THE BLOG

Facing Fear Of Failure

27/08/2015 16:54 | Updated 26 August 2016

Learning how to deal with adversity is a skill that every successful entrepreneur must learn to master. The greatest achievers past and present have routinely experienced failures on their way to victory. They understand how to evaluate a situation, refuse to allow a loss to define them and accept their learning's as a way to refine their road map for success.

Whether you're a first time entrepreneur or a seasoned business owner, succeeding in business involves learning how to adapt to feelings of regret, defeat and missed opportunities rather than dwelling on them. Mistakes and failures are a reality of life that can help us to grow yet many of us can become paralyzed by the thought of failing.

Experiencing moments of defeat in business are fairly inevitable in some shape or form and when they strike we have two choices, beating ourselves up and remaining stuck in fear and regret or accepting, releasing and reframing the experience as a learning curve that's made us better equipped to bounce back fighting. Whichever we choose determines whether we'll be a success story or a sob story.

When we're in the eye of the storm, how do we go about ditching regrets, moving on and making a comeback?

Acceptance

Many of us can hold on to the pain and shame that can be associated with failure which derails us from pushing on. Giving yourself a timeline to accept the situation and make peace with the way things turned out is the first step to adjusting to your new reality, coping with adversity is a skill which is acquired, not one we're born with.

Acceptance isn't about not taking responsibility, its knowing when to draw a line under it and move on. By taking a look at the wider picture and examining what went wrong you gain awareness on the contributing factors, were you un-prepared? Did you lose focus? Were you distracted by outside noise? Gathering the facts and giving yourself a timeline to accept what went wrong allows you to strengthen your ability to apply your newfound insights going forwards.

Let go of your inner victim

When things don't turn out as planned, obsessing and wallowing for too long can trap you in an emotional loop of doom and regret. The truth is you're in control of the outcome and the choices you make are in your hands, you can't change the past but you do have an opportunity to shape your future.

Letting go of the nagging voice of the victim means learning how to stop taking things personally and separating a 'failure' from your 'identity'. Failing to find a successful approach the first time round doesn't translate to 'YOU are a failure' these are entirely separate thoughts and it can be easy to blur the lines, the result of doing so can impact your self-esteem and confidence levels which undermine your ability to succeed.

Breaking free from the victim is about increasing your self-awareness, taking charge of where your beliefs stem from and finding ways to move past them instead of allowing them to monopolize your headspace and not taking action. Working with a coach of mentor is a great way for you to get clarity on your blind spots and craft a way to move beyond them. The impact of doing so helps you to build up your resilience, produce a better outcome and replace the reflection of a victim with one of a survivor.

Reframing

Whilst some entrepreneurs may prefer to sweep worries under the rug, the most accomplished ones are able to fully acknowledge their faults and maintain an optimistic attitude when mishaps arise. Failure doesn't mean you're not cut out to run your own business it just means you've discovered an approach that hasn't worked with each mistake providing an opportunity to learn something new.

Reframing an experience involves taking the lesson from it by understanding how you could have done better and what you can do differently in the future. When you reframe a situation as a lesson your mind diverts towards problem solving and focuses on how you can get back out there and do things differently in the future. Letting go of the voice of fear in your mind and replacing it with more positive associations and asking yourself quality questions such as what if failure meant being one step closer to success? What if it meant I'm more savvy and smarter from the knowledge I've gained? If failure was empowering, what would i be able to accomplish? Entirely shifts your perspective helping you to develop the thick skin required for it to no longer hold power over you.

Overcoming failure and living a life of no regrets doesn't mean perfection, it means approaching challenges and making decisions with a little more thought. It's about looking back and learning not to regret any of the choices you've made and maintaining an inner knowing that you have the power to bounce back and transform the outcome whichever way the chips may fall so that you can turn a setback into a comeback.