Do You Suffer From Fear of Failure?
I didn't think I had a fear of failure anymore. I thought I had conquered that beast long ago, but I was wrong– I just had buried it deep.
Fear of failure is something many people have and aren't aware of, but it can really hold you back– if you let it.
In this video, I talk about my own fear of failure and how I overcame it and give some advice for overcoming your own fears.
Remember, courage isn't the lack of fear, but instead, action in spite of fear.
Full transcription below
John: Hey everyone! John Sonmez from simpleprogrammer.com and about a couple of weeks ago I realized that there was a pretty big fear of mine that I thought I concurred, but I didn’t really understand. I kind of want to talk about that experience today and maybe this will help you out a little bit as well.
I actually found that I still had a pretty big fear of failure. I actually entered this competition a few weeks ago with a couple of buddies of mine that we have a weekly meeting that we discuss our ideas and our businesses and figure out how we can learn from each other. We had this competition to try to make some money online. Basically the competition was try to make $100 online using nothing that you have. You can’t use your Twitter account or Facebook or blog or anything like that. You just have to create something and sell it or beg people for money however you wanted to, to make about $100 online.
It turned out that I actually created a project that you can find at devcareerboost.com or on simpleprogrammer.com to help developers learn how to market themselves. I presold it that day and I was able to succeed at doing that. In fact, I’ll tell you the results in a little bit here. But up to that day of the competition, we had basically 24 hours to do this competition, I was afraid. I was afraid of this competition.
Now, making $100 online in a day is not really something that’s going to change my life. It’s not like that $100 is going to really significantly impact my life, but I was afraid. I had to really think about this and say, “What was I afraid of?” It turned out, I was afraid of failure. I was afraid that I would fail at this task that I wouldn’t succeed and this was something that I had not thought was still ingrained in me. In fact, I’ve done so many things in my career doing things even like creating these YouTube videos that I felt like I had concurred that fear of failure. But this put it to the test for me and made me realize that I still had that fear of failure. Because if I was afraid of anything, what was I afraid of?
It made me realize this is a really important thing to conquer and to try to get over in our lives and in our careers if we’re going to be successful. Because even with all the things that I had done, the ways I had pushed myself in the past few years, I still had this fear of failure because it doesn’t really ever go away. In fact, I’ve been finding recently that you can’t really conquer fear. That courage is not the absence of fear but courage is action in spite of fear. We have to have courage. We have to push forward even though we’re afraid of things especially when we’re afraid of failure.
What this looks like is it looks like going forward with a project, going forward with something and saying, “Hey, I’m not going to fail, but if I do, that’s not a big deal. I’m going to keep on pushing forward and I’m going to keep on trying. Maybe I’ll fail 50 times. It doesn’t matter.”
I know. Again, easy to say that, hard to do but it’s something to recognize within yourself. Anytime you’re hesitant about doing something, taking on some new project or responsibility or doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable it may be because you’re afraid of failure. When you look at it you’ve got to think about it and say, “What really are you afraid of? What really is the worst that could happen?”
In my case with this challenge, let’s say that I didn’t sell anything, I didn’t make any money online or maybe I made a couple of dollars, big deal. What would happen? I would have to go and tell my buddies what I did, what I tried and maybe they would laugh at me, but chances are they’re not even going to laugh at me. We’re a supportive group helping each other. Even if they did, big deal, it wouldn’t hurt me. I would still have my health. It wouldn’t cost me any money. I would have just wasted some time and I would have had a realistic picture of my own abilities.
One thing is maybe, you know, maybe to some degree I was afraid of finding out what I was really made of, but we have to be able to have an eye for reality to see what’s actually going on if we want to be successful. So, what’s the worst that could happen? We’re fearing failure a lot of times and it just doesn’t make sense because failure isn’t really that big of a thing to fear of.
Now, I’ll tell you the results of what happened. I actually did good. My fears were not what they should be. I ended up reselling about 7 copies of this course, this package that I’m putting together to help developers learn how to market themselves at devcareerboost.com. I’m still taking some preorders now and I ended up making about $525 or so and so I succeeded.
Now, if I had failed it really wouldn’t have been that bad anyway but I had to push myself. I almost wanted to quit before I actually started that project. I almost wanted to call in sick and say, “Guys, yeah, I don’t know. I’m having second thoughts about this competition” but I didn’t. In fact, I pushed through the entire day. There were a couple of points during the day where I was afraid that I wasn’t going to succeed, that I wanted to quit and just pretend like not give it my all so that I wouldn’t feel the pain of having given something my all and have failed. But I said, “No, I’m just going to keep going. I’m just going to push through and see what happens.”
So hopefully you found this advice useful. It’s something that I know a lot of people struggle with. I’m telling you from experience that you just got to learn to have the courage. Remember, the key thing I always repeat to myself, “Courage is not the lack of fear. It’s acting in spite of fear.”
Well, thanks for watching this video. Let me know what you think about the fear of failure. Do you have fear of failure? Do you have any stories and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel if you liked this video and I’ll talk to you guys and gals next week. Take care.