I’ve recently been following Gary Vaynerchuk’s posts on Facebook.
For those who aren’t familiar with him, here’s a summary: Gary’s family immigrated here to the US from Eastern Europe when Gary was a toddler. His father went to work with a relative in a family-owned liquor store. Gary knew at an early age that he had a head for business.
However, he had to work in the back of the store when he was younger but once he grew older, he started fire things up. He began to give customers advice about buying wine. This led to him developing an online video show called Wine Library, which became a huge hit. And through using ecommerce, email marketing, and aggressive pricing, Gary grew the family business from $3 million in 1998 to $50 million by 2005.
He is a popular author and speaker, always encouraging entrepreneurs to take risks and just do it (or as he likes to say, “execute”).
Today he posted this:
The Best Way to Deal with Fear of Failure
If I said one of the hardest things about making your dream, or your small business, or your blog, or whatever, happen was just doing it, would you believe me?
Because the truth is, that is the hardest part. And ironically, that is the one big thing standing in your way. Just executing. Nobody can argue with execution. Once you’re getting shit done, you’re on your way.
But taking that first step can be terrifying. I get it. I really do. Fear of failure can take over. And lots of us have this fear.
But the real question you should be asking yourself is: who are you afraid to fail in front of?
Your mom? Best friend? A sibling? A mentor? That is what holds people back. That their choice won’t be accepted by someone they admire or look up to.
You might think you’re doing so well because you have a nice, solid life and your loved ones accept it and support it. And maybe you’ve achieved your dream and that’s amazing. But you can’t give a shit about what other people think of you. Yes, not even your parents. If you truly trust and believe in yourself, you will learn to do this and they will learn to accept your decisions. And if you fail and people laugh at you, they’re not worth your time. Ignore them.
People will criticize you. They will say mean things, maybe even if hateful things because they’re jealous you’re getting out there and doing your thing ( or scared for you because they love you so much). And that’s okay. It’s all okay. You’re doing you and they shouldn’t affect that.
So fear of failure is established early on, but next, it becomes fear of failure in front of whom. And when you figure out who that is, I would go talk to them. Straight up. Speak to them directly, face to face.
You sit down with them. And this is what you say: “I’m about to do this thing, and the only reason I haven’t done it yet is because I don’t want to let you down. This is a long journey, and I know I’m going to make it in the end, but I just need to make sure that if I fail at one step, your response to that failure doesn’t crush me.”
Because that’s really what it is. Make sure that person will bring you back up, not keep you down.
This is something so few talk about …. If you happen to be the person someone is scared to let down please re-read this … 5 times!
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Gary is talking about an issue I’ve confronted in my own life. In fact, every person who has tried to accomplish anything has to confront it.
But guess what?
You don’t negotiate with fear. You conquer it.
And it’s not just the fear of failure. It’s the fear of failure in front of those you love.
The sad truth is that quite often, it’s your family and friends who don’t understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.
I have a theory.
Your family has watched you grow up and there are certain family dynamics at play. So, for instance, you might have been tagged “the troublemaker” as a child. Or “the dreamer.” Or whatever label you can think of.
The point is that labels are limiting. They only define a very small part of who we are at a certain point in our lives.
Maybe you sucked your thumb until you were five-years old, but guess what? You grew out of it.
The same way I grew out of saying, “I’m sorry!” all the time. I said it so often when I was a little girl that when the teacher called out my name, several of my fellow students all chimed in at once to say in sing-song fashion, “I’m soooorrrrreeeeee!”
I’ve had to fight long and hard to become who I am today. You’ve probably done the same. You looked at some behaviors from your childhood or teenage years and as you became an adult, you realized you needed to change things.
You realized the only way to change your behavior was to change your thinking.
So… going back to how your family views you and whether they “get you” or not, here’s the deal:
If you are a creative…
If you are an entrepreneur…
If you seek to change the world in even one small way…
…you – by necessity – are evolving.
You’re learning, growing, adapting, testing new things, failing and then trying a new way to see if that works.
This path of growth is what I think EVERY person should be on but not everyone is (obviously). Because if they were, we would have much less protests and yelling and fighting and road rage and whatever else people do when they’re frustrated with life.
You see, when people are on a path of self-development, they don’t have time for that crap.
I’m not saying spend less time with family and friends who don’t get you. I am saying put it all in perspective.
Press on. Find kindred spirits. But mostly close the door, hunker down and pour your own brand of genius into stuff. Explore. Investigate. Experiment. Try, try and then try again. Never give up trying.
Before you know it, you’ll be a lighthouse.
Your family and friends may still not get you or encourage you, but by God you’ll be helping someone avoid the shoals and reach land safely.