I started this blog at the end of May 2019. Afterward, I bought a hosting package. And then, I bought a domain name and I spent a week setting this up. By the end of the first week of June 2019, I posted my first article titled – How to Take the First Step – A Crucial Step in Achieving Your Goals and Dreams in Life. I thought that it was the perfect first blogpost for my website. I continued writing and posting until July 4 and then I stopped.
Every time I write an article, I always feel that I was just wasting my time. There’s a nagging voice in my head that I wouldn’t succeed in what I was doing and that I should just give it up as early as possible and do something else. My fear of failure is slowly eating me up from the inside. I was afraid that my writing will be criticized big time. A nagging voice in my head was telling me that I wasn’t a good writer, I was not good at SEO, HTML is very difficult to understand, etc.Ignorance is the parent of fear. - Herman Melville Click To Tweet
I’m aware though that one month is not enough time to determine what you can or can’t do. But I don’t know yet how to manage my fear of failure and I listened to that crippling fear and stopped what I have started in just under a month.
So, I went on with my life, doing something that I’m very familiar with. I kept myself busy with my main gig which is online selling. Every now and then I remember this blog and thought about possibly sharing what I was thinking. I thought that someone might find it useful. In my head, I was thinking that maybe my ideas could possibly help someone. But then again, my fear of failure crept in and I just ignored my plan to share my thoughts and ideas via this blog.
Fast forward to April 2020, almost every country in the world is in lockdown due to the COVID-19 virus that put almost everything on a halt. My income stopped coming in due to the temporary closure of courier service providers. And because we’re all stuck in our houses with nothing much to do, I found myself having so much time in my hands. I spent the first two weeks binge-watching random stuff on Netflix and Youtube.
I’ve watched a lot of news about the virus. The doom and gloom in the news about my country and other countries in the world became part of my daily staple. It then led me to some random videos, which then led me to cats and dogs funny videos and then to more random funny videos. Until one day, I just suddenly woke up and felt sick and tired of consuming news articles and videos online.
I thought, why not give my blog another try. And as my fear of failure slowly crept in, an idea popped up. What if I just do what I want to do even if I’m so afraid to fail. I asked myself, what would happen if I just try and continue even if I’m afraid.Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain. - Ralph Waldo Emerson Click To Tweet
And so I wrote an article after 9 months of hiatus entitled – 10 Things We Could Do To Survive Trying Times. It seems to be the most fitting article to start with. I kept on writing and writing. I also started engaging myself more with the FI community via Twitter. Aside from creating new posts, I also changed my template, improved my blog’s layout, and removed some ads to improve readability. Instead of watching videos, I also started reading more FI blogs and sharing their content via my social media accounts.
And while I was doing all that, I realized, that I could keep this going side by side with my other gig. Something has changed within me. It felt like my fear of failure could not enter the garage anymore, and it’s parked somewhere a bit farther from where I am. Probably it is still watching me and probably it’s just waiting for an opportunity to strike again. But for now, my fear of failure is at bay and it’s possibly binge-watching Youtube as I continue to build my blog.
If you’re going through this phase and if you could not execute one of your plans due to fear of failure then read on. Here are 8 Steps on How to Manage Your Fear of Failure.
Understand the Source of Your Fear
All of our fears have origins. They originated from an experience that we had in the past. For this particular topic, my fear originated from my lack of confidence. And the root cause of that lack of confidence is insecurity and incompetency. I know that I’m not the best writer in the world. My HTML and webpage development skill is also not the best in the world. I’m also aware that I’m not the best in building a huge social media following. And I know that I’m also not good at SEO. All of those skills are needed to grow a blog.
My level of expertise in blogging is at the beginner’s level. And being in that place made me feel so insecure. It made me feel that I wasn’t good enough. Until I realized that everybody has to start somewhere. All of the giant businesses started as an idea. The big names in the mainstream media started out as a job applicant. Unless you’re born with a silver/golden spoon in your mouth or unless you belong to a monarch or business tycoon family, then you will have to start small.To overcome fear, here’s all you have to do: realize the fear is there, and do the action you fear anyway. - Peter McWilliams Click To Tweet
Address Your Source of Fear
Since I was able to identify that my fear of failure originates from my lack of the needed skills for this particular endeavor, I started doing things that could help me improve those skills. Instead of binge-watching funny cats and dogs videos (they’re fun to watch though LOL), I started watching FI vlogs, SEO tutorial videos, and blogging tips videos.
I also started binge-reading on FI blogs, blogging blogs, and SEO blogs. And I also started reading other non-FI blogs such as travel blogs, food blogs, and personal blogs and I’m continuously taking notes of their best practices. I’m looking at their layouts, choices of colors, topics, articles, ads placement, monetization strategy, etc. In short, I’m studying their best practices and I’m definitely learning a lot from them.
Surround Yourself with Like-minded Individuals
Aside from observing and learning from other bloggers, I also started engaging with them via Twitter and by commenting on their blog posts. I’m ‘virtually’ surrounding myself with like-minded individuals who are passionate about what they do. I unsubscribed to feeds who I feel will not help me shape the person that I want to be in the future. I follow and interact with people who have different ways of achieving their goals. I don’t subscribe to one idea only, I also welcome contradicting ideas in order to keep my mind open to a variety of options. This is important especially in the FI blogosphere where there are a plethora of ways on how to achieve FI.
