Overcoming fear of failure in business
Published in Develop New Skills
After a challenging year for most entrepreneurs, it can be difficult to look past the uncertainty and address your failures head-on. Whether it’s personal or professional, most of us equate failure with a sense of shame particularly when we’re constantly comparing ourselves to our peers. Often the paralysing fear of failure can be a crutch that prevents progress and growth, especially when you are trying to launch a successful business.
So how can aspiring founders address their deepest fears to become the best versions of themselves?
Ahead of our Fear of Failure event hosted by UK Black Tech, we share some practical tips for facing your fears head-on and changing your perspective on failure to excel in business.
Failure can be healthy
Many iconic business leaders profess about the importance of failing hard and fast in business. Whether it’s Oprah, Disney or Spielberg, many of the greats took a well-trodden journey littered with failure on their path to success. Indeed, if you’re not failing at one point or another when launching your business, you should ask if you’re pushing yourself enough. Failure helps us come out of our comfort zones and challenges us to constantly improve ourselves. Change your mindset when it comes to failure and accept it as a natural part of any business success story.
Anticipate possible hurdles
After a year filled with uncertainty for most, you’ll be forgiven for feeling anxious about launching your enterprise. More often than not, we create invisible barriers that prevent us from taking that first crucial step on a business journey. Whilst nobody disputes the very real obstacles to business success, it’s those invisible barriers that tend to fill us with trepidation. Address these by compiling a list of potential obstacles and breaking down how you plan to overcome them. Once they’ve been documented, it’s much easier to identify the actual and perceived hurdles that hinder your success.
Total perfection is elusive
If you’ve spent countless hours scrolling through social media at glossy images of private jets and glamorous offices you’re certainly not alone. We are all guilty of trying desperately to strive for the often unattainable level of perfection portrayed on social media, and as they say ‘comparison is the thief of joy’. It’s important to stay in your own lane and remember that the only person you’re in competition with is yourself. Be realistic with your business goals to reduce the possibility of failure and bear in mind that those posed images often hide years of toiling behind the scenes. Allow yourself space to make mistakes, fail and grow. Chasing perfection can be draining so break down your big ambitions into smaller more manageable chunks instead.
Inaction is the enemy of progress
Think back to your childhood, can you recall how many times you fell before finally walking unaided? Sometimes it helps to approach your fears with a child-like mind. Children lack the life experience and awareness that adults have, which means feelings of failure are not present. Much like a child learning to walk after several attempts, as an aspiring entrepreneur you need to take those tentative first steps on your business journey if you want to experience any semblance of success. A lack of action can stifle your progress and leave you feeling stuck and stagnated. Fear can hold you back from achieving your dreams and this crutch only leads to regret in later life. Instead of worrying about everything that could go wrong when you launch your business, why not take a moment to consider all the things that could go right?
If any of these points sound familiar, then our Fear of Failure event is just for you!
Join UK Black Tech in this virtual interactive session to discover a framework for overcoming your fear and building the confidence to finally launch your business. This guided session will help aspiring founders to understand and work through their fears and take action to address them. Whether you’re a sole founder or in a partnership, you’ll leave the session equipped with a 4-step framework and a set of tools to identify, overcome and manage the fears holding you back from business success.
This session is hosted by award-winning lawyer Claudine Adeyemi, CEO and Founder of CareerEar. As well as being a trustee for the Employers’ Network for Equality and Inclusion, Claudine is a WEF Global Shaper and was listed as the EMpower #1 Future Leader as presented by the Financial Times.
She shared her personal advice on overcoming the fear of failure and how to address setbacks in a healthy way.
“My first bit of advice is to look for the positives and accept that everything happens for a reason. For example, when dealing with rejection shift your perspective and think about how you can focus on other important things like upskilling or seeking constructive feedback to help you continually improve.”
“My second tip is to reflect on the lessons you can learn from your setbacks. This negates the feelings of ‘failure’ because the experience will leave you more knowledgable, more aware and more capable than you were before. I like to take the time out to think about what I have learned and how I can adopt those lessons going forward.”
“Finally, one of my mottos in life is that if you face a problem which is outside of your control then you have to let it go, whereas if that problem is something within your control – do something about it. Often, when we experience what we perceive as failure, something has happened which is outside of our control and there is an air of finality about the situation. I believe that it is important to analyse the situation and if the outcome is completely outside of your control, you should let it go and move on.”
Hear more from Claudine Adeyemi when you book your free tickets for the UK Black Tech x Stride virtual event and discover practical advice for overcoming failure in business.