I've always had a fear of failure. I will admit I was a math whiz and bookworm growing up, and pushed myself to get straight As. This is not necessarily something I'd brag about, because it also meant that I became so accustomed to success that I defined myself by it. I'd get accolades for my hard work, and then I'd be nervous that those accolades would go away and people would think less of me if I failed. So, over time I stopped taking risks and focused solely on perfection and success. I started putting myself in situations where I knew I would succeed, simply for that rush of success.
Starting a business absolutely goes against the "safe route" that I had become accustomed, and I knew that I'd be taking a leap of faith and putting my heart on the line from the beginning. Thoughts when through my head, "What will people think of me?" "What if I fail?" "Will they have at me?" "How will I face them if one day I have to walk away from my business with my tail between my legs?"
On and on and on and on...
My business is going really well, and the successes could not be sweeter. But, I still find that I have to push myself each week to get outside my comfort zone. Last week was no different, except that it was the deadline for me to hit THE highest rank in our company. On Monday, my mentor called me and said, "Let's do this." I won't go through details, but I was less than 50% to my goal. I was wavering at the moment on if it could be done. We got off the phone and I spent the next 30 minutes going through options in my head, and finally I wrote her back. "I have it all mapped out," I said. I knew in my heart I was going to do this.
I also listened to a podcast that reminded me I had about 100 hours to my deadline. 100 hours to be legendary. So, I put this at the forefront of my mind and went to work.
I went to bed Thursday night confident that I would meet my goal the next day, and I officially met it with about 6 hours of breathing room. The point is, though, that if I wouldn't have believed in myself earlier in the week, if I wouldn't have taken that risk and put all fears of failure aside, I wouldn't be sitting here today with this new title and newfound success in my business.
What if I failed? Sure - it would have been tough to swallow. But another line keeps running through my head on repeat: "You'll never know if you never try." This makes me want to build outrageous goals and reach them and then make even more outrageous goals and reach them! Life is too short to take everything too seriously. If I wouldn't have met my goal? Well, it wouldn't have been the end of the world. I could have tried again another time.
But instead, I took a leap of faith… and I flew.