This weekend I decided to invest in myself by attending a 1-day conference. One of the speakers invited was Lauren Bushnell, the lucky lady chosen by the most recent Bachelor. In her talk, she shared her recent journey of transitioning from being a flight attendant to becoming an influencer, tv personality and (most recently) a blogger.
|Lauren & her fiance (Bachlor Ben Higgens)|
Lauren was candid about the challenges she faced during her transition. Being completely new to the online space, she had to overcome a bit of a learning curve. As Lauren described her struggle, she repeatedly told the audience of her fear of failure. I found myself subconsciously rolling my eyes every time the words “fear of failure” were uttered.
I was a bit surprised by my reaction and began to question why I was being so dismissive. After reflecting for a while, I came to an understanding of why I had such an adverse reaction. Lauren, who admitted to being afraid to fail at her new website venture, also proclaimed that her site launch was a huge success! So how does one go from being afraid to fail to launching a super-successful venture?
To answer the question, we must first clarify what we mean when we say “fear of failure.”
I believe that a fear of failure actually refers to a fear of not producing desired results. Failing is such a vague, ominous term that keeps us frozen in place. But when we dig a little deeper, we can get to the real concern and address it head on. Once you realize that your concern is about creating a specific result, you can quickly brainstorm the actions that will produce the results you want.
In Lauren’s case, I suspect her fear was that she’d launch a lifestyle blog that no one would read. Fair enough. Once the fear is clearly identified, it becomes easy to tackle it. In Lauren’s case, she tried out for a reality TV show. That catapulted her into stardom which gave her the benefit of enjoying an instant fanbase. By the time her site launched, she had an eager audience waiting. It was a success!
Sometimes we claim to have a fear of failure and leave it at that. We don’t take the time to dissect our fears to identify what our real concerns our. Do we fail experiencing low results? Do we fear not knowing what to do? Do we fear being uncomfortable?
If we can get specific and identify our true concerns, we can address them directly.
Fear of producing desired results is a much easier issue to address. You can take the massive action route like Lauren or study those who created similar results as you desire and replicate their strategy. Fear of not knowing how or what to do is simple to overcome in this day and age. There are coaches, training programs, YouTube videos. Everything you need to know is available.
On the flip side, there’s the fear of success. I find that I sometimes slow down my efforts in order to avoid too much success at once. The concern is that I wouldn’t be able to handle it all. Instead of staying stuck in place, it’s best to continue moving forward and addressing issues as they arise.
Fearing something that may not take place is kind of a silly way to think about a situation. Why fear something that may never happen? Being afraid of the unknown is an ineffective use of our emotions. Lauren took action despite her fear and was rewarded with a man she loves, a new television show and a budding business.
Let’s not forget the rewards await us as well. Every step we take towards our fears, we receive a benefit. I like to remind myself that much of what I now enjoy is because of the fearless action I’ve taken in the past. That’s such wonderful motivation that helps me move beyond my fears.