The Fear of Failure?

wednesday's with wayne Aug 19, 2020

Procrastination is your barometer of commitment.

The truth is that you have completed the things you truly believe in. 


There are things we don’t like to do. Those are tasks and the outcomes are more essential than the distaste of doing the things we don’t like. I don’t like getting into the muck and yuck of waste pipes, but you know what… if the outcome is that I have to run a snake/auger down an outside trap to open a line, that’s better than having yucky stuff bubble up through the plumbing. (Yucky stuff is the technical term, by the way.)


That example is to say that I’m more committed to the outcome than I am thwarted by the process.  And yet, there are things we don’t do. We tell ourselves that they’re too hard. We tell ourselves we’re scared of what might happen.


I’ve worked with some amazingly talented people over the past three and a half decades: some organizational leaders, some solo-entrepreneurs, some creatives. All of them (because they are – we are – all human) had goals they said they wanted to achieve, and they didn’t follow through. The excuses were wonderful, elaborate, and the best True-Lies I’ve heard.


Pursuing your dreams isn’t easy.

First of all, they’re dreams and they’re your dreams. That means that they might be judged.


And what we fear most of all is being judged and pushed out of our tribe. We fear ostracism and abandonment. What that means is that the quiet employees on your team are potentially sitting on gold for your organization because they fear being judged for having thoughts beyond the scope of what’s “allowed.”  It means that YOU are absolutely holding yourself back because you don’t want to look bad in front of someone else.


I’m an international #1 best-selling author with five books out there. My style of writing is non-academic. I deliberately write as if we’re sitting together. Similar to the way I write this blog post for you. And I’ve been writing these, every week, for over three years… consistently. 


If I didn’t believe in what they could do (my aim is to inspire thought) and if I worried about someone judging them, I’d never have begun.


I needed to begin. I needed to begin with the knowledge that not everything I do will resonate with every person every time. I’ve been fortunate to hear that most of what I do hits the mark on most occasions, so that’s good feedback. The point is that I began.


Start! Know that you might receive feedback that isn’t great and worse, you might be pushed out of the tribe. That means one thing: it wasn’t your tribe. 


People procrastinate because they’re not committed to the outcome. 

People call themselves perfectionists which is a convenient lie that means, “I’m afraid of being judged badly.” You can’t perfect something if you haven’t created it.


Put it out there.


From famous sculptors to famous authors, the only reason they’re famous is because they dared to create. Do you like every poem you’ve ever read or every painting you’ve ever seen? Of course not. That just means they’re not meant for you.


As a leader, you owe it to your organization to show up unapologetically (compassionately and vulnerably sometimes, but not apologetic), and offer clear direction.


As a good human with a big dream, dare to take the first step.

Don’t let your dream die as an empty wish. Take the steps to turn your dream into a goal you are actively pursuing.


Invest in yourself. Commit to your outcome.


For some, it means announcing you’re writing your book and you’re carving out time to do so.


For some it means finally taking the steps to change career paths.


And for some, that means seeking coaching to get to the next level. (I have a few mentors offering perspective and insights at any point in my life. The best at their game have coaches. If you want to level up, take that next step!)


Failure is a reality. It’s a single event. You don’t become it unless you choose to wear it.


The fear of failure is some lie you’ve been telling yourself because you aren’t really, truly committed to the thing you’re “supposed to be” committed to.  Either do it or drop it. Either way, get help along the way.


Got it?


Yeah. Now go, get out there. The world needs your gift!


~ Dr P ~


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