If you find yourself saying no to business opportunities, holding back from promoting your business, or hesitating in putting your prices up, then there’s a good chance that you are at risk of the fear of failure killing your business. If you hear yourself making excuses that you are, too busy to follow up on that potential lead, not prepared enough to do that speech, or completely forget to show up for an important meeting, then the fear of failure is in control and making your decisions.
Recently I had a client who wanted to launch an online course. She had an established business that was reasonably successful and yet, in her words, “I just can’t seem to crack the glass ceiling.” She knew that if she didn’t take action soon she could become resentful of her business and it wouldn’t be long before she would be going backwards.
Having put in all the hard work to create a brilliant program she was too afraid to charge what it was worth to the market and she had a marketing strategy that was reflecting her ‘playing small’. With a few simple steps she became aware of how the fear of failure was holding her back, was able to overcome it, and went on to achieve her launch goals and much more. Here are the five steps to facing fear of failure in your business that we worked together on to face her fear of failure and you can too:
- Clearly outline what you want – Most of the time, when the fear of failure has control, we don’t allow ourselves to clearly define what it is we want to achieve because we’re too afraid we won’t achieve it. So, write down exactly what goal it is you want to reach, put exact numbers, dates and time to it (make it a S.M.A.R.T. goal) and post it somewhere you can see every day.
- Worst case scenario – Now ask yourself what would happen if you weren’t able to achieve that goal, basically, if you failed. If no one showed up for your workshop, if your business didn’t succeed, if it never even got off the ground, or no-one bought your new program. Write down how you would feel, what the people you care about would say, think, or do? Who would it effect? What would be the ongoing effects?
- How would you handle it – Next, write down the things you would do in order to be able to manage that situation if those things were to happen. How have you handled similar situations in the past? Who would you call for support? The idea here is to remind you that you can handle any challenging situation so the fear of failing doesn’t have such a strong hold over you because you know you could handle that too.
- Now flip it like a pancake – Before you do this next step, go for a walk, make yourself a healthy drink, or stand up and give your whole body a shake to get rid of any previous negative energy. Then flip that scenario completely over just like you would a pancake. Ask yourself, “But what if I did succeed?” Write down all the wonderful things that would happen for you, those you love, your clients, the planet, if you were to totally achieve what you are setting out to do. Let your imagination flow.
- Plan and take action – This last step is the most crucial and that is to list all the things you need to do for that success to happen. Plan it out in order of importance, and then choose one of those items to do immediately. Tony Robbins says, “It’s not a decision unless you take action straight away.” It’s like cementing it into reality by actioning it.
Note: If doubt starts to creep back in, (and it will try) ask yourself, “What would a confident person do to make this a reality?” Or enlist a friend to help you get back on track. Don’t let yourself become another statistic of not facing fear of failure in your business.
Use these steps every time you find yourself saying no when you know you should be saying yes, or every time you find yourself procrastinating, or making excuses for not doing what you know you need to do in order for your business to succeed. Share your success stories in the comments below.