Are You Fearless or Fearful?

36834645_sLast week I talked a little bit about being afraid of success and this week I thought we might explore a few ways to overcome fear.

Are you a fan of Taylor Swift? Whether you enjoy her music or not, you have to admit she is pretty darn successful. At 25 she has achieved far greater success than any of may ever hope to experience and she continues to soar.

Inc. Magazine recently wrote an article about Taylor offering seven quotes from her about success; two of which deal with the concept of fear:

“Being fearless isn’t being 100 percent not fearful; it’s being terrified but you jump anyway.”

Of course you’re afraid–one could argue that if you’re going into business decisions with 100 percent confidence, you’re not aware of all of the risks. Just take a leap of faith and do your best to make things work out. Fear of what could go wrong is super effective at ensuring nothing will ever really go right.

“Fearless is getting back up and fighting for what you want over and over again … even though every time you’ve tried before you’ve lost.”

Getting knocked down sucks, but it happens to the best of us. Don’t give up hope, and definitely avoid falling into the trap of thinking it’ll never happen for you.taylor swift

Would you believe that people once told Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and even Walt Disney that they’d never make it? When Disney worked in newspapers, he was told he lacked imagination and had no good ideas. Can you imagine how different the world would be if he’d listened to that nonsense? Get back up. Keep going. This is not the end for you.

The key in her quotes isn’t the fact that people are afraid or that they fail but is it all about getting back up.

In this graphic video Alex Fauske, The Doodle Video Guy, shares some startling stats on famous people who failed prior to their ultimate success. How many times do you think Edison failed before he perfected the light bulb? How many times are you willing to get back up?

Feeling like you’ve been rejected? Having trouble getting back up to try again? Here are just a few authors you may have heard of who have walked in your shoes:

  • Dune by Frank Herbert was rejected 23 times before it was published.
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was rejected 38 times before it was published.
  • Gertrude Stein submitted poems for 22 years before having one published.
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding was rejected 20 times before it was published.

So whether you struggle to find book stores willing to carry your book, develop marketing plans that work, or build an audience with social media, don’t give up. Get back up and try again.

Have you tried to start a blog and dropped the ball? Today is the day you pick it back up.

There was a quote one of my teachers put on the black board and I still remember it:

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Now that may sound over used and trite, but the sentiment is true – today is the day to start over – clean slate – fresh start – get back up and try again.

What have you failed at that you struggle to complete? Do you have a book idea that hasn’t fully formed on paper? Get it back out and reread it, start over or start from where you left off. Sometimes a little time away from a project helps give you new perspective.

I have notebooks everywhere in my office and home; places that I have jotted down ideas, quotes, thoughts, and random story ideas. Often times when I pick up one of those discarded notebooks I am amazed by some of the ideas I have had that I never acted upon.  I even unearthed a book idea that I started nine years ago and totally forgot about. It is part of my goal to resurrect that book and see it through to the end.

What ideas, projects, and tasks have you dropped or neglected or tried and failed that you might reexamine?

Spoiler alert to that video above; Edison tried 10,000 times before succeeding. 10,000 times. How many times are you willing to pick yourself up and start over?

Bottom line: Be Fearless! Failure isn’t the end of the story; it is merely a comma linking the past with your future success. Get back up and try again!