The world today is littered with lofty dreams, mediocrities, under-performances and failures, literally in every aspect of human endeavours. A lot of people who ordinarily would have been running their own businesses, and enjoying the many benefits of being their own bosses are today still wallowing in abject poverty and trapped in the 7 to 7 (sometimes 7 to 9) rat race, while working for others. This is not because they do not have the needed capital and knowledge of the business but simply due to the much dreaded -FEAR OF FAILURE.
The fear of failure has today become the greatest enemy of mankind in their bid to make any meaningful achievement or progress. This arch enemy otherwise known as atychiphobia, is observed as an abnormal , unwarranted and persistent fear , in business as well as other human endeavour. It is evident and more pronounced when allowed, stopping a person from doing the things that can move him forward or achieve his set goals.
Among the many causes of this syndrome is the avoidance of shame. In fact people tend to harbour great amount of fear simply because they would not want to be put to shame as a consequence. It is essentially the fear of shame. They therefore would do anything to avoid taking the suicidal mission.
Another is the avoidance of mistakes. Many can do everything possible to avoid making mistakes; this makes them not to attempt anything at all, without knowing that it is through making mistakes that great inventions are made. Thomas Edison, through many trials, mistakes and failures discovered the electric bulb. Mistakes are often the best teachers, because we learn through them. It brings out the best in the individuals. It is highly impossible to travel the road of success without a puncture.
There is also the fear of being criticized. This is in fact the most dreaded among the reasons for being afraid of failure in any field of human endeavour. People tend to avoid at all cost every avenue of attracting criticism from close friends, colleagues or even perceived enemies. They would rather remain in their comfort zone and be caged instead of freeing themselves and realising their full potential. This is the reason why a lion would rather choose to remain among the flocks of sheep eating grasses (having being conditioned to do so) and totally forgotten that she is not a sheep but a lion). Her pre-occupation is what will happen if she did not succeed. What will people say? My people will criticize me. What will happen to my reputation? They will make jest of me, they will laugh at me. It is therefore better to remain where i am instead. This particular fear has kept many of us in one place for many years now without having anything to show for it.
Again we do not want to be blamed for taking a dangerous risk. And so it is better to wait for the perfect time. Perfection is only possible in theory. Practically, no time is ever perfect to venture into any course of action. ’Safety first’, as a precaution, does not make accident totally avoidable. Life itself is a risk. Many deaths through road accidents have not stop people from plying the roads successfully. What will be, will be! The more we fear to fail; the closest we are to failure.
These are however, not the path of great achievers. According to Tom Hopkins,’’ the single most important difference between champions, achievers and average people is their ability to handle rejection and failure’’.
The fear of the unknown has so gripped so many people that they are today just existing (being comfortable as paupers when they would have become full butterflies) even with great deposit of immense talents. God, our maker has deposited enough potential in each and every individual, great enough to make us comfortable in life.
Research has shown that man is only making use of just about five percent (5%) of our God given potentials. Can you imagine that? The other ninety five percent (95%) are just being wasted. And yet the 5% are not being fully utilized. Sometimes these talents and God given potentials are wasted due to the fear of failure. This is evident from the parable of the three servants as described in the (Math 25:14-30), where talents were distributed to the servants by their master to profit with them. Two of the servants really profited, doubling the talents, while the foolish servant could not achieve any profit with his talent due to fear. He, rather, went and hid his talent on the ground only to present it to his master as it was given to him. Why? Because of – fear of the unknown.
The same is happening today; there are many talented and greatly gifted individuals in our society today that are doing nothing towards realising their God given potentials due to the fear of failure. Every one of us has being given a great measure of talents according to our abilities. What are we doing with them? There are born entrepreneurs as there are great leaders among us today, there are equally great singers, writers, organizers, managers, and other great potentials among us today, that are yet unable to use these affluent of talents, due to fear. Remember we will give account of the profit we made with these talents to our master and our maker. The fear of failure has so affected us that we do not want to attempt anything at all.
Most times, we run, out of fear, from things that are not even after us. Why fear -fear? Nothing is impossible. The numerous innovations we see in the world today (the cars, aeroplanes, the telecoms, etc) are possible because people dare to try. Risk is part of every business. One thing is certain; what is not tried won’t work. The most important thing is to begin, even though the first step is the hardest. Yes! If we wait for the perfect conditions, we will never get anything done, Eccl 12:3-6. Unless you enter the beehive you cannot take the honey.
Pat Robertson said, ‘’despite not the day of small beginning because you can make all the mistakes anonymously’’. Be optimistic. According to Hellen Keller, ‘’optimism is the faith that leads to achievement’’. This simply means we must be’ full of God’. Nothing of real importance can be achieved without hope or confidence in Him. Be fearless, confident, and committed. Test new ideas knowing that some will work and some will not.
Give your worries to God. 1pet 5:7 says ‘’let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you’’. Face that shame. When you face what you fear most, the death of fear is sure. ’’the only thing that stand between man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try and the faith to believe that it is possible’’ (Richard deVos).
Be yourself. Dare to see yourself for who you are. Be a lion you are meant to be. Bark when you are supposed to bark. Bite when necessary. Let nothing condition you to do otherwise. Don’t worry about what someone else is doing and don’t compare. It’s challenging yourself and your personal effort that matters. The word of God says ‘‘i can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’’. Believe you can. All things are possible to him that believes. Life is full of challenges; and those challenges make a man what he is. My experiences (in terms of hindrances and setbacks) in this life had only made me much stronger- nothing shakes me now because nothing is new under the sun. It is either you succeed trying or you fail avoiding it. Refuse to admit the scare of failure when it calls. Keep trying. You will definitely succeed.
One of the greatest discoveries you can make, as you take a step today, is to find out that you can easily do what you were afraid of and thought you could not do, all these while. This was exactly what happened to me when i thought of going for my MBA. It took me three years to remove that fear and to make that vital decision. I later found out that it wasn’t as difficult as earlier envisaged. Really you can achieve anything in life, if you put your mind it. Face that challenge today. Take that risk. Make that mistake. Remember, mistakes have hidden powers to help us. Do not look at what people will say. Enjoy criticisms, welcome them. In fact be grateful to the people that criticise you. Criticism is a compliment when you are doing what you are supposed to do (John Mason). They are only helping you to grow in confidence. Do not take it personal. They are only criticising your work and not your person. It will bring out the best in you. Remember when you are being kicked from behind, it means you are out in front.
INNO AKOMA, MBA MNIM.
I am a content and article writer. I love writing about Business and start ups with special interest in retail businesses. I am the CEO of NOBLE-GUIDE BUSINESS CONSULT, we provide business consultancy & support services such as Business Registration, Business/ Market Research & Feasibility, Business and market plans, strategy/growth plans, marketing/promotional services, logistics, training, etc. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 08132611062, 08023709914. www.nobleguideconsult.wordpress.com. www.facebook.com/noble-guide Business consult. http://www.twitter.com@noble_guide or http://www.fiverr.com/innokomas