Fear of Failure - why none of the old platitudes apply to me (…or you for that matter)!
If only the fear of failure could be overcome by the old cliché’s!
I don't know if you've ever attended a meeting held by a mainstream addiction coping program or not. I've attended in support of a few close friends of mine over the years and I always find the introductions segment right at the beginning of these sessions to be the most powerful part. Typically, each attendee begins by giving their name and then identifying with the addiction which is the focus of their involvement in the program. So, it goes something like this "Hi, I'm Bill, and I'm an alcoholic and an addict." To which the group responds "Hi Bill!" Many times, Bill will then say a few words about his journey which may include things he's loved and lost, feelings he's dealt with or is working through, and oft times a word or two about things happening right now. And so it goes at group sessions around the world. People facing down big hairy addiction monsters, together, openly.
So, why am I talking about addictions in my business blog? Well, I'm so glad you asked! Here goes: In my best "12 Step Program" intro voice - "Hi, my name is David. I'm an entrepreneur and I fear failure." That's right, you heard me. I fear failure. No platitudes like "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!” - Franklin D. Roosevelt or "Fear is just feedback and feedback is the breakfast of champions.” - Ken Blanchard, Simon T. Bailey. Nope, not getting off that easy. You wanna know why? Because fear is an addiction.
That's right folks; I'm asserting that we are addicted to our fears. To be abundantly clear, our fears give us crutches, comfy reasons for our mediocrity, and ultimately, excuses for inaction. You've likely heard that fear paralyzes. Well, this is HOW fear paralyzes. It makes us comfortable where we are and builds a seemingly impenetrable wall between us and our goals.
Many times I attempt to deal with my fears by applying the old “just do it” approach. The thing is, sometimes this works for forcing action but it rarely works for actually systemically repairing the underlying problem. The underlying problem is that the fear of failure is a warm blanket on a cold day, even if we don’t typically see it that way. It’s a friend, not a foe. It helps us explain away things; to ourselves. What may help us deal with the problem at a systemic level is understanding that our fears are like an addiction and that we must “cope” in a way more consistent with coping with addiction. Most all of the effective programs dealing with addition have two powerful components in common: 1.) They incorporate BOTH group and individual accountability and support. 2.) They maintain a constant reminder that the addiction is ever-present whether in “remission” or not. This “ever-presence” tends to foster a vigilance which allows the individual to see the addiction as a separate entity to both respect and divert using the support resources available beyond their own will.
As entrepreneurs and business owners, we need to understand that despite the feeling that we’re an “island”, success is not likely to be complete in that framework. We need to add other people into the equation to allow us to expand our ability to engage fear of failure and WIN. Not sure where or how to get the accountability? Vision Consulting Group can help! Want Proof? CLICK HERE!