The fear of failure – 11 tips on how to manage it

A few days ago, Marks & Spencer (M&S) announced the closure of 14 of its stores with the loss of almost 500 jobs. In the context of 1433 stores, the closure of 14 shops does not represent a disaster for M&S and its directors. However, this is not a good news for the economy and it’s worst for many people’s livelihood.

I’m bringing this example to illustrate two important issue for creative entrepreneurs:

1. Keeping things into perspective

2. The fear of failure

By working “IN” instead of “ON” their business many creative entrepreneurs lose sight of the entire picture and identifying himself too much with the success or failure of their endeavour.

When I’m starting a new project or business, I think of myself as a limited company or an independent entity, away from my persona. This helps me distance myself from my business and reduces the fear of failure.

Being afraid is natural and many of us are afraid of failing. In fact, fear is there to warn and protect us from danger and pain.

On the one hand, we must pay attention to fear as a sign of warning and on the other, we must learn how to manage it and not allow it to stop us from achieving our goals.

Here are some of the things I do when I feel that fear of failure is stopping me moving forward:

Imagine the worst case scenario and start working backwards from it with a less painful outcome until it feels manageable.

Check and eliminate any toxic information, situations and people.

Write a list of all facts at hand for a reality check.

Question myself: is this a founded or just irrational fear?

Discuss my fear with trusted people.

Assess my circle of influence to see if I can do anything about the situation or not.

Have a plan B and C

Imagine a situation where going back would be scarier than move forward

Make a public commitment

Face the situation head-on by eliminating any procrastination or delays.

Do at least one scary thing towards achieving my goal.

As a conclusion:

Keep things into perspective because your business is not your life.

The fear of failure doesn’t have to be this ‘monster’ that you have to run away from. You must face it head on, and you’ll see that most of the terrible situations that you were afraid of did never materialise.

Tomorr Kokona

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