• Zoe Whitman

How to stop the fear of failure from stopping you getting started

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

The risk of failure can make the idea of starting a new project terrifying.

But we all have to start somewhere. If we don't start, how will we ever know whether actually our new venture would be a raging success?

How to overcome the fear of failure

It's about how you frame it. We're all going to make a mistake or fail at something at some point. The important thing is to learn from that experience.

Early in our lives, we all learn to speak. I have two small children and I've watched them go through the process of copying sounds and mimicking others until they've learnt to talk. It's a fascinating process. They try out sounds until they can form words and it's very much a trial and error process. They try and see what response they get. If we don't understand them, they don't give up. They change the sound they're making and try again until they can make themselves understood.

The feedback loop is important

It's the same with anything we attempt. We're never going to be perfect on our first attempt at anything. And failing or making a mistake can help us refine what we're doing and review the direction we're travelling in.

We can learn so much from those early mistakes

When I started my bookkeeping practice, I took on a few early clients which I knew were far from my ideal client. They used software I wasn't keen on, or demanded a working pattern which didn't fit with my own needs. We didn't work together for long. But I learnt so much from those clients, and being able to be clear that I won't work with certain software, or what our office hours are has really helped me clarify my values and ways of working. What I could have framed as a terrible failure, I've learned from and I now consider an important part of the journey to building my ideal business.

© 2020 Zoe Whitman

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