Overcoming the Fear of Failure

No one ever said starting a business was easy. There are many things to consider before you start  - research, test and discover.
But when you add the fear of failure to the picture, it’s no surprise that many aspiring small business owners never get their businesses off the ground. And a further 50% fail within the first 12 months of commencing. The fear of failure is when we allow that fear to stop us doing the things that can move us forward to achieve our goals. Who wants that? 

Fear of failure can be paralysing. It can make you question everything and why you even started. Fear can cause you to over plan and never take the first step. It can eat away at your confidence, and eventually, leave you feeling incapable of taking action.
But for some, that very fear can also be motivating. Here are some handy and effective tips to overcome the fear of failure and push through to success.
  • Do Your Research - Fear of failure can often be exacerbated when there is a lengthy list of unknowns.
    • Arming yourself with the most important data and using it to make smarter decisions can help alleviate the fear of failing.
    • Having access to information, and being ‘in the know’ can be empowering.
    • Keep focused on your purpose.
    • Be diligent and thorough when gathering information, but keep it in perspective. 
  • Create a Business Plan - Writing a business plan isn’t easy, but is worth the effort. An effective plan can help you take an idea from concept and create a thriving business. It can act as your roadmap by guiding you through the entire business start-up and growth process. Set some goals and break down your larger goals into smaller achievable steps (using the SMART goal setting method) to reduce the fear of failure. 
  • Be Flexible - Some may say that creating a contingency plan sets you up for failure, but in reality, having a fall-back plan can make it easier to take a chance. Having some flexibility will help you make adjustments to your primary goal as you go through the process. 
  • Get Support - When you do something alone, it may mean doing it your way but it can be a lonely path. Your support system could be a business partner, spouse, mentor, coach, friend, local networking group, and accountant. If you feel overcome by a fear of failure, trying letting go and embracing the challenge, and you just may be surprised what is possible. 
  • Focus on Growing - The most successful people will tell you they've had more failures than successes, but that's how they became so successful. Don't berate yourself when you make a mistake. Instead, see it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Take that new knowledge and put it to good use. When you make a mistake, reflect, learn, try again and grow. 
  • Focus on The Positives - The things you say to yourself have a significant influence on how you feel and act. When you're consumed with negative thoughts about your performance, your positive attitude will diminish and be replaced by self-doubt.
  • Focus on You. Don’t Worry About What Others Think - Are you afraid to fail because of what other people might think? Some of the greatest inventions of our time were scoffed at initially, but did it stop those savvy entrepreneurs from pursuing their idea? No! Pursue your ideas and passions because you want to and prove them wrong.