In my survey of small company CEOs (entrepreneurs), I found that 100 percent of CEOs wanted more courage and confidence in at least some situations, and 100 percent knew they had fears that were blocks to their success and their companies’ success.
They later admitted, when they saw this data, that it was a relief to realize that all of their colleagues also had fears and they weren’t alone.? Does it help you to know that you aren’t alone and that highly successful CEOs experience fears as well? Fear of failure is one of the most common fears that blocks the success of business leaders, entrepreneurs and sales professionals. The fear of failure is often obscure though, because it’s symptoms can be radically different, often making it difficult to identify. Here are some of the manifestations of fear of failure.
Not giving 100 percent. If you give 100 percent and fail, this thinking goes, then you’re a failure. This is the most devastating form because it seems uncorrectable, like you are permanently flawed.
Procrastination. This face is more obvious. When you’re afraid to fail and you think you might fail, you put off doing things so you don’t have to face failing. One simple way to address this is to define a small action and do it. The success of the action will build a little momentum and confidence. Continue to take one small step at a time until you have enough courage and momentum to forge forward.
Anger and crying Instead of dealing directly with fear, you express it as anger so no one sees the fear (possibly even you). We guys are great at this one; we aren’t afraid of anything, right? Crying is a fairly normal response to fear of any kind, including fear of failure. Most children do it openly, but for adults, it’s usually best to do in private.
Rationalizing. This happens a lot in business development. Ffor example, the leader or the sales rep who says after losing a big deal, “I didn’t have much of a chance anyway”.
Avoidance. You avoid situations where you think you could fail. This is a sure way to live your life as an underachiever.
Fear of failure affects just about everyone, including highly successful CEOs and entrepreneurs.
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