of retreating back to your comfort zone whenever you feel fear, embrace that fear and praise yourself for having the courage to step into a new, unfamiliar experience.
- Start Small & Celebrate Your Successes
One excellent strategy for overcoming your fear of failure is to start small, achieve positive results, and build on that momentum. You may have heard the expression “go big or go home”. Many people have used this expression to justify taking massive action or taking no action at all. In some scenarios this is a wise approach, but for many entrepreneurs it is better to begin with smaller goals such as setting up your website, launching a marketing campaign, or acquiring your first customer and then building on those successes. By consistently achieving positive results on a smaller scale, you build momentum. That momentum is what will help to create the larger successes later.
- Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
By facing your fear head on, and continuing to take action, your comfort zone expands and eventually that new experience becomes a familiar experience and the fear will subside. Successful entrepreneurs have learned to use fear as a motivator to keep moving forward. Whether it’s the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, the fear of mediocrity, or the fear of poverty, they purposely use that fear to fuel their motivation to succeed.
If you would like some assistance in this area, then contact MentorUs Business Solutions today!