Overcoming Your Fear of Failure


Like most everyone else, I've always given a crap. I've cared what people thought, I've cared how they viewed me, and I cared what they said about me. And even though 98% of it was usually good, I – like most everyone else – tended to focus on the 2% who said something negative.

Of course I would tell myself it didn't matter – and then catch myself wondering what people would think the next time I made a decision.

And it's exactly this kind of thinking that leads to fear; specifically, the fear of failure.

Now then, I'm going to get back the whole fear of failure thing in a moment, but I want you to consider something: Imagine you're a sales person. You're new on the job and it's your responsibility to call on total strangers over the phone and in offices to sell them a high ticket item. Scary, right?

However, you know your product inside and out. You know the competition and you know how your product is different from theirs. You know the market. You know just about everything that book smarts can tell you about selling this product.

But you're still afraid to make those sales calls. Why? Because people might say NO. They might REJECT you. They might get ANNOYED or ANGRY with you. They might HURT your feelings.

(As an aside: No one can hurt your feelings without your permission. But we'll save that for another time.)

Now you're freaking out about making sales calls. You're using every stall technique in the world to keep from calling on customers. You're pretty sure you hate this job and you've barely even started.

So let's try an experiment: I'm your sales manager and I want you to turn your mind completely inside out.

Instead of worrying about getting rejected, I want you to take a week and go out and get as many rejections as you possibly can. I want you to visit office after office and I want you to be polite and go through the motions of selling, but I don't want you to count sales. I have no interest in sales. I only want you to count your REJECTIONS. And the sales person who gets the MOST rejections this week gets $100,000 cash.

Can you see yourself running from office to office, breathlessly telling them about your product so you can get to the next office? Can you see yourself working the phones like a madman, stacking appointments up like chord wood so you could get more “NO's”? Can you see yourself GRINNING each time you get turned down?

What a difference a change of thought can make. :-)

Getting back to the fear of failure in Internet Marketing – or the fear of failure in ANYTHING – how can you turn your brain inside out so that you look forward to failing? That is the question of the day. Because if you ask ANY successful person, they went through a lot of failures to reach their success. In fact, their very success is BUILT upon their failures – meaning that if they hadn't tried and failed and tried again, they NEVER would have succeeded at all.

Failure is a prerequisite and a requirement to achieving success. As Markus reminded me in his post, Donald Trump is one of the biggest failures in history, managing to pull off at least 19 business failures over the course of 17 years. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard NOT to start Microsoft as legend would have you believe, but to start Traf-O-Data, a company that turned out to be a colossal failure. Henry Ford went broke 5 times before successfully launching the Ford Motor Company, and so forth.

Behind every successful man and woman is a long and distinguished string of failures.

So let me ask you – what happens if you launch a product and it bombs? What happens if you write a blog post people hate, or you try a traffic system that totally flops? What happens if you build a website and pour everything into it and no one ever visits it but your mother? Have you failed? Or have you begun your journey to success?

I think you know the answer to that one. But it's what you do after your failure that makes all the difference. Most people have a failure, hang their head and quit in shame. And your friends and relatives will probably tell you that's exactly what you should do.

Baloney.

If you're a member of the “I-Don't-Give-A-Crap-Club-For-IMers” then you're trying to fail as fast as you can because you know that every failure gets you that much closer to success. And most of all, you don't give a gosh darn what anybody thinks or says because you KNOW that it doesn't matter what they think or say. The ONLY thing that matters is what you DO.

Did you have to file bankruptcy? Good! Did you crash a business into the ground? Wonderful! Did you try and fail 12 times and get up 13 times? Then you will succeed – it's only a matter of time and perseverance.

So from now on, every time that fear tries to close its clammy hands around your heart, just smile and say out loud, “Bring it on!” You might be shocked to feel the fear almost immediately replaced by a surge of adrenaline and a renewed belief and energy that you will in fact succeed here and now.

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