Fear Not Failure
In the book 50 Lessons I Learned From The World’s Greatest Achiever by Vic Johnson I learned more about facing my overwhelming fears.
Changing Your Definition of Failure
Here are five different definitions of failure.
- Failure is not receiving the desired end.
- Failure is the condition of falling short or being insufficient.
- Failure is a cessation of proper function or performance.
- Failure is non-performance of what was requested or expected.
- Failure is a decline in strength or effectiveness.
Whatever definition of fear defines your situation, fearing failure will stop you from taking the necessary risks needed to achieve success. It helps to develop a healthy relationship with failure. Rather than beating yourself up for the failure, blaming yourself for taking the risk and failing, think of failure as a feedback mechanism. Analyze the failure to determine what went right as well as what went wrong.
Whenever I face failure, I don’t think of it as an end. Instead, I remind myself that failure helped Edison invent the incandescent light bulb. According to some reports, he failed ten thousand times before came up with the solution. Since then, better, more efficient ways have been discovered that are even more efficient than what he finally came up with. It is through trial and error that any new thing is discovered.
Find A Failure Proof Mentor
The internet is full of expert who are willing to mentor you in one way or another. I am currently looking for someone to mentor me in the marketing of my books. There are literally hundreds of thousands of novels out there so the competition is fierce, therefore, finding someone who has actually done what I am looking to do (selling millions of books) will help me cut through the failure red tape.
One place to look to find best selling authors would be to go to the best sellers shelf in your nearest book store. A better and easier way is that you could go into Amazon and in the search look for books in your genre. Look for the best sellers in that genre and discover the author. Look at everything you can find about the author in Amazon. Analyze the author’s bio. Is there any way that you can improve your bio based on that author’s bio? Analyze the “Book Descriptions”. What can you do to improve your book descriptions? Look at the “Look Inside” feature in that author’s books. Analyze those first few pages of the author’s books. If you like those first few pages, you might want to read an entire book to learn even more from that author’s work.
Create a document on your computer titled the author that you are studying. Write down what you learned from the author and that author’s books on Amazon.
Once you have learned about this author from their Amazon pages, find that author’s “Author Central” Page (also affiliated with Amazon). There it repeats the same information you already found concerning this author, but it also offers a connection to other aspects of the author’s work like the author’s website, the author’s blog, as well as the author’s Facebook,, twitter page, and linkedIn page. You can also follow the author from that page. Go to those connections, follow the author in those locations. Leave appropriate comments..Join other groups that that author is on. Let the author know that you are a fan. Leave just enough comments to show that you are a fan, but not so much that you appear to be stalking the author. If the author has a mailing list, get onto it. Whatever you do though, do not ask an author to read your work until you have followed that author for at least six months (and posted on the author’s forums and sites during that time.) Over time you will know this author on a more personal level on the internet.
Keep copies of all the interactions that you have with this author on the document you opened. On another page, write down all the things that you learned from this author then utilize those things in your own writing.
This will work concerning any area of your life that you have fear or are not certain what area you fear. There are experts in any area of difficulty. Go to Amazon, find books on the subject. If there is a writer who is especially adept at doing that think, get to know that author then when you come against difficulties, you can ask that author directly through social media.
The only way to overcome fear is by facing that fear. First, you need to separate your fear of action from the action itself.
General George Patton said that he didn’t take counsel with his fears. In other words, he had them, but he didn’t give into them. Everyone experiences fears, but it is important that fear doesn’t govern our decisions.
A good rule of thumb is “If fear is the only reason for not doing something, and there is no logical reason not too. (An example of a good reason for fear would be the fear of stepping out of an airplane without a chute. If you are afraid to step out of an airplane without a chute, there is good reason supporting that fear.)
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
Small Doses Of The Fear Of Rejection
Science has taught us that we can overcome fear by taking what we fear in small doses and building over time until we no longer feel that fear. Procrastination could be a symptom of that fear. Because science has also shown that willpower is limited to a certain amount every day, it is a good reason to do whatever you fear early in the day if possible.
If you are an author who is looking to become traditionally published, but you fear rejection, take one small step every day and submit one query every day to an agent or a publishing company. via email. Collect your rejection emails in a folder marked rejections. Think of it as a success that you sent out the query, think of it as a success that you received a rejection letter. Continue to improve your work and continue to send out queries.
If you are a business owner and are afraid to make cold calls, make it a point to pick up the phone first thing in the morning to make one of those calls. No matter what the outcome of the call, celebrate the moment. Give yourself a pat on the back, give yourself a relaxing break before continuing with the rest of your work. Do this every day for as long as it takes.
Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.
Great thoughts once again. Fear…I have seen it paralyze people…and then some rise above it. I’m happy to say I no longer fear fear.
Thanks again for your kind words, Bill. In the recent past, I was one of those people who were paralyzed by fear. No more, I am seizing new opportunities and loving it!