Every entrepreneur—actually every human I know—is afraid of failure at some point or in certain situations. Any time we step out of our comfort zones, we face fear head on. For business people in particular, our identities can become so enmeshed with our professions that taking chances or possibly failing can cause a personal crisis.
Fear of failure is the intense worry you experience when you imagine all the horrible things that could happen if you fail to achieve a goal. Such intense worry tends to hold you back or makes you give up.
How can you learn to use failure to your advantage, rather than dreading it? Let me share a few lessons from my own life.
I began my career in the pharmaceutical industry, opening a chain of pharmacies in Winnipeg. In 2001, I founded an online pharmacy company. Most recently, I’ve entered the real estate field.
I would not have made those transitions without embracing some important principles.
First, confidence is key—and self-generating. When you take steps to enrich your life by moving in a new direction, you will build the confidence and momentum you need to continue on the path to creating a new life.
Secondly, redefine failure. If you can think of “failure” as learning something new, you’ll be miles ahead. Reframe the way you think. And, don’t take failure personally. Too often, we incorporate failure into our identities. You’ll need to overcome thoughts like, “I am not good enough” or “I will never be successful as an entrepreneur.”
Third, anticipate obstacles in advance, but move forward anyway. If you come up with a plan to deal with potential problems before they arise, you’ll defuse a lot of fear. Visualize overcoming issues with confidence.
Fourth, but most importantly, takes steps to nurture your motivation and your vision. I have found that the drive to create something out of nothing and watching it grow motivates a person to shake off failure – whether you’re a writer with a rejected manuscript, or like me, you have experienced some failures in business. It’s the motivation to create something new that helps you get past it.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, I want to encourage you, because this life isn’t always easy. It comes packed with challenges and can try the most patient person. But the rewards outweigh the risk if you position yourself for success. You have to be bolder and braver and stop worrying about rejection or making mistakes, because both can be instructional over time.