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How To Lead When You’re Terrified Of Failure

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The first stage of growing your business requires the basics of gaining clients, selling your services, and fulfilling your services. While new, your self-reliance makes it easier to step into the newness of the situation and build your business.

As you reach the stage of scalability, you find yourself having to rely on the efforts of others. You build your team and find that you have less control over the work. You have people looking to you for leadership, direction, and encouragement. 

The weight of those responsibilities launches you into a transition that will require you to work as much on yourself as you work on your business. Each day in your business requires you to manage opportunities, problems, and people in a new way.

In short, your business requires something new of you, which is scary. Suddenly, you are wrestling with the fear of failure as you work on leading your team and business to the next level.

Failure is learning, and learning is a necessary part of success. That makes sense intellectually, but without tools and techniques to harness yourself, it will be challenging to create an environment for success to happen.

Get fear out of the driver’s seat

After the 2015 release of Inside Out, a Pixar Film about the personification of 5 emotions, stories were shared with the creators that told of the impact the movie had on its viewers. One of the stories that emerged was of a young family at their local pool. The son, a young boy, caught the eyes of his parents as he steadily marched to the highest dive board.

His parents held their breath as they watched their child climb the ladder rung by rung to the top, walk to the edge, take a breath, and proceed to dive off into the pool below. What was so amazing about this seemingly simple, normal act? 

Their son was terrified of the high dive. Imagine being so afraid that your body launches into a shivering terror over one thing that seems so easy for others. When the little boy reached his parents, they asked, “What changed? That was amazing, but how?”

The little boy shared that when he watched the film, he realized that fear was natural and healthy, but he had allowed fear to be in the driver’s seat for too long. “I just asked fear to get out of the driver’s seat and let joy have a turn.”

Courage is not the absence of fear; it’s the ability to step through fear. Because fear is one of the most potent basic human emotions, you are not going to be able to rid yourself of fear, but you can learn to manage it.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”  – Jack Canfield

Get it on paper

This exercise is not one to amplify your fear, but you do need to give it a name. The process of writing things by hand has an impact of pulling thoughts out of your head. When something like fear repeats over and over in your mind, it magnifies and amplifies. With this amplification, the fear grows and creates inaction because the fear seems insurmountable. Writing out the fear names it. If you name it, you can actively mitigate it.

Mitigate the Risks

“What is the worst thing that could happen?” The purpose of the question is not to find all the ways you can fail. It’s to understand what the perceived risks are. If you know what the risks are, then you can put in place watch guards and plans to reduce those risks. You can cut things off at the pass.

When you list out all of the things that could happen, you will likely find that 50% of the list is not possible or probable. 

An additional 25% of the list is more about how you fear that you’ll be perceived by others (give yourself a little grace with these). What would you say to the 10-year-old version of yourself who was about to try something new and had the same fears? You would likely extend more kindness and grace to others than you are willing to give yourself.

The remaining 25% of the list comprises risks that you can mitigate or reduce. What are the metrics you could put into place to act as an early warning system? If, in the unlikely case, these risks come to reality, what plan can you put into place?

This little exercise is more impactful than you can imagine. It puts you back in control by adopting a more strategic approach to the situation—and that’s right where you want to be.

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

Paint the picture

In Brene Brown’s book, ‘Dare to Lead’, she tells a story of working with company leaders who liked to ‘paint it done’ by defining your expectations, the requirements, and what success will look like. You verbally paint the picture of what ‘done’ means in your vision of success. The purpose of the exercise is to define what the end result would be so that everyone has a clear expectation of what success is.

What are your expectations of the situation? If your fear is about failure, what would be heaven? How would you feel? How would you know that you achieved success? What would your team say? What would the office sound like?

Painting the picture of success is critical to achieving success. It also helps highlight when you are on the right path.

Manage the process, not the work

When it comes to your team, the fear of failure from the business owner manifests a situation where the owner micromanages the team. A business owner can quickly become angry and frustrated with their team. In the end, the fear of failure drives the business owner into paranoia and then boom—the business owner creates the physical manifestation of what they fear.

If you find yourself headed down this road, know that it is normal. This situation is a critical place of transition for you. The key is to shift your primary focus from ‘doing the work’ to ‘getting the work done.’

For many of us, there has been a certain amount of pride and value placed on our ability to do the work, to put in the hours. If your business is going to continue to grow, you need to be able to let go of the work and find value in guiding others toward a common goal.

Trust your team to get the job done. Manage the results that you are looking to achieve and allow your team to rise to the occasion. While you will have missteps in hiring and managing your team, all these learnings create a better definition of success.

You are likely to have some bumps and scrapes along the way. When that happens, take ownership and then take positive action. Ask for grace from yourself and from your team. Your team is not looking to you for perfection. They will respect you for learning along the way while everyone in the business grows and shares in the benefit of being in it together.

How do you manage to control your fear of failure? Share your thoughts and ideas with us below!

Leslie Hassler is a dynamic author, speaker, and business strategist guiding women owned, service-based businesses into more profits, cash flow, and success. Business owners come to Leslie tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed from constantly putting out fires instead of thinking strategically to scale. Using her more than 12 years of experience in business, finance, mindset, and more, Leslie takes multiple 6 and 7 figure businesses from cash-strapped and struggling to profitable and thriving with her unique Scaling Rich Method. Her genius has also been featured on stages around the United States such as the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, and more. If you are interested in exploring the next steps you need to take to grow your service based business to the next level, check out Leslie’s quiz here to get on the path so you can finally Scale Rich.

