Let’s talk about the fear of failure. It’s the biggest fear out there for entrepreneurs. In fact, I think it’s the most common reason that most businesses never even get off the ground.
In this episode, I talk about getting over the fear of failure and the inner work required to see it for what it *really* is. I also share my 4 best tips you can do today to move through your fear and focus on your success.
“Failure is part of the process, it’s part of having a business… just think of it as an initiation into the world of working for yourself.” – Shawn Mynar
“Having something not work out, not go as planned does not mean you or your business or your ideas are a failure… all it means is that something didn’t work and that happens all the time in all areas of life to every single person.” – Shawn Mynar
“Plan on things not going as planned.” – Shawn Mynar
“Mistakes and failures can be seen as ‘bumpers’ because they’re guiding you in the right direction.” – Shawn Mynar
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT BELOW:
Hey, hey there, friends. Welcome back to the Flow Business Podcast. I’m Shawn, your host, and this is your place to build a business that excites you, not overwhelms you. This is a best of episode chosen by you, the podcast listener audience out there. These are the best episodes of the past two years that have gotten the most attention, the most downloads, the most comments and questions, and I thought what a great opportunity to bring these episodes back, give them some more life and for you to listen for the first time or re-listen If you’ve heard them in the past. You can always grab something new from these episodes. So, without further ado, let’s get into this best of episode. Hey, hey there friends. Welcome back to the Unstuck Podcast. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. We’ve got a big topic to talk about today that fear of failure. I’d say it’s kind of a big deal. I’d say it’s probably the biggest fear out there for most entrepreneurs that fear of their business failing, of their dreams failing, of having to admit that they failed, hanging their heads kind of in shame or embarrassment and going back to work for someone else, going back to ask for their job back. There’s a lot there and it’s uncomfortable and it doesn’t feel great and you really don’t want to have to go through that. None of us want to really experience anything uncomfortable or painful. If we can stand it and failure is a big one, and really I think it’s the most common reason that most businesses never even get off the ground. It’s kind of like this wall in front of the want to be business owner. The person that has this dream, has this idea, knows that what they want is to work for themselves, is to help others in a more impactful way than they’re currently doing in their job. But then there’s this thing, and it’s like this brick wall that doesn’t seem like it could ever crumble, doesn’t seem like it could ever dissipate. It’s just there forever and it never goes away. Because they’re not going to do the work that we’re going to talk about today. And it’s inner work. Of course, getting over the fear of failure is 100% inner work, which is why we’re talking about it here on OnStock. It’s our favorite thing to talk about. It’s our favorite thing to do. Okay, let’s start with a quote, and this quote is going to really sum up everything we’re talking about today in terms of failure. The one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one that never tried. Do not fear failure, but rather fear never trying. And that is by Paolo Coelho. Let me read it again the one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one that never tried. Do not fear failure, but rather fear never trying. And that will come in handy as we move through this episode. First, before we go any further, let me say one thing right now. If you are a current or future entrepreneur and experiencing a fear of failure in your business, welcome to the club. I cannot imagine there are any business owners out there who haven’t experienced a fear of failure. It’s just part of the process. It’s part of having a business doing your own thing, taking a risk and seeing if it works. It’s like just think of it as your initiation into the world of working for yourself. That’s all. It is Part of the process and something we all go through. So please do not take that fear of failure that you’re currently experiencing as a sign that you should not move forward, that you should not do the thing, and don’t think there’s something wrong with you. If you do feel scared or that you are worried you might fail, it’s not any sort of sign that your idea that your business venture is a bad one. That’s not what that means. It’s just what happens subconsciously in your programming as your ego tries to keep you safe and tries to keep you from taking a risk in any area of your life, and your business is no different. As I said, I highly, highly doubt that there is any entrepreneur out there. I could probably go and ask every single one, and even the ones that have had this massive success and who only talk about all the good things that have happened since they started their business and never talk about the downsides. If I really actually asked them, they could all we could all tell you about the numerous failures we’ve had along the way. Because here’s the real kicker you’re going to fail. There’s going to be some idea, some offer, some post, some message, some product. Something that doesn’t go well, does not go as you’d hoped. People don’t respond to it. They don’t buy, they don’t like, they don’t do the action you were hoping they would do, which would mean that thing