Fears That Drown Dreams
There are many reasons why an individual doesn’t pursue the dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Some are legitimate reasons, including the fact that personal desires and dreams don’t include being in business for yourself. Some people simply don’t have a desire to be in business for themselves and that is perfectly legitimate.
However, it is interesting to note that studies show that 70% of the people surveyed indicated that they had a desire to own a business, and yet so many never pull that trigger. Sometimes financial constraints, or personal and family reasons, are the inhibitors that simply won’t allow for the beginning of a new venture.
While there are certainly legitimate reasons why a person may not become an entrepreneur, I will focus on one of the main reasons cited by people that would like to begin a business but haven’t made that leap. I will also offer some thoughts on how to defeat the fear, and progress towards the dream.
Fear of Failure
This particular item is probably the most paralyzing of all reasons. Yet, if we examine all of the successful people we know, both past and present, we will come to understand that they have not been frozen by the fear of failure. That poses the question, should we not try to emulate the practices of those that are successful? If so, then the primary challenge is to shed the fear of failure. They did – all of them. It doesn’t mean they didn’t experience it, but it does mean they climbed past it.
In their book entitled “Power Networking”, Sandy Vilas and Donna Fisher proclaim that ‘life is either a daring adventure or nothing’. Their message is that if you don’t dare to pursue opportunities, then you will be stuck where you are forever. I am a true believer in a similar concept that if there is no risk, then you’re playing it way too safe.
To explain by way of a metaphor, if a basketball player finishes a game with no fouls, they were probably playing too safe, they probably didn’t take risks that should have been taken, and they did not achieve their optimum result. And yet, each foul is a failure – but a failure that is a part of the overall success. And one that is allowed by the rules of the game.
As humans, we have a biological make up that provides for the natural instincts to fight or run. When we feel the fear of failure, we feel anxious and nervous, which causes us to tighten up and stop positive actions. We then tend to convert to natural defense mechanisms and escape to meaningless and time-eating activities. Instead of taking action, we bury ourselves in television d other media, computer minutia, or whatever the particular medicine of the day dictates. That’s the run-and-hide reflex.
Our natural reaction is out of sight, out of mind – no worries. Of course that means finding solutions or finding change for the better becomes a very difficult feat. The contrary, and effective, line of thought is, bring it out and deal with it. Picture the worst result, and then use your imagination to identify alternatives. Realizing that the worst scenario can have alternatives is powerful medicine, which will relieve the pressure and make action possible.
As you can imagine, the most powerful, the most successful, have faced the fear, acted upon it, and realized that they can survive it. That realization is a tremendous springboard to prosperity. Susan Jeffers said, “feel the fear and do it anyway”.
If I had to summarize six steps or thoughts to deal with the fear of failure they would be:
1) Act boldly
2) Persist and never, ever give up
3) It’s not personal
4) Change things, change results; keep things the same, don’t expect different results
5) Ease up on yourself – tomorrow’s coming anyway
6) Look for possibilities – there are always alternatives
One final thought about this subject – fear incapacitates unsuccessful people.