Overcoming the Fear of Failure
What is worse? To fear something so bad that you do not even dare to give it try, or the regret of never trying?
I guess it depends on what it is. Have you noticed how nine out of ten times our fear of failure is unfounded? I have learned to think: “If I do this, if I act; what is the WORST thing that can possibly happen?” and I also like to think “If I do take action, what is the BEST thing that can happen?” So, when you stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being excited about what could go right you are on your way to freedom.
To win at anything in life you have to lose the fear of failure. Failure is part of the process. I am pretty sure that everyone worries about failing at some point in their life. People who never fail never try. When I ask older people about fear and failing, quite a few have told me that the fear of failure has been their biggest failure in life. “I wish I had done this and that when I was younger……” is what I hear.
Some people believe that failure is the opposite of success. It is not, it is a part of it. The older I get the better I see this. If you are afraid of falling off a bike you will never learn to cycle. If you are afraid of getting burned you can never cook anything in the oven, under the grill or on a stove. If you are afraid of starting a side hustle or business you will always depend on your salary.
There will always be a chance that you could lose money invested and time spent on any type of start-up business. All types of start-up carry that risk. If you never take a risk in order to achieve more in life you will always stay where you are. In Network Marketing we have a mentorship program and system where those who make a plan for success, stick with it, are willing to learn and take action over a period, have a greater chance of success than failure.
Do not be afraid to fail. Think of all failing as “lessons learned”. Rather, be afraid of not trying. Do not get old and sit there thinking: “what if I had given it a real try – where could I have been then – what kind of life could I have lived?”
Have you ever been so afraid of failing at something that you decided not to try at all? Or has the fear of failure, consciously or subconsciously, undermined your own efforts to avoid the possibility of a larger failure?
But before I tell you the story about my business partner Martin Suchy, let me tell you where the expression “burn the boats” comes from. The ancient Greeks established a well-deserved reputation for bravery, discipline, and determination in battle. They were well trained, well led, and most of all, well-motivated and therefor successful. They were master motivators and understood how to find commitment and prepare their soldiers for victory. To infuse their army with a spirit of commitment, the moment they landed on the enemy’s shore, the Greek commanders gave order to “burn the boats.” Imagine the tremendous psychological impact on the soldiers as they watched their boats go up in flames. There was no turning back. Once their boats were burned, they realised that the only way they were going home was through victory.
Martin’s story represents the same for me. He wasn’t yet 30 years old when he was offered the ASEA business opportunity. At that time, he lived in Europe and was an employee. His dreams were BIG and his termination was laser sharp. He started his business as a side hustle and struggled a bit in the startup phase. He was scared of failure but embraced yet every “failure” and looked at it as rehearsal, new experience and building up his knowledge. He kept pushing, determined to never give up. He spent all his free time on consulting, testing, and trying new tweaks and things to build his business. After a few months and still not a tremendously big success, but a lot wiser, the company announced the opening of a brand-new market; Malaysia. Martin looked at this as his opportunity to “burn all boats” and do whatever it takes to succeed.
He took a loan in the bank (just as he would have taken a loan to start a coffee shop, a store or a “traditional business”), left a secure job in Europe and left family and friends to move to Malaysia. He did not know a single person there, and he did not speak the local language. To me this is like “burning all boats” – there was no option for him not to succeed. This happened in end of 2018. Let me make a long story short: Martin was scared of failure, and for a period he was not sure if he had done the right thing, but he kept sharing his knowledge and continued to push through by helping others discover their potential. He had already done his due diligence and knew that the WORST that could happen was that he had to return to Europe, get a new job and pay back his loan. He also knew that the BEST that could happen was that he achieved financial freedom and could live his life on his own terms.
The victories started to happen. Martin has lived through the pandemic in Malaysia, and his business has grown every year since 2018, when he started his journey. He has retired his father in the Czech Republic. He found the love of his life in Malaysia. They got married in June and had a party with 150 guests. Natasha and Martin are designing a life and a future that others can only dream about. All because Martin’s dream about winning was bigger than his fear of failure.
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