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How to overcome your fear of business failure

Last updated: 10 May 2022

Lack of confidence is a startup killer. And the only solution? Change your mindset and understand that failure is an opportunity to make things better.

James Dyson spent 15 years creating 5,126 versions of his cyclone vacuum cleaner before he found the one that worked. He views failure as an essential part of success!

Countless studies have shown that successful people come from all kinds of backgrounds, have a huge variety of skills, strengths and opportunities but all have one thing in common; a positive mindset.

To change your mindset, you’ll need to work on improving on what you think and feel about yourself, AKA your self-esteem. Someone with healthy self-esteem thinks and makes decisions that continually support their own values and aspirations. 

But, changing your mindset will not happen overnight. 

It takes time and effort to change your reactions and subconscious behaviours.

Subconscious behaviours are the actions and reactions you make to certain situations without even thinking about it.  A good example of subconscious behaviour is driving a car. In the beginning, you’re thinking about what gear to be in or remembering to look in the mirror. But, as time passes, you realise you don’t think about it anymore, it becomes an automatic process. 

But, it can also have negative connotations. For example, experiencing rejection can lead to negative thoughts and a lack of confidence and belief in yourself. That can push you towards subconsciously negative behaviours, and prevent you from taking steps that you really want to take – like starting a business. The good news is that these automatic thoughts can be changed, and all it takes is a little time, and a little thought,. 

The best way to do this is to regularly  check how you feel throughout the day. Then, learn how those thoughts are associated with a feeling. Decide whether those thoughts increase or decrease your self esteem and address whether you need to change those thoughts. 

For a little inspiration, take a look at some of the books below:

  • The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem: The Definitive Work on Self-Esteem by the Leading Pioneer in the Field – Nathaniel Branden
  • Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! – Tony Robbins
  • The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are – Brené Brown
  • What to Say When You Talk to Yourself – Shad Helmstetter
  • Ten Days to Self-Esteem – David D. Burns
  • What’s Right With Me: Positive Ways to Celebrate Your Strengths, Build Self-Esteem, and Reach Your Potential – Carlene DeRoo and Carolyn DeRoo
  • How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
  • Start with Why – Simon Sinek
  • Deep Work: Rules for focused success in a distracted world – Cal Newport

We also recommend reading some accounts of successful entrepreneurs:

With the right mindset anything is possible.  

Remember: Smooth seas never made a skilled sailor.

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