was a success. It’s going to happen. You can just count on it now, and so what we’re going to talk about today is really talking in terms of that, knowing that it’s going to happen, knowing that it’s part of the process, it’s your initiation into this wonderful world of working for yourself. So then, how can we move from that place instead to where we don’t have to fear it, we don’t have to try to avoid it, because we know it’s going to happen? So then, now what? And I’ll get into some tips in just a minute, but I do, since I talked about everybody else, want to share my experiences with numerous failures. I’ve failed multiple times. I’ve created programs that nobody wanted. I’ve talked about this before. I’ll say it again my first four attempts at creating an online program no one purchased not $1 was made from my four different attempts at an online program, and these were like online personal training and nutrition, like customized nutrition protocols. It was a really good program. Nobody wanted it. So I tried four times, no one purchased, not one. And I could have easily like so, so, so easily thrown in the towel right then and there called myself a failure called this business. I was trying to create a total disaster, make myself believe that I was not cut out to have a business. I was not cut out to have an online program, I was not cut out for it and start looking for jobs or go back to the job that I had. I could have done that after four times. That would be pretty legit, but I didn’t. I tried a fifth time and the fifth time worked the fifth time people purchased and there have been so many other failures and flops and just things that didn’t land since then. So many in the nine years now of being in business. Never once did I stop, never once did I make it mean anything else other than okay, then that means I’m moving in this direction instead, and we’ll get into that in a minute, how we can kind of reframe what appears to be a failure. So that’s really the biggest message that I want you to hear today. If you take away anything from this episode, let it be this Having something not work out, not go as planned no one seems to be picking up on, does not mean you or your business or your ideas are a failure. It doesn’t mean that the world is going to end, that you’re going to run out of money, that you’re going to get made fun of. None of that is true, because something doesn’t work. All it means is that something didn’t work. Something didn’t work, and that happens all the time, in all areas of life, to every single person. Your business is going to be no different. So just plan on it. Plan on things not always going as planned, not always going the way you hoped it would you having to pivot, try another idea, do something different. It’s going to happen and it’s a great, great thing. You guys know I’m going to say this, but I’m just going to say it anyway. I know it’s probably cliche and you hear it all the time, but please take it from me as a real person who’s just doing this thing along with you guys. Every single time I had a failure, I now can look back a year, two years, eight years, nine years later and be so glad that that happened because it led me down the path that I went on and that I am currently on. If I don’t have those failures, then I don’t have this kind of direction point to go down. I don’t come up with the ideas that are a success. I don’t pivot when I need to pivot. I don’t try something different when it doesn’t work. You have to have that contrast, especially in business, to help you down your path. You can kind of think of it as like you’re bowling and you have the bumper plates on the alley so that you don’t ever go totally in the gutter. But if you start going in that direction, you’re going to bounce back into the lane. So you’re going to get to the end where you can knock down some pins and get some points and hopefully win. You’re going to get there. But you need some direction and mistakes and failures can actually be seen as those bumpers because they’re guiding you in the right direction. So I guess we’ll just get into this one right away. When I’m going through, I have four tips for you that I want to share about the fear of failure, and this is one of them. So we’ll start with this one. But I also want to mention that I don’t want to say yes, I used the title as getting over the fear of failure. It’s a little more catchy, but it’s not actually getting over it, because I don’t think it’s really something to get over. It doesn’t disappear, but instead moving through it. So how can you move through the fear of failure and take action despite, maybe, that fear, or to dissipate it, to lessen it so that you can take action? So let’s call this moving through the fear of failure instead of getting over. I think it sounds a little more realistic. So we’ll start with, actually, what is number two. But this is what I was just talking about, using the bumper plate analogy, changing your relationship with failure. That is what we really have to do. I mean, we, from the very beginning of our existence in our lives, have seen failure as a bad thing. We’ve seen losing as a bad thing, making mistakes as a bad thing. It’s just ingrained in us as a society, as a culture, and if you which you definitely have have ever experienced failure in other areas of your life, then you felt that negative emotion attached to that thing not working out, that thing not going as planned. And so now you also have that attachment of negative emotion. When this thing happens which is failure, or how we perceive failure, you have those two attached from here on out, and that includes when anything in your business happens that you didn’t want to happen or that didn’t go as you hoped, then you automatically determine that as a failure and then you automatically connect the failure with that negative emotion, with that negative state. