Overcoming Fear of Failure and Procrastination to Achieve Your Dreams
Right now, in this one certain life of yours, you have a dream you would love to achieve.
What is it?
You want to become a successful singer, model, actor, novelist, painter, or designer?
You want to create an app that helps people and sells like crazy?
You want to open your own successful restaurant, hair salon, construction business, or screw manufacturing company?
Whatever your dream, you are waiting.
Oh, you may do a bit of planning on it here, practicing or dabbling in it there.
But for the most part, you are waiting.
You are waiting for that right time to all-out pursue it.
Perhaps you are waiting until you are out of debt and have some money saved. Or you are waiting till your kids are out of diapers, or out of high school or college or secure in their own careers.
Or you are waiting until the Messiah returns.
Whatever you've told yourself you are waiting for -- unless you intend to sell "I Told You the Messiah Would Return!" tee-shirts -- the waiting is a huge mistake.
Because, when it comes to pursuing your dreams, waiting means fear.
Fear of failure. Fear of discomfort.
Fear means never.
Waiting means never.
What inevitably happens to those who wait for the right time and circumstances to pursue their dreams is they wait their whole life. Then they're dead.
Even in those cases where the circumstances do come about that they said they were waiting for, they find other new circumstances they need to wait for before they really pursue their dream. And new ones after that. Then they're dead.
Because it's not really about time or circumstances.
There have been and will be plenty of people with far more challenging to downright horrible circumstances than you who decided to pursue their dream anyway.
Because they realized -- I mean deeply realized, as I hope you do -- that this is their one and only certain life. And no one's tomorrow is guaranteed.
Doing anything less than pursuing your dream is a crime against yourself.
There is a woman whose dream was to become a singer. Then at age 19 she want completely deaf. She. Can't. Hear. Those became her "circumstances." Of course she thought of giving up. And yet, at age 29, Mandy Harvey is one of the most beautiful singers you'll ever hear.
She's only one of countless examples. Pay attention to successful people's life stories. Read the worthwhile biographies.
You have to start by being honest with yourself: delaying the full-throttle pursuit of your dreams is not about time or circumstances at all.
It's about fear.
But not even fear of something truly tragic.
It's about fear of discomfort.
Unless the risk you'll be taking in pursuit of your dream puts your very life on the line, as few risks really do, what you are afraid of is stepping out of is your status quo -- your "comfort zone," as uncomfortable as that zone may actually be.
Which is understandable.
Because studies verify we are extremely risk averse by nature.
Yes, you may hate your present job so much that it causes you chronic stress and illness and will kill you before your time.
But hey, at least it provides a good-enough life for you and your family.
Giving it up for some far less demanding job that pays less -- even if it means far more energy for you to devote to your dream (and the living lesson to your children, if you have them, about what's really important) -- can feel very uncomfortable and scary.
You'll have to scale down your lifestyle even more!
You'll have to give up cable TV!
You'll end up living on the street or dead in a ditch!
We're designed to stick to the status quo, to stay within whatever boxes we're currently in because we're familiar with them and it feels "safe" -- even if those boxes are crushing our bodies and suffocating our souls.
We're also designed to convince ourselves that our particular status quo circumstances are uniquely impossible to step out of, and to convince ourselves of a whole range of catastrophes that will occur if we try to do so.
"But man, just wait until my circumstances change!"
Though this hardwired fear of stepping out of the status quo served our ancestors well for eons, because they'd get eaten by sabertooth tigers or clubbed to death by other tribes for doing so -- it doesn't work for us.
Unless you love your life and you are living the dream there in your comfort zone, you're going to have to step out.
There is no other way to achieve your dream.
And then there's that other fear holding you back from pursuing your dream: fear of failure.
What if your courage, determination and vision push you way outside your comfort zone, and you pour untold hours and energy and your savings and others' loans into achieving your dream... only to have it FLOP?
No one buys your novel, your paintings, your app. Critics pan your restaurant and it goes OOB. Your screw manufacturing company gets screwed.
Well, the truth is it happens every day.
In fact, it happens far more often than not.
Yes, great risks can reap great rewards. You hear a lot about that because those who succeed love to share their stories.
But great risks far more often reap failure. You don't hear a lot about that.
Regardless, you have choices:
Once you dust yourself off and your bruises heal -- which is a metaphoric way of saying that once the pain of the experience is not clouding your judgement, which for awhile it likely will -- decide if you still really have the dream.
If you don't -- if you know that even on your deathbed you'll feel good about trying to achieve your dream that one time, but now you are done with it -- go ahead and move on to making your life mean something in a different way.
More often than not, though, you will still have the dream.
And because, as previously noted, doing anything less than pursuing your dream is a crime against yourself, do what your mama should have taught you: get back on the bike and try to ride it again.
Eventually you might succeed.
The good news?
Odds typically get better and better that you will succeed, because failure is an awesome teacher, and you get better and smarter at whatever it is you are pursuing.
Seriously, though -- and against all the motivational schlock you hear elsewhere -- you also might not ever succeed at achieving your dream.
And that's okay, too.
Because you did not let fear win.
You didn't settle for a life spent suffocating inside of a box because it was "safe."
You didn't spend your life waiting, merely existing, and dying.
You spent your life in pursuit of a dream.
Those who fail repeatedly and those who succeed magnificently will both tell you: it's that pursuit that matters most.
You'll feel good about that in your old age and on your deathbed.
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Brian Vaszily, Founder of Advantage Hacks, has grown 5 successful startups, launched many successful products, authored several books including a #1 bestseller, and coached many good people and 2 jackasses. For 20+ years it's been his passion to discover what MOST enables successful people to become successful. From timeless success strategies to new technology coming soon that will change our world, he reveals the most important secrets to you here, and usually does so in a damn enjoyable way.