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The Fear of Taking Risks: What if it Doesn’t Work & What if I Fail

So many people live their whole life in fear of failure, making a mistake, taking any risk and paralysed by ‘what if it doesn’t work’. Ands so they don’t try anything. ‘If you don’t risk anything, you risk everything’.

The irony is, of course, it won’t work if you NEVER try it. But you never try it, in case it doesn’t work. If you can relate to any of these fears and feelings, then these 7 simple tips will help take more consistent action appeasing your ‘what if’s’.

1. What if – is a useful emotion, it stops you being reckless (just don’t let it RULE you)

If you never thought ‘what if’, you’d make really dangerous decisions and likely kill yourself, even if only financially or vocationally. So don’t deny it, just manage it. See how it serves you. See that it is feedback that you are growing. Every master was once a disaster.

2. What if it DOES work?

It is wise to maintain balance and perspective. If you are asking yourself ‘what if it doesn’t work’? then you should ask yourself ‘but what if it DOES work’? If you are asking yourself ‘what if I fail’ – then you should also ask yourself ‘but what if I succeed’? Extreme emotions are dangerous for progress. So in any new or unknown venture, like starting your own business and quitting your job, for example, look at:

a. Worst case

Likely you’ll have to go back to a job. At worse you might have to take a 20% payout. You may be a little humbled. But you aren’t likely going to die of rabies. And at least you tried to answer the calling, and now have more clarity on what you should be doing. It’s better to regret something you have done, thank something you haven’t, though you likely won’t regret most things you try, because at least you will know, even if it didn’t go your way.

b. Likely case

You’ll probably make some mistakes. It may take longer than you thought or be a struggle at times. But if you keep going, you’ll get better and in time you’ll get good. You earn or you learn, you keep going and you keep growing.
c. Best case
Who knows? You could gain freedom, choice and profit. You could make millions and make a difference. You could be a wild success and leave a vast and lasting legacy? Who knows? Well, you’ll never know unless you try.

3. Only way to know: TRY. TEST.

See your journey not as an all or nothing black or white equation, but as a continual test or series of very small tests and tweaks. Because that is how it is in reality. No one ever has all their ducks in a row. You have to start with the first duck. Reality is nearly ALWAYS different from what you think – so you have to TEST to see how it forms itself. This helps chunk down and reduce the apparent scale of the new venture or problem. Eat the Elephant one bite at a time. If what you do works; repeat. If it fails, tweak. Then repeat.

4. Create a plan. Chunk it down.

You’d run a marathon one stride at a time, and so it is with your new choice, venture or fear. Small consistent steps are not hard. Big goals broken down are not overwhelming. Set your goal in the future, work back to today, break down the steps and metrics required to get there, and do them daily. By the yard it’s hard, buy the inch it’s a sinch.

5. Get a coach/mentor

Who is the easiest person to lie to? You got it. Yourself. You will justify anything to protect your self worth and interest. You created your problems and as such it is hard for you to solve those same problems you created. You need perspective. Balance. An experienced, outsiders view. So get out of your own way and find a coach or mentor who’s been there and done it. They have blazed the trail. They have endured the struggle. They can navigate you through the midfield. It’s the shortest route to the most lasting success.

6. Create accountability

As you are the easiest person to lie to and may let yourself off the hook, you need external accountability. You could test putting your goals out on social media and telling everyone you know, so that these is pain attached to not living up to these proclamations. You could set up competitions with friends, competitors or even foes, as an energiser and commitment to your actions. You could set challenges and rewards for milestone achievements towards your ultimate goal. You could get a coach. You could make a bet with someone you’d hate to lose to. You could pay or ledge money to charities, or even to donate to competitors if you missed your targets. Try them out, some of these will work for you better than others.

7. 99% of the things you worry about never happen, so…

GOYA & JFDI. If you don’t know what these stand for they are at the end of “Life Leverage” & “Money” on Audible & Amazon.

What have you got to lose other than everything? What if you never try? Who will you not become? What will you not achieve?

“If you don’t risk anything, you risk everything”


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