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can disconnect the two and, especially when it comes to your business, hey, don’t even use the word failure in your business, because it’s not the only time. As we go back to the quote from the day. The only time it’s a failure is if you’d never even try. Then that is 100% a fail because you didn’t try, so of course it ended up in nothing happening and that is a failure. Anything else is not a failure. It could be feedback. It is 100% feedback, again pushing you back towards the direction in which you should be going along the alley to get to the pins so you can win. It is a learning experience. I mean, gosh, I’m so grateful to have had all of those experiences. Think of the four times I tried to create a program and it didn’t work. I had to figure out why the heck isn’t this working. I know it’s a good program. I know it’s what people need. I know it’s what people want. Why aren’t they biting? And I’ve talked about in a past episode that it was because my messaging was off, I wasn’t talking about it in the right way. I wasn’t very good at marketing or advertising or selling in those early days and it showed. So it was that and I had to learn from those failures how to do a better job at talking about this thing that I had and really sharing about it openly and sharing about it in a way that would deeply connect with the right people. And I was not doing that. I did not do that the first four times, so obviously it didn’t go as planned. I learned from that experience and, instead of taking that to mean my business sucks and I’m never going to make any money doing this it’s not meant for me and going back to a job I hated or finding another job working for someone else, which I ultimately would have hated too, because I just not my style Instead of doing that, I figured it out. I took that as a learning experience, as feedback, and went from there and turned it into a success, and I still take those things that I’ve learned in that time and I still use them today, which is now like eight years later Still things that I learned to help guide me on this path to having a successful business, over and over and over again. So failure only means that you’re done. It only means you actually failed. It only means your business idea is terrible. You’re terrible. You’re not cut out for this, all these stories that your mind is going to want to feed you. Your ego voice is going to want to feed you when something doesn’t go your way. It only means that when you say it does, you, as in the inner, you as the you who has this dream, this vision, this plan, this purpose to fulfill, and using your business to do so, you are the one that determines when it’s actually a failure and when it actually means stop. Not your ego voice, not society, not anyone around you who’s telling you that, because no one signed up for your program, that means this isn’t meant to be. It’s not up to them, it’s not up to your subconscious programming, it’s up to you. So you are the one that decides when it means failure and until then, all it is is a learning experience guiding you down the right path. That’s all it is. There is no such thing as absolute failure until you say it’s a fail. You have to determine that and you have the power. We have so much power here. Let’s use it to our advantage. So that’s the first one is to change your relationship with failure. It does not have to mean what you’re currently taking it to mean, and in fact it doesn’t. Keep that in mind, we’ll go back to number one, which is to get real with yourself. Let’s reiterate this again. I already said this once. Say it again because it’s important If you don’t try, the chance of failure is 100%. Because you have this idea, you have this business that you want to pursue. You have people that you wanna help. You know how you want to help them, you have so much going in this direction, but you never do it, and so it never happens. Those people never get the help they need. You never create the life you wanna live. It’s a failure. You failed at that vision, at that plan. That is the only time that we can call any of this a failure is if you don’t even try to get there. And so what I want you to do here in this getting real with yourself I want you to figure out the cost of not trying. What is the cost of you never trying to get this business off the ground, never changing your business model in the way that you want to, so that it impacts more people, never putting out that new product or that new service, wherever stage you are in in your business? Right now? There’s another stage that you want to get to, I would assume, and so what is the cost of you not trying to get to that next step? Is it staying in an unfulfilling job, not helping more people, not making the impact that you’re here to make, not experiencing the time or financial freedom that you so desire, not creating a schedule that actually works for you and your family so that you can spend more time with your loved ones, is whatever that is to you. It’s gonna be different for everybody, but is that worth the risk? Is it worth the risk for all of these amazing things that could happen, to just try, to just try and know that the second that you try, you have already not failed, because the only thing that would be remotely considered a failure is choosing to not try. And so once we’re at that point where we really can see what’s at stake here and it seems to me that it would be knowing