I will never forget when the first copy of my first hard covered book arrived on my doorstep in a one of those gigantic yellow padded envelopes.
The return mailing labeled simply said, “Penguin Putnam” so I knew. Oh yes, I knew.
And I wanted nothing to do with it.
When my assistant, Jennifer, with a smile on her face handed the package to me, I freaked.
I did not want to open that package so I quickly handed it back to her.
“You open it,” I said playing hot potato with the package.
“No, you open it,” she replied. “This is your book, you have to open it” and shoved the package back in my hands.
I stared at it a good long time and then, like a band-aid you know you just have to rip off, I ripped open the envelope, pulled out my first-ever hardcover book and promptly threw it on the ground screaming the words, “What have I done.”
For the next few minutes I stammered around the room muttering… “I have to buy all twenty thousand books back from the publisher” and “this is horrible” and “everyone will know everything about me.”
I was completely horrified. On the day a dream was coming true. A dream I had for years. I was now going to be an AUTHOR but no, all I could think about was what a failure I was.
Failure. Failure Failure.
I was convinced this was going to be the worst thing that ever happened to me.
It would ruin my fledging career, my sisters would never talk to me again and then what kind of future would I have? No family. No money. Nothing.
Because I KNEW I was going to fail for sure.
Have you ever been so convinced you were going to fail that you didn’t bother to start?
Have you been so afraid to go for a dream because you secretly suspected it would be a huge waste of time because it wasn’t going to work out anyway, right?
Are you worried you won’t do something good enough or fast enough so you’ll never be able to get it done the way you’d like?
Yep. Those are all signs you have a fear of failure!
Thank God for Fearless Living.
In the past, the overwhelming feeling of failure would have eaten up my day, my week, or longer.
In the past, I would have grabbed a cupcake and wallowed in self-pity.
In the past, I would have reminded myself about all the other times I lost, all the other times I failed. (Trust me. I have quite a list!)
The fear I felt that day had me convinced that I sucked and that book that I had worked on day and night for year was now just a REALLY BAD IDEA that had to be forgotten, squashed down, reversed.
That book was Fearless Living.
And if my fear of failure won out that day, I bet I’d be living in the tundra of northern Minnesota right now waitressing at the local pub downing a couple beers after ice fishing with 200 inches on the ground.
But that’s not what happened.
I’m here living my dream of writing and speaking and teaching and coaching ONLY because I faced my crippling fear of failure and what’s really cool, is I now know how to turn that fear into momentum and create more success in my life.
Fear of failure is one of the TEN MOST COMMON FEARS.
You’re not alone if you have a fear of failure.