Fear of Failure a.k.a. The Struggle
Ok ladies, today we are here to get real with you about Fear. We all have it, we all feel it, and we all know that depending on the day, it can be a distraction or a motivator in our daily lives. What if we told you that’s there’s more to the secret sauce of entrepreneurial success than just a great product and a killer vision? What if we told you that entrepreneurial success has to do more with psychology than great funding or marketing?
Think about it: How does fear play into your everyday life as a founder of a startup?
...“Am I going the wrong direction?” ...“Is this decision going to fall through?”...“What will people think if I can’t get this up and running like I had planned?”…”What if I don’t have the answer?”…”Does everyone think I’m the idiot boss that doesn’t know what she’s doing?”…”Will I lose their respect if they don’t agree with me?”…”What if I’m not strong enough?”
Exhibit A: The Struggle. All of these may be valid concerns, sure, but to what extent do we let our fears stand in the way of our unleashed potential in creativity, innovation, and perseverance? Struggling does not mean you’ve failed, no no no. But the struggle can cause failure eventually if not handled with a healthy dose of grit and emotional intelligence.
Angela Duckworth, defines grit for us:
“Grit is about having a goal you care about so much that it organizes and gives meaning to almost everything you do. And grit is holding steadfast to that goal over time. Even when you fall down. Even when you screw up. Even when progress toward that goal is halting or slow.”
To sweeten this duo, emotional intelligence, or EQ, is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results.
And do you want to know what the kicker is? These two power tools of psychological success have absolutely nothing to do with how smart you are, what MBA program you came from, or your keen market knowledge. Rather, it has everything to do with being able to handle the inevitabilities of startup life with an unparalleled sense of passion and perseverance for long-term goals. No matter what they say. No matter how hard it gets. No matter how much you feel like all your hard work and progress is just going to go *poof* one day.
So how do we combat these very real feels with very real solutions?
Data. Research, data and analyses give you that no-stone-left-unturned sense of confidence in every business decision you make. Before giving into your bias for action, ensure that you have done your due diligence in wringing out every bit of data from the available resources and make a sound decision based on strategic takeaways.
Journal. When the cowardly voice in your head is ringing loud and clear, write it down. Challenge those thoughts to ink and paper, and even further, read it to a close friend or loved one. Yes, maybe it feels awkward and embarrassing, but it will knock down the fear factor to a manageable size when you’re able to see, read, and hear out loud how fears sound in reality. Plus, journaling relieves stress and anxiety which will undoubtedly help your business anyways!
Coaching: Never underestimate the power of guidance and feedback. Seeking out a coach or mentor in your endeavors is one of the healthiest ways to provide your mind with the security blanket feeling we crave when we are embarking on a new and scary journey. Also, emotional intelligence is a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and/or improved over time with awareness and practice - coaches are great for providing empowerment through growth and learning!
If you want more info on how to successfully manage the growth of your company and culture with confidence, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica Miranda, an Organizational Development Psychologist, has 8 years of leadership and coaching experience in the corporate and tech startup spaces in Silicon Valley and greater Los Angeles areas, as well as active military enlistment. She completed graduate schooling at the University of Southern California and specializes in employee engagement and cultural development with an emphasis on Millennials and following generations in the workplace. IG: @_jmiraaaa