all of the amazing things that could come out of this, whether you’re starting a business or growing a business, expanding, trying something new, pivoting, whatever it is you’re doing, knowing that that’s out there, knowing everything that it could provide for you and others it would seem like it’s probably worth the risk and we’ll talk about that in just a second too. It’s probably worth the risk to at least give it a try and then, once you’re there, you’ve analyzed the risk versus reward. Also, find out how committed are you to making sure that’s what happens, of course, a big piece of you being the one that determines whether something is a success or a failure Remember, you are the only one that can call it that, nobody else can and you as the one that determines that, a big piece of that is your commitment to it. Because if I were not committed to making this work for me, making this that I now have my life after number four of no one buying what I was selling, I probably would have thrown in the towel. I probably would have gone back to my job. But I was committed, I knew the vision, I wanted it and I was willing to do what it took to make it happen. Are you there too, and if not, what can you do to get yourself there? Is your vision not clear enough? Do you need to go back into your journal and do a little bit more working out of what your dream business looks like? Do you need to visualize more and get that sense in your body to where you’re excited about your future? What do you need to do when we talk about all of this in multiple episodes of Unstuck. So please go back. If that’s where you are, if you’re not finding that you have that commitment level, please go back and see what you can do to ignite that and use past episodes to do that. Just scroll through and you’ll find them. But we gotta ask ourselves these questions. You’ve gotta get real with yourself and really get connected to what you desire and the risk of it not happening simply because you’re afraid to try. And as soon as you try, failure cannot exist. Unless you say it is, you are the one to determine that. Okay, let’s move it right along. The next one. You know I’m gonna go here, because I always go here Prove it wrong. The fear of failure is actually pretty weak because there’s a very small, like nil, chance of it actually happening, as we’ve talked about just now. So it’s not very, it’s not this very strong experience within you. It feels like it is right now, but it’s actually not. And how we know, and how you will know, is how easily it is to prove it wrong, because what actually is going to happen is you have this fear of failure. You do it anyway, you take action. Anyway, you put something out into the world, and maybe it isn’t the first time, maybe it’s not the second time, maybe it takes the fifth time, but eventually, because you are committed to what you want, you will get that one purchase. You will get that one person to like or comment on your post. You will get that one person to subscribe to your newsletter. You’ll get that one person that downloads your podcast episode. That one listen, that one view. You’ll get one experience that proves it didn’t fail and you’ll be like, oh yeah, absolutely, I got this 100%. I am on. This is great, this is the best idea ever. I love it. You will have that experience. All it takes is one thing that one person to go towards the thing that you desire, and it will completely squash your fear of failure. It will come up in different ways as you continue to progress down your business. As I said, none of us are immune. It happens all the time. This fear of failure as you put out something new, or you put out a new podcast, a new program, a new offer, whatever it is, you will have that thing of what if no one wants this? What if no one buys? What if I am actually a failure. The ego will make itself known as you continue, no question about it. But every single time it gets easier and easier and easier to prove it wrong. And that’s what we have to do from the very beginning prove it wrong. The only way that you can do that is to take action. Take action even though you have that fear of failing, and see what happens. Just see what happens. You will get that one piece of evidence that this is not a failure, that this is a good idea, that you are moving in the right direction. And it will be squashed, it will dissipate and you’ll be able to continue on and on and on to work towards your dreams, to take inspired action. But you’ve got to take that initial step, even though it’s scary, even though your ego voice is all up in your business telling you how it’s going to fail. You’ve got to do it anyway and you’ve got to get to that point where you can prove it wrong. And then the last thing, number four. It’s actually an exercise. I love doing this exercise. I do it often. As I said, fear of failure sticks around as you continue to grow and expand and try new things and move in different directions. It’s there. And so every time I have this feeling of like, what if no one wants this? What if this isn’t a good idea, whatever it is, I do this First thing think of the absolute worst case scenario. Now, you know I’m not into like dwelling on everything that could go wrong and getting us into a bad mood and experiencing all these negative emotions. That’s not really my thing. But there’s an exception here, because I actually do want you to think of what could go wrong in the absolute, very worst case scenario. So like, for example, if you’re afraid to start your business, like, go all in on your business, quit your job, do all that and just go 100%. I am a business owner, I’m an entrepreneur, I’m doing this thing. If the fear