I also minimize (and will continue to do so) my interactions with people that I personally know who seems to have a self-defeating prophecy about themselves. People who often say “I can’t do that” or “It’s too difficult” without even trying and yet consistently complains about their life.
This is probably the biggest and most effective step I have taken that have greatly improved my way of thinking. Since I started interacting with my fellow bloggers online, I often find myself motivated. I often find myself challenged but at the same time supported.Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. - Wilfred Peterson Click To Tweet
Observe Proper Pacing
I’ve read that proper pacing is important to runners. It is an important skill that every runner needs to know and understand in order to draw an effective strategy that could help them finish and possibly win a race.
I feel that this is the same for everyone else who is trying to achieve a goal. Just like runners, I’m also observing my proper pacing in growing this blog. If you’re wondering on how to do it, start by outlining the following (and be sure to write everything down so you will always have something to look back to):
- Define your Goals
- Outlined the Steps that You Need in Order to Achieve Your Goals
- Define the Timeline for Every Step that You Need to Take
- Execute your Plan of Action
- Track Your Progress
- Celebrate your Successes (Regardless if it’s a Small Win or a Huge Accomplishment)
- Improve your Courses of Actions that didn’t Achieve your Target Results
- Rinse and Repeat (and Improve along the Way)
If you observe the proper pacing on your chosen endeavor, you will also avoid feeling exhausted and burnt out.One part at a time, one day at a time, we can accomplish any goal we set for ourselves. - Karen Casey Click To Tweet
Know Your Whys
It’s important that it’s clear to you why you are doing your chosen endeavor. Aside from knowing the ‘Hows’, knowing your ‘Why’s’ will help keep you moving forward. My own ‘Whys’ in starting this blog include:
I’d like to connect with like-minded individuals via this blog
As I have mentioned above, I’m trying to change my psyche and habits in order to help myself achieve FI. And to be able to do that, I’d like to surround myself with like-minded individuals who are also trying to achieve a similar thing. A relationship is a two-way thing and I just don’t want to keep on taking from the FI blogging community, I also want to give back by sharing my thoughts and ideas through my blog.
I’d like to document my growth
One of the reasons why I’m also blogging is to document my growth through this blog. It’s like an online journal that will help me keep myself on my toes. This will also serve as an online reminder of what I want to achieve in the next few years. I keep a spreadsheet that tracks the metrics that I set for my blog and I’m planning to update that monthly to keep track of my growth as a blogger.
Related Post: First Year Blog Anniversary – Lessons and Surprises
I’d like to keep on learning and to keep on improving
I believe in learning by teaching philosophy. Whenever I write an article, I’m slowly improving my writing skill one article at a time. English is not my mother-tongue so writing is also helping me improve my language skills. Whenever I write an article, I also improve my knowledge about the particular topic that I am writing about. I read a wide variety of journals and blogs and I try my best to learn from them. This is why you’ll often see their links on the articles that I post on my blog.
I’d like to develop an online side-hustle
Another reason why I started this blog is I want to learn and create an online side-hustle. I’m not sure yet if I want blogging to be one of those side-hustles. But by reading other bloggers about their FI journeys, I am learning along the way a variety of other online side-hustle that I was not aware of before.
I can probably utilize this blog to learn the ins and outs of internet commerce by trying to earn money from ads or affiliate marketing or perhaps create my own e-product in the future.
It will not matter even if you spend a lot of time understanding your fear of failure, even if you continuously plan and learn and even if you’re highly motivated if you will not execute your plan. Making a plan is only winning half the battle. In order to win the entire battle, you will have to execute your plan.
This is when the fear of failure usually creeps back in. Once we are on the verge of taking the first step in executing our plan, our fear and worries bombard our brain and sometimes cripple us.
My suggestion, as what Nike always says in their ads – Just do it!Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t! - Eleanor Roosevelt Click To Tweet
You will just go back to square one if you don’t execute because of your fear of failure. Executing your plan is like putting up your middle finger in front of your fear. It’s affirming to yourself that you can do it. Doing what you want to do is like confirming to the universe that the skills and talents given to you will be put into good use. There’s a reason why you have thought of that idea and there’s a reason why you are capable of executing that idea.
Don’t let your fear stopped you from fulfilling your idea, especially if it’s an idea that could help a lot of other people improve their lives.
Strategize and Use Everything You’ve Got
If fear is often figuratively described as a crippler or a disabler, then use your strengths as your crutches. Sometimes, we can manage our fear and keep it at bay. But every now and then, fear creates self-doubt and it often stops us from our tracks and it prevents us from continuing on. There are reasons behind it, and often it stems out of our insecurities. When that happens, just remember to try to understand it and address the possible causes and you’ll be able to move forward.
And to help you navigate the path with ease, leverage your strengths. For my particular case, I’m aware that I’m not a good writer (yet) and I’m not good at webpage development (yet) and I’m still working on my SEO skills. However, I also know that I’m a fast learner. I’ve also worked in multinational companies in the past and have been trained to create, improve, and execute processes. Although it’s not an apple to apple comparison, the fundamentals are basically the same. So, I’m using everything I’ve learned in the past. And I’m tweaking it to adapt to the needs of my new chosen endeavor.How to Manage your Fear of Failure Click To Tweet
And as always, Rinse and Repeat!
Does your fear of failure also stop you from achieving your goals? What have you done to address it? Feel free to share your tips and recommendations on the comment section below.