Have you ever had an idea that you talked yourself out of before you even got started? Why do we let that happen? In order to create something of our very own, it takes vulnerability, and vulnerability can be an uncomfortable place to be. So what is keeping us from pursuing that idea? What is blocking that dream you have?
I want to talk about fear. Fear is the number one dream blocker. We all deal with fear, and there are two different internal fears that we all experience. These are fear of failure and fear of judgment.
If you haven't read the book The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson, I highly encourage you check it out! In the book, the main character is given a dream from God, and as he goes about pursuing this dream and steps out of his comfort zone, he finds himself hitting a wall. A wall of fear. This wall encompasses fear of failure and of fear of judgment. Think of this wall as imposter syndrome. I think we can all relate to having God give us a dream and telling you YES! But then you get imposter syndrome, and we find ourselves unable to move forward.
Here I want to dive into these fears and share strategies that I have found and implemented to help kick those fears down and move past them!
Here we go!
Fear of Failure
Fear of failure is our way of protecting ourselves from getting hurt. We like to control our outcomes. Having control makes us feel safe and secure. But something I want you to consider is this: the outcome of your attempt at something new does NOT define your worth. We can do everything we can to gain the outcome we want, but we are not in control.
Some of the best advice I have been given was to have a clear goal, but hold loosely onto the path to get there. This is a good reminder that the path we think will take us to our goal is not always the path God has planned for us. Consider the children of Israel in Exodus. They are trying to flee from the Egyptians to the Promised Land. They were dressed for battle with a plan to take the quickest route through Philistine territory. But God had a different path for them. It wasn’t the quickest or easiest. It was a long, laborious, illogical path.
That can be the truth sometimes. That the path God has planned for us is not the path we had hoped or planned for. When these instances arise, I encourage you to lean into God. Lean into His voice and be willing to try something new, even if it fails. What is the worst that can happen? You fail, and that is okay! Best case scenario– you succeed and get to keep doing the thing you set out to do.
The biggest takeaway I have for you when it comes to fear of failure is the outcome of your attempt is NOT your worth. The attempt in itself is amazing. It shows yourself you are strong and more capable than you think.
Fear of Judgment
Fear of judgment is a big dream blocker. This is fear of man. When we create out of fear of judgment, we are holding ourselves back from our most authentic expression of love and creativity. I certainly experienced fear of judgment when starting Horacio Printing.
When we hold onto fear of judgment and overanalyze ourselves, we cannot speak, love, or teach authentically. When we overanalyze and live in fear of judgment, we are being selfish. We need to stop thinking about ourselves, which is difficult because we are naturally bent toward selfishness. I teach my students in Print School to not think of yourself, but think of the person you are creating for. Talk to THAT person instead. Think of what you want to share with them instead.
This applies to product creating. When the person you are creating for is your focus, this will help you face fear of judgment as you are pursuing your idea.
How do you overcome these internal fears of failure and judgment? I have learned a few strategies over the years.
3 Strategies to Overcome Fear of Failure and Judgment:
- Focus on a clear goal. Be specific and clear with your goal. Once you have decided on that goal, write it down and break it down. To dig deeper into how to do that, go back and listen to Episode 97 where I teach you how to identify and break down a big goal or dream. As mentioned above, I also highly recommend The Dream Giver.
- Focus on who your goal impacts. Keep your focus on your audience. Who you are creating for. The more you care about who you are creating for, the less you will stress about the fear of failure and fear of judgment. True fulfillment comes from impacting other people’s lives, not establishing worth from praise.
- Hold loosely to the outcomes and hold present to what God has for you today. When you come to the end of your comfort zone, there will be people who come out to stop you. They are often well intentioned, but they might blow out your candle without realizing they are doing so. What you need to discern is who is wise counsel and who is someone who blows out your candle.
I used to struggle a lot with those in my life who didn’t understand my dream. Now, if I encounter a “candle blower-outer”, I just let it roll off my shoulders. I have learned that while the advice is not needed, it comes from a place of love, nonetheless.
Now, let's talk about wise counsel. For me, wise counsel is someone who is a strong Christian. Ideally, wise counsel is also someone who has been in the space or attempted the dream you have.
For example-- if you are learning how to drive, are you going to choose someone who doesn’t know how to drive? Of course not. You will seek someone who has driven before, who has their license. If you are riding a bike and are exploring a new trail, how much more comfortable will you feel if you are with someone who has gone down that trail before?
It is beneficial to have someone, or multiple people, who are in the same space as you to encompass your wise counsel.
I hope this serves you, and you are ready to break through fear of failure and fear of judgment to remain focused on your goal!
Fear of failure and fear of judgment are the biggest dream blockers in our lives. They can stop us in our tracks and put a halt to many of our dreams and ideas, before we can even get them off the ground. But once we recognize these fears, and focus on a clear goal, who it impacts, and hold tight to God in the process, while being open to His path for us, we will be able to make those dreams come alive!
To hear the full in-depth discussion of these fears and overcoming them, check out the full episode!
Before you go, here are a couple of exciting opportunities I wanted to share with you:
I am hosting another 5-Day Live Challenge starting March 20th! I am going to host five 1-hour training sessions and teach you how to create your dream paper product from start to finish. My goal is to help you down the trail, the path to your paper product. I am so excited about this challenge and to help you get your dream product created!I also want you to VOTE on your favorite design for my 2024 Dream Planner! Click here to share your thoughts and vote! I can’t wait to read your feedback and start my final design decisions!