Is one of your personal idols Apple founder Steve Jobs? Have you ever considered following his example by going into business for yourself, but is the only thing preventing you from pursing your passion is that you might fail?
Questions like “Am I making a mistake” or “What if my business fails” are all hypothetical scenarios that anyone starting their own business should contemplate. Far too often it's those kind of questions that prevent potential entrepreneurs from making their dream of having their own business a reality.
However, the difference between people who give up on their dreams and Steve Jobs is that he didn’t allow those kind of fear-based questions to dominate, or dictate, his destiny.
So how can an aspiring entrepreneur get over the fear of failure? First of all, experiencing unpleasant emotions like fear is an undeniable aspect of being human that can’t be changed. While there’s no way for anyone to live a totally fear-free life, there are coping techniques you can apply to your situation to help you feel more empowered and less overwhelmed.
What Are Some Coping Techniques I Can Use?
Talk about your fears with someone you trust, then shut up about them. While talking about your fears with another person can be a stress reliever, anything beyond that will cause you to dwell on the negative aspects of your situation.
Feel your feelings. When most people feel fear, their first instinct is to find some way to escape it. Some people try to shop their fears away, while others eat or drink to excess. But in reality no matter how hard you try to run away from you feelings, eventually they will catch up with you. And the sooner you allow yourself to start experiencing your fear the sooner it will begin to pass.
Make a list of your fears. Since writing can be therapeutic, listing your fears on a piece of paper will help calm you down, remove your fears from your thoughts, and allow you to see them from a more realistic perspective.
Start leaving work at work. When someone hoping to start their own business is full of fear, one of the most counterproductive things they can do is let those fears take over every aspect of their lives. This is why it’s important for budding entrepreneurs to learn how to leave work at work. So instead of spending your evenings at home going over paper work, or triple checking sales figures, why not just kick back and relax? Remember your home should be your safe space, not an extension of your office.
Stay in the here and now. When people are consumed by fears it’s easy for them to become so overwhelmed with “what ifs” that they’ll spend more time living in the future than staying in the now. Nothing calms a fear spasm quicker than taking a moment to stop, take a few deep breaths, and appreciate being in the moment.
Take care of yourself. Normally when people are ruled by fear they become so distraught that their eating and sleeping habits get disrupted. Therefore, by forcing yourself to eat balanced meals and get some rest on a daily basis, you’ll eventually regain your concentration and begin to have more of a sense of balance in your life.
Replace every negative thought with a positive one. Whenever you’re feeling anxious about what the future might hold for you and your business, instead of focusing on everything that could go wrong, counterbalance that by creating a mental list of everything that could go right. At the top of that list should be your potential to become a successful entrepreneur.
Change your perception of failure. Instead of seeing the prospect of your business plans falling through as confirmation that you’re a failure, try looking at this possibility in another way. Instead view this outcome as proof that, unlike millions of other wannabe entrepreneurs, at least you had the courage to take a chance and follow your dream.
Finally, if you’re planning to start your own business, but you’re afraid you’ll fail, perhaps the first thing you need is an uplifting personal motto. And in your situation, perhaps the perfect philosophy for you to start living by is that old saying that “It’s the things we don’t do in life that we end up regretting most.”