Today we are talking about something that I am very, very passionate about.
I have worked for myself for the past decade and when I started working for myself, the major thing that I dealt with was fear of failure. I think that happens for most people. When we try something new, we go to do something new, or we go through and introduce ourselves to a new trajectory in our lives or a new path, for sure, there is the fear of “What if I fail? I’ve never done this before. I don’t know if I can do this!”, you know, all that negative stuff.
I think for a lot of people, that’s when most people quit, because the fear of failure is too much compared to the vision that they have for what would happen if they didn’t fail.
I saw this most prevalently in my first business, which was a network marketing business. I think the statistics were that 95% of people will only last the first three months. I mean, that’s a pretty heavy statistic when you’re trying to build a business.
The reason for that is because there is this fear of failure, and it’s just too potent and too much for some people to get past, then there are those people who do stick to it long enough to just develop the skills to understand that…there is no success without failure.
This always reminds me of that Edison quote. I don’t know if it’s an actual direct quote, but Edison is said to have said (about the light bulb):
“I didn’t fail 3000 times, I just found 3000 ways not to do it”
I think it is an incredible quote, whether he said it or not.
So those people that stick out stuff long enough to develop this skill of walking through that fear of failure and subsequently finding success means that they have gathered evidence to say, “Well, I thought I’d fail, and I didn’t, and now I’ve got this ability and this skill”, because, you know, walking with fears and and moving through stuff is a skill, it’s a skill that we build, right?
Then we get comfortable with that fear because the fear never really goes away. I don’t really believe in fearlessness. I think that we just learn to walk with it.
One of the best ways I ever heard that explained and so absolutely beautifully was by one of my old mentors. He said, there are three stages to entrepreneurship and success.
The first stage is that we think “This isn’t worth it”. This isn’t worth my time, it’s not worth how it feels, it’s not worth everybody not understanding what I’m doing. It’s not worth me being judged and it’s not worth me being misunderstood.
Like all this effort I’m putting in isn’t worth it. You know, we talked a lot back then about the difference between an employee mindset and an entrepreneurial mindset, meaning that an employee mindset is very much that I’ve given you an hour of my time, I expect to be paid for that hour. Whereas, when you’re building a business, you give all your time for no money for a long time, and that can be very, very difficult. So the first stage is, this isn’t worth it.
The second stage is, “Oh, this is worth it!” For those people that stick at stage one long enough to start to see the return on their investment of time, effort and money. In some cases, they get to the point where “Oh, this is worth it, I am now seeing a return on my investment and so therefore this is good I am further along than I was when I started, I’m comfortable. This is worth it”.
Then stage three, “I’m not worth this much”. This is when we move to that next level and we get to the position where we feel like the role is easier. The job is easier. The business is easier because we’ve been doing it for so long. It comes more naturally to us. We feel better doing it, it takes less time because we’ve built systems over time, and we’re getting paid far more than we feel we’re worth.
Now, what I think happens for a lot of people is there is so much talk about fear of failure. If you go onto Google and type in quotes about failure, there are thousands upon thousands of quotes. You can read books on it. You can find everything you need to know about fear of failure.
So at this point we get it, we’ve got the resources, we learn and if we’re willing, if we’ve got the vision, we stick to it and get through the fear of failure and then we get to stage two and it’s comfortable.
This is where I think many people get stuck. It’s too comfortable. What kicks in after stage two is what I believe to be more potent than stage one and that is fear of success, and that’s what I want to talk about.
I am so, so excited about the concept of helping women to blast through this fear of success. The reason I’m so passionate about it is because I have broken through it. I have broken through it because of what I believe is the real work beneath the fear of success.
I think it has to do with more than just our own story. Let me explain; A lot of the work I’ve done in the past looked at our story and why we end up the way we do, why we behave, think, feel and have the life experience that we have based on our story. But, I think this is even deeper rooted. It is not only about our story, but this is heavily, heavily influenced by our upbringing, our class, especially if you’re British with our class system, which still exists very much today, our lineage and what was expected of us by our family.
The fear of success, ultimately, I believe, comes from a fear of separateness. This means that if I become this, if I move into this next level, it separates me from my tribe, to use a very basic understanding of what we’re talking about. If I succeed, it makes me different, it makes me stand out, it makes me a target for judgment, criticism and all the negative things. I think that this fear, as entrepreneurs and as business women is far more subtle and that it is a lot less talked about than the fear of failure.
I want to go deep into this conversation, because I believe in my heart, in my soul, that this is the reason why so many women don’t achieve the level of business or success or fulfillment or happiness that they really, truly desire. They just cannot, there is a deep rooted DNA level limitation in them that says, “I can’t go this far, because if I do, I’m separated”.
I have a new, very exciting program coming up very, very soon, so if this is a conversation that you’re interested in, that you can identify with then keep your eyes peeled because information on this program will be dropping soon.
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