of failure is keeping you from doing that, what is the absolute worst thing that could happen? Would you need to go back to your job and ask for a job back or get another job? Would you have to take it alone? Would you have to cut back on some expenses for a while? What would it actually look like Doing this? First of all, we can get into the real deep depths of our fears, like I’m going to be homeless, I’m going to get divorced because my partner is no longer going to love me, because I can’t contribute, like we can get into some real bad stuff, some deep, deep, deep stories that we have stuck in our subconscious programming. We can go there and that’s totally fine if you do, I’m totally fine with you doing that. It’s going to show you a lot. It’s really going to bring a lot to the surface, which is always a good thing to do. So that’s the first thing. The second thing is that you can see, once you’re there, that A it’s probably not going to get that bad, like very, very, very, very slim chance that what you’re really fearing would ever actually happen. So that’s one thing is that it’s probably not going to get that way. The second thing is that you also can see how, if it were to go that route, if everything were to be a complete disaster, there’s still a way out of it. You can, yeah, absolutely go back and ask for your job back and it wouldn’t be a problem. Or you could get a job in a similar field, a similar industry, a similar job. You could find a way to start making money again. Even if you didn’t want to do any of that, you could go try something new, try a new field, go get a serving job, go work at a coffee shop. I mean, there are things that you can do if you absolutely get to the point where you need to make money, and that really covers the financial aspect of the fear of failing. And then, of course, let’s just say, for example, you’re worried that your partner will no longer love you. This is just a very random example. This is not actually anything I’ve ever heard anyone experience, but I just came to me. Let’s just say that that is what you’re afraid of, because of this possible failure. Well, you can see that there’s so many things that you can do in that experience to help your partner understand, to potentially go to therapy. There’s things that you can do along the way to make it not so much of an issue for you and your partner. I think this is only the first piece of this exercise, by the way, but I think just in this first piece you can already calm so many of your fears because you can see how it’s never going to get that bad. But even if it were to get that bad, there’s still ways out and there’s still ways to make it not that bad and so just that in itself it extinguishes that fire that you have in you that thinks that everything is going to go wrong and you’re going to be homeless and divorced and all that stuff. None of that is actually going to happen, and you can see that when you actually put it down. And in case I didn’t say this, because I can’t remember if I did or not write this down Think of the absolute worst case scenario. Like how would your business failing as you’re afraid that it will actually look like for you, what could it get? Talk about it. Right it down in your journal. And then the next step is to think of the absolute best case scenario. How would your business look if it didn’t fail, if everything went exactly as planned and everything worked out perfectly, just as you’re dreaming it will? How will your business look then? And again, I want you to write this down in your journal, get very specific with it, as specific as you can, and have some fun with it, like that’s a really fun thing I love, of course, you all know that I love thinking and writing down and visualizing and getting ready for my next dream. I always have a dream that I’m working towards, a vision I’m working towards and this is part of that. So what’s the absolute best case scenario? How good could it get? And then, once you have both of those, look at them both and realize this At this point from where you’re at right now both are equally possible. You can experience either one of these. They are both equally possible. So that wonderful, amazing dream business where everything is just going so smoothly as planned and you work this many hours and you help this many people and you make this much money and everything is just amazing. You have all this free time and you get to hang out with your friends and family whenever you want and go on vacations and work from anywhere. Whatever it is that you want, whatever it is you desire, that best case scenario is just as possible as the worst case scenario. But yet we, as a society, focus on the negative, focus on the risk, focus on what could go wrong, way, way, way, way, way, way more than focusing on what could go right. And that is why we experience such a deep fear of failing, because we’re focusing our attention on what could go wrong when, in reality, you have just as much of a chance of everything going right. Yet who thinks about that? We think about that for a second and then we immediately talk ourselves down. We immediately talk ourselves oh that would never happen because I might fail, like we talk ourselves away from the best case scenario. And this is you, it’s me, it’s everybody, it’s all of us, it’s our conditioning and we have to recondition ourselves and that’s something that I’ve been doing now for I don’t know six years of my life is completely reconditioning that to focus on what could go right. And when I do, guess what happens. It goes right, it works, and that is what I want you to recognize. If we’re talking in terms of energy, for talking in terms