Submitted by Guest Blogger,
Erik Bergman, CoFounder Catena Media
We’re all human, and humans have fears. For example, some fear spiders, and others fear heights. But some people have a difficult time overcoming the fear of failure.
Fear of failure isn’t a made-up phobia. It has a name, and it’s called atychiphobia. People with atychiphobia feel overwhelmed by the thoughts of failing in life, work, and other aspects. They think they’re not good enough, and their actions aren’t good enough to get them over the line.
It can manifest in intense emotions and anxiety. If you’re having difficulty overcoming the fear of failure, I will tell you how to do it.
The tips I will give you won’t work instantly, and you’ll need to work on yourself to beat the phobia. But before atychiphobia gets out of control, do these four things.
Come To Terms With the Fear
Doing anything meaningful in life is scary. Getting married is scary. Starting a business is scary. Yet, these are all things that preoccupy our thoughts, and our first thought is failing.
We build a manufactured fear of failing by not feeling confident in our ability to carry out the task successfully. You shouldn’t think about failing when starting a new business, as you essentially doubt yourself from the beginning.
But fearing failing doesn’t mean you’re doing things wrong – it can mean doing something right. According to Forbes, 80% of small businesses survive the first year. So this notion that your business is going bust before you’ve even launched is nonsense.
We develop fear whenever starting a new challenge in life. It’s up to you to come to terms with it and think of it as a natural occurrence in life.
Learn From Your Mistakes
Your past experiences can be a powerful method of learning. There isn’t a person out there who hasn’t failed, as everyone fails in one way or another. It’s up to you to decide whether the fear of failure will consume you or launch you to greater heights.
Don’t trust us? Look at all the successful entrepreneurs. They’ve all failed before, some even going bankrupt before finding the right idea to succeed. The world would have been much different if they had given up because of their fear of failure.
The perfect example is Steve Jobs. Jobs co-founded Apple but had to leave due to disagreements with his partner, John Sculley. After that, he bought Pixar and founded NeXT. The company was such a massive success that Apple eventually bought it. With this transaction, Jobs found his way back to his old company. From there on, everything is history.
The lesson here is that Jobs learned from his mistakes and found a way back to where he belonged.
Adapt To Each Situation
I mentioned that we fear failure when taking on a new challenge in life. Maybe you fear financial or affectionate commitment. And that’s setting you back.
But one of the best ways to overcome the fear of failure is to find ways to adapt to each challenge. If things aren’t going your way, do something else. The road you take doesn’t have to be the road to success. You can always take a detour, a shortcut, or go on a roundabout to get where you want.
How to react to setbacks will determine if you succeed or fail. But even if you fail, do you want to go in silence or with a big bang? Instead of waiting for the end, try to change the circumstances to give yourself the best possible chance to succeed. Be adaptive to every challenge, and your confidence will grow.
Answer the “What If” Question
People that fear failure have a voice in their head that often says, “what if.” What if my business idea isn’t good? What if I’m not ready to be a mother?
The voice will ask the question, leaving you wondering if failure is your only option. So whenever the “what if” question pops up, answer it. One of the best ways to overcome the fear of failure is to address the fear itself. For example, if you fear your business idea isn’t as good, what would you do to improve it?
While I can’t tell you how to develop a successful business plan on the spot, I can tell you to sit down and brainstorm. Develop new ideas to innovate your business and make it a no-brainer for investors to put their resources into it. Taking on big challenges in life isn’t easy. If it were that easy, everyone would be an entrepreneur.
And the same applies to personal challenges, like getting married, starting a family, or buying your first house. What if you can’t pay your mortgage? Well, come up with a new source of income, ask for a pay rise, and try something to make the fear of failure disappear.
Living in fear will prevent you from being happy and manifesting the life you want. So put the fear to rest by addressing the worst-case scenario and preparing for the worst outcome.
I hope these four things will help you overcome the fear of failure. Fear of failure is a natural response to feeling overwhelmed by the challenges ahead. Unfortunately, these challenges are often massive and require a substantial commitment. They’re meant to be taken seriously, no matter how big or small they seem. So instead of succumbing to your fear, do something to make it go away.
Erik Bergman co-founded Catena Media and helped grow it to over 300 employees and a $200 million valuation before stepping away to start Great.com, an iGaming organization that donates 100% of its profits to environmental charities. In addition to running a successful online affiliate business, Erik also hosts the Becoming Great podcast, shares entrepreneurship tips with his more than 1 million social media followers, and contributes to sites like Entrepreneuer.com, Business Insider, Foundr, and Forbes.