Success Advice

5 Things You Can Learn From The 5am Club by Robin Sharma

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It has been said by Robin Sharma, “5 AM is the time of least distraction, highest human glory, and greatest peace.” This also happens to be the central idea or the core value he has discussed in his book, ‘The 5 Am Club.’ Speaking of early mornings, at what time do you wake up? Are you annoyed by the fact that you wake up on the edge of time and then rush to work in haste? 

The life lessons put forth by The 5 AM Club are exactly the learning and motivation you need to challenge your complacency. In your race against time, you may not have the time to read this fabulous book. So, we have summed up the key book’s takeaways for your convenience.

1. The vigor of waking up early

This is what the book’s most fundamental advice to everyone is. Waking up at 5 am every day can work wonders to avert failures and make success a natural habit. When we wake up at 5 am, we have more time on our hands than others. Besides, this is when we have minimum interruptions and maximum powerfulness of the mind. 

To add, the early morning peace is priceless! You can schedule your most important tasks of the day between 5am, and 8am. This book teaches us in the simplest way, how we can train our mind and strengthen it to deliver the highest productivity by waking up early. This energy that you have when you wake up in the morning and the few additional hours in your day are what serve as perfect ingredients for success.

“The secret to productivity is simplicity.” – Robin Sharma

2. The power of finding the right balance in life

The book talks about a precious lesson of finding the right balance within. We often talk about the need for mindfulness and achieving the right mindset to perceive things. But this book goes a few steps ahead of our usual approach to life. It highlights the vitality of mindset and introduces the concepts of heartset, healthset, and soulset.

These terms may seem new, but they are self-explanatory. The idea of heartset endorses the essentialness of emotional stability and well-being. Next, the perspective of healthset indicates the need to look after physical health. At last, soulset is an attribute of spirituality. As explained in this book, success prospects can be enhanced big time by achieving the right balance between these internal virtues.

3. The iconic 20/20/20 modus operandi

What is the first thing you will do if you start waking up at 5 am every day? Did you ever spare a thought about it? This book has the answer to this question, and you will be convinced that it is a great way to begin your day!. The author suggests that you should split the first hour of the day into three equal parts of 20 minutes each.

In the first 20 minutes of the day, you should prioritize your physical fitness and exercise. In the next 20 minutes, you should energize your soul and spirit via self-reflection and soulful meditation. This will prepare you for the rest of the day and will enable you to bolster your commitment and focus. In the last 20 minutes of the first hour, you should read and learn. But what are you going to read about in those 20 minutes? Read about successful people and their inspiring journeys to the pinnacle of success.

4. The significance of a proper sleep schedule

In this book, there is a mention of ‘a ferocious global sleep recession’, which is intriguing and enlightening. It hints at the state of sleep deprivation that this world is sinking into gradually. We often associate success and hard work with the notion of staying up all night and testing our endurance beyond limits. But that is not the right approach to accomplishing success, or rather, it is a flawed methodology.

Sometimes even if we do not have any critical work, we keep whiling our night time on social media or television. What are we gaining from it is the real question, and I am afraid the answer is nothing! We learn from this book that it is critical to look after your sleep cycle and start your day at 5 am afresh. Sleep and rest are indispensable for mental and physical well-being, or your productivity will decline.

“If you want to have the results only 5% have, you must be willing to do and think like only 5% do and think.” – Robin Sharma

5. The art of evolving

The book sheds light on the need to be spiritual and master self-reflection. However, do you realize the purpose that the routine of reflection each morning serves? The idea is to keep learning, keep reflecting on the mistakes and keep evolution an ongoing process. You should evolve every day and strive to be a better version of yourself every day. So, one of your primary goals after waking up should be to reflect on your actions and missed opportunities of the previous day.

To recapitulate, The 5 AM Club is a must-read book if you are a passionate reader. It has the prowess and charm to refurbish your perception of life altogether. Even if you cannot read the book for some reason, make sure you incorporate the above key takeaways into your life. By starting your day at 5 am, you can rediscover your lost soul and enthusiasm, and you would not have complaints to make about the lack of time. If you can own your mornings, you can go places on the ladder of success, for excuses are only for those who are not committed to their goals.

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Success Advice

Prepare Yourself for Prosperity With These 6 Success Habits

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Success stories don’t come from naturally successful people. They come from ordinary people with starry eyes and big dreams who stayed true to their end goal and consistently put in the work. They are just like you and me. What sets them apart is their mindset — a success mindset. (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Overcome the Emotional Rollercoaster of Success

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If you’re reading this, I’ll let you in on a little secret: you’re a human being. You have feelings, emotions, beliefs, complexity, and a mind that’s always racing. Your feelings at any given moment in your life have the power to affect what you do and how consistently you do it. (more…)

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Success Advice

5 Important Choices that Make Life Worth Living and Success Taste Sweeter

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As we start another year, you’re probably thinking about your life goals, dreams, aspirations, and what you want to accomplish. We know that New Year’s resolutions have gotten a bad reputation because most people lose focus after the first few months and the first signs of resistance. (more…)

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