of frequency, if we’re talking in terms of how the universe works, what you focus on, you attract. Where you put your energy in terms of your thoughts and emotions is what you will attract. So where are you putting your focus? Where are you putting your focus on it? Not working out, of it failing, of you having to go back to your job, of you having to hold your head and embarrassment because you have to tell someone you failed, of you being homeless and not having any money because it failed? Is that where you’re focusing? Or are you focusing on things going well, on things going right, on things working out and you having this dream business as your actual reality, and know that where your focus goes, energy flows. Where your focus goes, energy flows. Think about your emotions, think about your thoughts, think about where they live most of the time and see what you can do to shift that perspective. I would recommend, when you start thinking about, well, what if this fails? What if this doesn’t work? What if nobody wants this? What if I post this and no one comments or likes? I mean, it can get so small is like what we post on Instagram to so big as like I have this couple thousand dollar program. What if no one wants it? You know I can. There’s lots of different variables in there, lots of different places where we can try to talk ourselves out of doing things for a fear that it will fail. When that happens and like I said, it will, this is a normal experience when that happens see what you can do to shift your perspective and start thinking about the amazingness that will happen if it goes well, if it goes as planned, if it goes the way that you want it to, if people do sign up, if people do start listening, if people do start watching your YouTube videos, if people do start following you. Think about that and think about how amazing that will be for you and your business and your future and everything that you want, and use that as your guiding force, knowing that where focus goes, energy flows. Keep that in mind and please do that exercise. Write down worst case scenario. Write down best case scenario. I promise it works, it helps, it is so, so powerful. All right, I’ll leave you with those four tips for moving through the fear of failure. I think that gives you enough and, honestly, I just kind of wanted to be a little bit of a cheerleader, a little bit of a motivator and encourager, as I tend to do, but especially on this episode, because I completely understand I’ve completely been there. It’s a very common thing to experience this fear of failing, and I know that sometimes we just get into such a spiral with it, we let it overtake us and never actually take any action, and that’s not what I want for you, because I know that that is the way out, and so I just wanted to remind you of that. And if this is something that you’re currently going through, whether you’re starting your business or you’re taking your business in a new direction or launching a new piece of your business whatever it is, let me know. Send me a direct message over on Instagram at Unstuck Entrepreneur is where you can find me head over there. Follow along and send me a message and we can chat. Also, just a reminder that the clock is ticking to get on the VIP wait list for my newest program that will be officially launching out into the public in a few weeks. It’s called Signature Program Lab and, as you can probably tell from the title, it is all about teaching you and really showing you every single step of the way on how to create your very own signature program. It’s like a group coaching program, an online program that you can run for your business, teaching people what you want to teach them, showing them the journey that you will take them on from point A to point B. You can do it all in a group. You can do it all and have it be mostly automated, which gives you a ton of time back. So I’m huge fan, huge, huge, huge fan, but I’m going to show you how to do that. It will shave years off of the time that it takes to actually have you put this program out into the world, including launching it and selling it. So I’ll give you all the tools that you need to do that and every single thing that I use to launch things myself you will have access to, which will save you so, so much time. Just head to www.shawnmynar.com/SPL, which stands for Signature Program Lab, to get on the wait list to be the first that it’s notified when this program is released out into the world and, of course, a special, special coupon code that no one else will ever see Again. Head to www.shawnmynar.com/SPL, get on the wait list and you will be notified in a few weeks, like very, very soon, when it’s ready for you. All right, everyone, until next time. Take care, hey, wait up before you go. Do you want to know the biggest reason why your business may not flow? Because it’s not in alignment with your personality type. Building the right business for you means knowing your strengths, weaknesses, energetic expression and what’s most important to you, so you can build your business accordingly. Before you spend one more minute working on your business, let’s make sure it’s the right business for you. I’ve created a fun two-minute quiz to discover your flow business personality type. With the results of this quiz, you’ll know exactly what to prioritize in your business so you can feel confident knowing your building a business you love. Head over to www.shawnmynar.com Right now to find out your flow, business personality type and once you find that out, hop over to Instagram and let me know what you discover. Again, that’s www.shawnmynar.com/Quiz. As always, the link is in the show notes.