I can't begin to tell you how many things I've done, that I have no idea how to do. Seriously, the majority of my professional career and entrepreneurial journey could be summed up like this:
- Get enough information to jump in...
- Jump in...
- Do something...
- Oops! Don't do that again!
- Hmm... That was interesting.
- Oops again :(
- OMG! That actually worked!
- Are you freaking kidding me! I think it's working!
- Dang, spoke to soon.
- No Way! It worked again.
- Ok Dan... Calm down, just keep doing this and gradually grow.
Only one supreme villain can stand in the way of this "You never know until you try" method... Its name is FEAR and it has little minions called "Social pressures."
In this short blog I hope to offer some valuable tips and strategies on how you can conquer these fears and defy social pressures, so you can get back to taking more risks, trying new things and eventually achieving your dreams.
WHAT FEAR KNOWS ABOUT US
Fear knows (or at least thinks it knows, that a vast majority of people are afraid to fail. it's called 'the Fear of Failure.' Fear of Failure is one of the main reasons people hold back on reaching their true potential or even attempt to try something that could open up a world of opportunity to them and at the least provide a new and educational experience. We often haunted and afraid of not succeeding in our endeavours and the negative consequences that could come with it.
"I told you it wouldn't work!"
"See you should have just listened to me."
"What were you thinking?"
"LOL ... Nice try!"
These are some of those external or internal voices that threaten us to even take the first step towards the unknown. And so, we don't. But what if you and I were ok with the thought or possibility of something not working or being successful the first or second time around, or even the third or fourth? What about the 217th time like Howard Shultz - CEO of Starbucks who must have viewed the word "NO!" as a symphony by that point. What about 1,009th time like Colonel Sanders - Founder of KFC who literally went on a rejection spree before someone was actually willing to give his finger-licking-good recipe a try.
The point here is not to get comfortable with failure or unsuccessful attempts, but if we can get comfortable with the will to keep going inspire of failure and unsuccessful attempts... Guess who gets the biggest black eye from that kind of mentality... You got it: FAILURE!
Failure's kryptonite is the person or the mindset or mentality that isn't afraid to hear no and isn't shaken by unsuccessful attempts enough to stop. Failure hates that kind of attitude.
I live my life like this: If I spend 10-15 years trying to build a successful tea empire, open up all these stores, build an e-commerce site, attend hundreds of trade shows, serve hundreds of thousands of customers, train a number of staff and do everything else that comes with running my own business and still fail. Then if needs be, I am 100% certain that I can stop into the nearest McDonald's hand in my resume and completely CRUSH IT and enjoy my life.
Those McDonald's customers will get the most luxurious customer service they've ever experienced. Or if I joined a startup, they're going to get the most enthusiastic, critical thinking team player in their squad or whoever and wherever I decided to point my learned experiences, they will benefit immensely and so will I.
Now, I know this might sound like a stretch. Not everybody would be willing to go from founder to entry level job even based on their financial needs... but the point I'm trying to make is that the mindset that attempts things wholeheartedly and with 100% conviction that they will either succeed or learn, cannot fail. In fact, they will succeed because they will try and nobody can succeed unless they try.
In closing, here are 5 ways that you can start to get a better grip on fear and social pressures and start to take more calculated risks towards achieving your dreams or building success.
Acknowledge & Understand Your Fears: So you can begin combatting them.
Cultivate a "Oh Yeah, Watch Me!" mentality: Do what you gotta do to succeed and survive.
Take Action: Mindset is one thing, but you have to get out of your mind and do something. Call the lead, send the resume, make the pitch, launch the site etc..
Surround Yourself With Support: I'm not always this optimistic, butin those times when I'm feeling down... I'm not alone. Someone in my support circle is ready to kick so assumptions (family friendly blog...)
Learn to Set Boundaries With Your Personal Life To Avoid Social Pressures: This one believe it or not is probably the biggest caution on the list. since the inception of social media, we have become a lot more comfortable putting our personal life out their for the world to examine. Although I understand the social comfort and transparency of doing this (and no offence to anyone who does it to whatever degree) I'm personally very intentional with what I share with the public. One of the reasons for this decision is because it frees me from social pressure or feeling like I have to uphold a certain image or status. Nobody knows what car I drive, or where I live, the size of my house, or what my children look like or how much money I make and so I can make adjustments and personal changes to any of these things to better suit my personal life without any public scrutinty or opinion. This has made taking risks much easier and more personal to me and my family over the years. In the same breath, I'll quickly admit that I don't keto everything to myself.. one scroll on my instagram and you'll know where I am, what I'm eating, what I think for the day and even if I can dance (or not...) What I'm saying is be selective and be intentional in this aspect of life.
Whew! That's a mouthful. I'm done. I hope this helps you carve out a much more successful year ahead!
Love you all!