What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur
Fear of Failure
Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures
Is Fear of Failure Getting in the Way of Your Success? It's normal to feel afraid of failure. But when that fear prevents you from taking actions then there's a problem. Being overly cautious can be prohibitive to your success.
Fear of failure is a perfectly natural human trait. Without it we'd all be living our lives in the most reckless of ways.
In fact most of us worry that we might not be capable of meeting expectations at some point in our lives, be that personally or on a professional basis. Some people, however, get it bad and are plagued by worries about trying new things, making mistakes or making fools of themselves if they get it wrong.
Such a severe fixation on the threat of failure can be prohibitive to success. If you always stay within your comfort zone in order to avoid all possible pitfalls in life then you are unlikely to feel confident about new ventures.
Fear often stops people setting off on the path to success. Call it pessimism, or even prudence, taking no action at all doesn't get anyone anywhere. That's not to say that all entrepreneurs must be dare-devil types who wing their way through life. Far from it. Their secret is that they weigh the pros and cons of risk taking very carefully before acting. That's entirely different from not doing anything at all. And it's entirely different from acting in a rash way.
The truth is that most successful businesspeople will admit to having made mistakes before. The key factor here is that they expected to make them and they expected to learn from them. It's rare that a business idea takes off and runs like clockwork in its infancy. So rather than be afraid of failing, you need to adjust your thinking and be prepared for possible hiccups, but teach yourself not to view them as failures but as part of the learning curve.
The main objective, if you do suffer with fear of failing, is not to allow the fear to prevent you taking action. Acknowledging your trepidation is actually a good thing, and in some cases might actually make you a more circumspect business person ij the long run.
We're taught as children that 'you never know until you try', and that old adage, tired though it may seem, is one that the fearful entrepreneur might embrace.
Obviously, if you do have a deep seated fear of failure then launching headlong into a high commitment project probably isn't the best idea. Instead try the slowly but surely approach. Perhaps take a business course that will help you to understand how business actually works. Sometimes it's merely a fear of losing control of a situation that prevents us from fully engaging.
Informing yourself as much as possible about the probable outcomes of your actions will prepare you for most eventualities. Of course no one can predict external factors that may influence how well a business might fare, but the informed entrepreneur can get close to knowing the likely outcome if they educate themselves.
Knowledge, as they say, is power. It's also a great salve to the nagging pain of fear. When you outline all the possible outcomes from a course of action prior to talking it, then you won't be shocked or disappointed when you have to revert to plan B or rethink your strategies.
Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."
Share this article
Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs