213 - 5 Ways To Overcome Fear Of Failure With Your Side Hustle
Overcoming your fear of failure is one of the essential first steps in turning your side hustle into a success. With that in mind, here are some key tips to help you beat your fears on a daily basis and continue chasing your dreams.
1. You Don’t Have to Know it All
The feeling that we don’t know enough often keeps us from pursuing our goals. While this can make it tempting to try and study away your fears, taking action is ultimately the best cure. As Romanow can attest, “You will never know everything. And you will learn the fastest when you just need to get something done.”
Remember, mistakes and setbacks can become learning opportunities that put you on course for greater success. From Jerry Seinfeld getting booed off the stage to Michael Jordan not making his high school basketball team, there are countless examples of people who didn’t know it all, but learned by taking action and picking themselves up after their early failures.
2. Focus on What You Can Control
In turbulent times, it can be easy to get caught up in concerns over how economic trends or political events might affect you and your side hustle. While I’m certainly not advocating that you ignore what’s going on in your industry, a big step in overcoming fear is to simply direct your focus to the things you can control.
For Romanow, this meant holding herself accountable for her own efforts. She adopted an attitude of, “I can execute at 120%, and if I just keep doing that day after day after day, something will work or I’ll get lucky.” By focusing on her own output, she could push aside fears and produce at the level she needed to break through.
Gary Vaynerchuck further elaborated on this when he said, “Whether it’s success or failure, you have to decide what you are going to do. The biggest factor to whether or not you are going to be able to move on is completely predicated on whether or not you care about what people think.” If you spend your time worrying about others, you’ll never be able to push through and get ahead.
3. Find the Right Support
Romanow found that surrounding herself with the right people made a huge difference in overcoming fears: “It helps when you have friends and cofounders and other people you want to work with.” This didn’t just make it easier to get excited about her work—it also gave her access to a support group that understood her situation and pushed her toward success.
As writer Ash Read explains on Lifehacker, building relationships with mentors and others in your field can be extremely valuable because “they have all likely struggled with fear at some point and can relate to the position you’re in and help you get past it.” Seeking the help of those who have been in similar situations to you is a great way to get personalized strategies that will give you confidence to move forward.
4. Identify Opportunities
Jumping into the entrepreneurial world can be scary, and as Romanow explained, focusing on your potential gains is a must: “I remember being so nervous…it’s never easy when you leave [an old job]…but taking risks young and learning to build a business young was really in many ways the only thing that gave me the advantage to be where I am today.” Knowing what potential opportunities awaited made it possible to overcome her fears.
Romanow is not alone in this, either. As Jason Haider of Xenco Medical also explains, it can be easy to focus on what you’ll have to give up to pursue your side hustle—but by focusing on what you can potentially gain, you’ll be more willing to take the plunge.
“In order to start Xenco, I had to overcome the fear of leaving behind a device I had been developing for nearly two years,” Haider shares. “Though there was a clear goal in mind, the means to that end were still vaguely defined in the first four months of the company. I found that visualizing the products and reminding myself of the opportunity to make a meaningful difference sustained me through those first months.”
5. Acknowledge Your Fears
A key principle in overcoming your fear of failure is to learn to own your fear, rather than letting your fear own you. As Romanow explains, “The fear is real and that happens all the time as an entrepreneur.” This is okay, as long as you make a conscious effort to address your fears.
According to Psychology Today, “Bringing these feelings [related to fear of failure] to the surface can help prevent you from expressing them through unconscious efforts to sabotage yourself.”
In other words, simply acknowledging your fears makes you less likely to fail. This acceptance then allows you to take the small positive steps that will keep your fear from crippling your entrepreneurial drive.
Pushing past a fear of failure isn’t always easy, but it’s a requirement if you want to follow your dreams. As you learn to cast aside uncertainty and doubt, you’ll be able to pursue your side hustle with confidence and take the steps that will bring you success.